HHH: Cancer is a condition of the entire body's inability to prevent mutated cancer cells from multiplying. Most cancer cells grow, divide, invade and destroy nearby tissues, eventually spreading. Although cancer may first appear to manifest as an isolated tumor, it is a complex disease that affects the entire body system. Any treatment should be started right away.
HHH: Cancer is difficult to diagnose in horses because there are no specific symptoms.
- - Loss of appetite
- - Loss of weight
- - Lethargy
- - Abnormal behavior
- - Unusual lumps
- - Scabby or crusty areas that may or may not grow or heal
Keep a journal of your horse's health to notice changes more rapidly. If in question, discuss your observations with your vet. Blood tests are sensitive to many body changes, but with cancer, tests can remain normal right up to advanced stages.
HHH: Abnormalities in genetic cell material cause nearly all cancers. Cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be present in cells at birth, inherited, or randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication. Typically two classes of genes are often activated, giving those cells new properties such as hyperactive growth and division, protection against apoptosis, loss of tissue boundaries, the ability to establish and spread, inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, loss of control over the cell's cycle, replication, and interaction with protective cells of the immune system.
HHH: Melanomas are no longer a disease of older horses. Cancer may affect horses at all ages, but risk for squamous cell carcinoma tends to increase with age. Melanomas are generally located on the bottom side of the tail and are usually black. External growth may resemble cauliflower, or affect inner tissue appearing only at the surface of an ulcer. Tumors have a genetically linked predisposition, which, in today's stress-riddled environment, may show cause for the weakened immune systems of younger horses. Such stresses may include any combination of the following damaging factors:
1. Pollution, carcinogens, toxins, and chemicals (air, water)
2. Travel trauma (show horses)
3. Crowded stables
4. Minimal or no pasture turnout
5. Vaccinations, medication, and radiation
6. Diet from unnatural (herbicide treated hay) and limited (pellets) food sources.
HHH: Gray horses more commonly have a melanoma tumor around the head area or tail. Melanomas appear as discolored raised lumps under the tail and around the anus, or as a raised knobby lump on the underside of the throat area. Melanomas first seen under the tail often spread to the horse's digestive tract.
HHH: A sarcoid is the most common tumor of the horse, usually found on the head, especially at the base of the ears, but also on the legs, lower abdominal area and/or around the top of the tail. Sarcoid tumors are composed primarily of connective tissue that appears on the skin, and may first look like a wart (papilloma). They are benign neoplasms. Cancers are classified by the type of cell that resembles the tumor, as well as the presumed tissue of origin. On the lower leg, a wound such as a wire cut is linked to some tumors where new growth begins as part of an otherwise normal healing process. There is evidence that tumors can be contagious, not directly, but transmitted through the spread of a virus.
HHH: Horses exposed to allergens may encourage sarcoid growth and multiplication. There is inconclusive evidence that sarcoids may develop and/or increase from exposure to allergens. Sarcoids may store toxins as an attempt by the immune system to seal off blood impurities, waste products, and allergens. Through observation, horse owners have noticed a reaction when their horse is in a particular pasture, which affects the horse's immune system. Look at your horse?s entire environment, including pasture, stall, feed, and any changes you have made or that have occurred with the horse. Keep current and accurate records. Note when a sarcoid interferes with tack.
HHH: Once diagnosed, consider all options to arrive at the BEST plan of attack against your horse's specific cancer. Research conventional and natural treatment options with your regular veterinarian. Consider various therapies, support techniques and products, and consult other cancer professionals and cases similar to yours to make the best treatment choice for your horse. Your goal is to build your horse?s immune system while treating the cancer and keeping it in remission. Always begin by considering the current state of your horse?s whole body health and strengthening it.
Fibrosarcoma poses great danger because it will metastasize rapidly commonly located outside of the fetlock joint and easily injured
Basal Cell Tumors
benign, solitary, firm, rounded
rarely found in horses
have been reported on face, neck, trunk and distal limbs
potentially harmful neoplasm
not common with horses
easily recognized as multiple nodules under the skin
can occur anywhere in the body
generally are limited in growth
do not invade or metastasize
relatively simple to remove
cancerous and potentially fatal
biopsy beyond the borders is necessary to ensure complete removal
benign, usually local tumors
affect the skin
do not spread to internal organs
Melanomas (cancerous tumors)
can grow rapidly, widely throughout body
nodules are single or multiples; all are malignant
most occur at the tail root, perineum, and vulva area
CAN BE EITHER
Squamous cell carcinomas
frequently come from sun-damaged skin cells
generally localized, do not metastasize quickly
may be non-invasive (don't show a mass)
have cancerous potential when untreated
may show microscopic changes such as abnormal development of tissues
Germ cell tumor
derived from totipotent cells
most often found at the poll (base of the skull)
Crustations & lumps.
ALERT! Early signs.
Notify the vet!
Establish a plan.
Repeat the process