Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

  Author   Comment  
Lisa W

Our 29 year old Saddlebred - Captain - has developed a tumor on his right side in the groin area.  It is the size of a golf ball and appears to have tissue connected to it under the skin.  We had the vet out today and she said our best bet is to keep an eye on it and see if it increases in size or breaks open. My immediate response was how could this be happening?  We just lost River less than 2 weeks ago and now this.  I have to say that I am somewhat gaurded yet relieved as I have been searching on the web and it seems to me that it may be a sarcoid.  "Equine sarcoids are the most frequently seen equine tumor. They are a locally aggressive, benign (non-cancerous) fribroblastic tumor of the dermis and epidermis (skin). Any horse is susceptible to sarcoid development as there is no connection with breed, sex, or coat color. It is most common to see them in middle-aged horses, but a horse of any age can be affected. Areas most frequently involved include the skin of the head (eyelids, ears, and mouth), tailhead, legs, and ventral trunk or any sites that have been previously traumatized." I have found alot of information on them.  The information that appeals to me most is using natural alternatives to build his immune system and hopefully that will aid in getting rid of the growth.   I know there are people on this board who have a lot of knowledge in natural alternatives.  Has anyone else dealt with this?  Can someone point me in the right direction?  I am trying to find the USB cord for my camera so I can post a picture, but it seems to have disappeared.


Your description of the tumor on Captain does not match what I have seen diagnosed as a sarcoid unless there is more than one variety of it.

I had a 16-year-old Arab gelding that had a growth on his face. It was determined to be a sarcoid. It looked very much like a wart composed of many smaller bulbous parts. It spread out over an area of skin and did not appear visually to affect any tissue other than the skin surface. In other words it was lateral and did not protrude any great distance from the skins surface.
I was also told that it basically visually displeasing but does no harm to just leave it alone.

I would suggest if it hasn’t been done that you have your vet do a biopsy to determine just what kind of tumor you really have.
Lisa W

If you type "photos of sarcoids in horses" in the yahoo search bar I think you will be amazed at the variery of sarcoids there are.  I've also learned that physical trauma to a sarcoid may accelerate the tumor activity, this would include a biopsy.  There are several different kinds of sarcoids. 

Typically these are dry golf ball size lumps, though size may
vary considerably.
They most often occur on head, chest shoulder/ under-leg.
Normally lacking hair,
they are not difficult to spot.


I am not positive that this is what Captain has, but I do not want to take a chance of aggravating it if that is what it is.  I am going to call around to other vets in our area to see if anyone has any experience in sarcoids  Until then I'll keep researching.


Have a girlfriend who's horse had a sarcoid just behind her whithers, right where the saddle lands, or where the seam of your jeans by your thigh would rub bareback.  She had it frozen several years ago.  It left a large sensitive area that she had to be sure she was careful of w/certain saddle pads so as not to rub it raw.  Never failed as it would seemingly heal one of the horses would go after her (low mare on the totem) & bite her in that spot.  She used a silver based spray that seemed to heal it quite quickly.  Over the years it had healed & then had started to grow another "wart" along the outter edge of the original scar, about 1 year ago now the mare was again bit, this time quite badly & it took the whole "infected" spot along w/some of the healthy tissue.  That was a year ago.  It is now completely healed & no signs of sarcoid growth whatsoever.  She had said though that had she known the freezing wouldnt have cured it the 1st time, she wouldnt have done it.  I do know there are new treatments for it now though, including the herbal remedy you mention.... I will ask her if she remembers what it was called for you. ;)



Hi Lisa,

I have a 23 yo saddlebred who has had a sacroid a few times. It was on the side of his neck. We used a 'natural' cream that we got from the vet. The vet said it works better than anything else they have. I can't recall the name right now, but can look in the barn tonight. The sarcoid looked dry and scaly. I think we treated it 3 time. I came back samller each time but now it hasa been almost 2 years since the last time. I chose to treat it rather that a removal as my bet said that they might come back either way and the cream was a far cheaper option. The cream was applied every day for 5 days, wait 2 weeks and then apply 5 more days.

I do think that once we got down to the skin area, there may have been some discomfort for the horse, but nothing worse that if he had a cut or bite from another horse.

As I am typing, my memory is chuggung away in the background and I *think* that the cream is called extarra? Not sure that is the exact spelling. I was alos told that sometimes there appear when a horse is under stress and the immune system is not at 100%, but that may not always be the case. However, my horse who has this is now in much better health that he was when the sarcoid appeared.

If it is a sarcoid, it is not a life threatening tumor, just an annoyance, unless it is in a location that bothers the horse.



