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The mere mention of the word sarcoid is enough to strike fear into the heart of every horse owner. With this in mind, Dr Derek Knottenbelt, a senior equine lecturer from Liverpool University, has written an informative booklet for both vets and owners.

Entitled ‘A guide for vets and owners – Twenty facts you didn’tknow about sarcoids’ it aims to draw attention to six different types of sarcoids, the kind of treatments available, as well as tips for people thinking of buying a horse with the disease.

Sarcoids are a type of skin cancer and affect all types of equines including donkeys. There is no sex predisposition and a grey mare is just as likely to be affected as a bay gelding.

The A5 booklet includes photography showing some of the more extreme examples of the condition and examines the possibility of transmission and aggravation of the disease by flies.

Dr Knottenbelt said: “We are delighted to be raising awareness of this unpleasant condition by producing this leaflet in conjunction with Intervet.

“Sarcoids should not be ignored and should be treated immediately. By educating horse owners we are prompting early diagnosis, which in turn means the animal will hopefully return to form quicker.”

The book will be distributed through veterinary practises or available direct from Intervet. For more information, telephone 0800 169 5351 or click here to visit the University of Liverpool’s website.