When cancer cases diagnosed from biopsies or post-mortem examinations at Bristol University were reviewed, the most commonly diagnosed tumours were found to be:
Sarcoids. These are very common in horses and can range from small, innocuous-looking warts to large aggressive lumps that can cause serious problems.
Squamous cell carcinomas are usually smaller pink fleshy growths and affect the eye, eyelids or the penis. Appaloosas are at a particularly high risk of eye and eyelid squamous cell carcinoma, whereas pony geldings are at a higher risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the penis.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the white blood cells that can take several forms. This cancer usually spreads throughout the body and treatment is almost always unsuccessful.
Melanomas are common tumours affecting grey horses. They are most commonly found under the tail head.
Granulosa cell tumours affect mares’ ovaries. They can cause behaviour changes if they produce hormones and can grow very big.
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To read the full veterinary article on cancer see the current issue of H&H (7 June 2012)