I dont recall the name of that cream either but she did use that & it did seem to help reduce it also, it seemed to peel the skin away like a wart compound.  The mare became very upset with the process though after it started to be applied to the raw skin/sore.  It also left a sticky ooze that would crust over.

The cream you are referring to is X-terra. I used it to treat the Arab gelding that I mentioned. My recall was 4? days apply- rest period of 4-7? days and repeat.
You are supposed to wear rubber gloves/or finger when applying and apply only to the infected area not the surrounding healthy flesh.
X-terra paste comes in a 2 0z jar at cost of $120.00 made by Larson Labs out of
Ft. Collins, Colorado.
Appy Lover

I know a 4-year-old arab/selle francias gelding with sarcoids behind his left ear but there are only about three, one that will bleed occasionally. Nothing is being done yet, but his owner says that if they get worse she will get the vet out. But I also know a 17-year-old TB gelding with them behind his right ear. He got them by a fly carrying the virus(is that it? a virus? don't know...)biting him where he had just recieved surgery. Now his owner just puts Wonder Dust on it because it bleeds alot. But the funny thing is since Wonder Dust didn't solve the halter/bridle rubbing issue, she just put sanitary pads(with wings) on the spot where it would rub him! Now he really 'flies'!


I noticed 2 days ago my mare has swelling on her neck the size of an egg. It is under the skin, with a mark on that area. To me it looks like she was kicked there. Is there anything I should watch for/be doing or will it go down on its own?


If its warm to touch you could put cold compresses on it - if she stands for a cold hose thats the easiest, otherwise I've used a washcloth & a bucket of cold water.  It could also be a bee sting or bug bite.  Either way, you can leave it & just observe it to be sure (if its a bite) that it doesnt become infected, otherwise it should heal in a day or 2 on its own.  ;)

Lisa W


I finally was able to get a picture of Captain's tumor. I am happy to report that it hasn't changed at all and is still cool to the touch. He is very tolerant

to letting me touch it.



This old guy is such a love bug we sometimes just stand in the pasture with our heads together. He loves to give me back rubs, he will rub his head up and down on my back. I think it is to both of our benefits, I love the backrubs and he loves to have his eyes scratched. I felt it only appropriate that if I was going to post a picture of his groin that I should also post a picture of his handsome profile.  LOL!!!

Lisa W
There is an excellent article covering equine cancer in this months issue of Stable Management magazine.  It has good info on sarcoids. This is a great magazine and it is free to boot! 

my horse has a large lump on his sheath, it is under the skin, very hard to see, and looks more like a cyst but it is hard. its not sore at all, and doesnt bother him. any suggestions on what this is? i would like to maybe find out before calling a vet

Scott Bayerl: MHWF

Your going to have to call a vet. Nobody in their right mind would try to guess at what it might be without seeing it, feeling it and probably running some tests. These things tend to grow quickly sometimes and the sooner you call the vet, the better.

Scott I agree.....biopsy for sure.

And you have to be caution with the Xterra.  When I was still working in vet. clinic many people would use it with out the vet's supervision and end up with a mess on their hands.  Not to say that this product does NOT have value or has not been successful.....just best to have a vet and lab work diagnose the type of growth first and than discuss treatment options.

Yes word of caution on the Xterra regarding wearing gloves during application.  Saw ugly oozing wound on a clients hand when they used bare hand to apply.

Donna R
Any updates on this discussion for natural remedies that work for Sarcoid tumors?  Our six year old miniature donkey, Thunder, has had two fibroblastic sarcoid tumors in the sheath/groin area, one is 2014 and the other in 2016. They were both surgically removed with a diagnostic biopsy performed the second time.   Dr. Peterson said they shouldn't return but if they did that we could treat the tumor topically with Xxterra. 

About a month ago another tumor showed up on Thunder's lower leg.  We tried Xxterra our vet dropped off first.  Our vet later debrided the area followed up by more XXterra for three treatments.  The area looked great for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I noticed that the tumor has reappeared.  Thunder is now being a total Ass [biggrin] about anyone getting near the spot.  He remembers the pain of the ointment working down to his skin.
I read accounts of ACT mouthwash or crest with fluoride with diligent daily treatment over about a month's time has worked to get rid of the tumor for some.  A spray would be much easier for sure with this smart little guy.

Any new input?

I've had great luck with Sam's sarcoid that's right by his eye and while I've used Xterra in the past it's just continuously burning the skin so it's not really long term in my opinion especially as it gets closer to his eye. My vet suggested Eco Solutions and I did try it last year it's a three-step process and it worked really well. Some of the stuff that this guy talks about is a little beyond reach in my opinion but this particular application work very well!
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.