Eye "tumor"? Anyone seen this? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-23-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Anoka, MN
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Eye "tumor"? Anyone seen this?

My husband and I looked a horse today for him. This horse is a 15 year old Arabian gelding, he was abandoned at a boarding facility. He's a very sweet boy, but has this tumor under his eye. The previous owner had it removed at one point by a vet, but it came back after a couple years. Other than that, we have no other information on it. We took this picture, they had put some swat on it to keep the flies away from it, and it was draining a little from the corner of that eye.

Has anyone seen anything like this? My husband is just looking for a horse to learn on, trail ride and maybe do some low key team penning, so he's not looking to show him. If this is cosmetic, we can live with it. If it's more serious, we may not be willing or experienced enough to handle it. We plan to have a vet look at him regardless, but that can't happen until Monday since it's not serious. Just looking to see if anyone has seen anything like this before or have any information on it.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-23-2012, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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I'm pretty sure that is some form of cancer. That may be only the tip of the iceburg too. Your vet will be able to tell you for sure & what kind of treatment /surgery would help, if any.
Swat should not be used anywhere around an eye. A mask would be best. I know you didn't do it but maybe mention it to the sellers.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Anoka, MN
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My preliminary research points to Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is never a good thing. We thought he'd be a good fit for my husband. We did advise the people who inherited him to not use Swat anymore.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 06:17 AM
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It resembles a carcinoma from what I can see from your photo. If the previous owner claimed there was a surgical procedure to remove tissue I would ask to see the vet records and invoice just to be sure. Some hard evidence doesn't hurt.

A surgery probably wouldn't cost more than $300 or so to remove the tumor, and it may very well remove all of the cancerous tissue. A blood test post surgery will let you know :) You can purchase a Guardian Mask for him if you decide to purchase him and he can not only wear it post-surgery but have a long lasting fly mask, as well as eye protection during rides and other activities. They are fantastic. Here is a link to the website for the Guardian Masks:

Guardian Mask - Uveitis, Glaucoma, Cataracts, Eye Cancer & Eye Injuries

I hope all goes well on Monday for you all :)
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
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Wow thats nasty looking...poor horse! Is it more common in grey horses?

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 06:24 AM
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I also want to add this link from their website with a case history of a cancerous tumor which was removed and with use of their mask the tumor hasn't grown back in 3 years :)

Guardian Mask - Testimonial
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-25-2012, 08:21 AM
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That is a squamous cell carcinoma. It's very common in tissue like the eyes, rectum, penis, mouth. My horse has problems with this on his shaft. The horse you're looking at is grey...and grey horses are prone to tumors. I know. My horse is grey.

These tumors can be treated and removed, but most of the time they return. I can't tell you how many tumors I have had frozen off from my horse's shaft, or how many we've surgically removed. THEY WILL RETURN, especially if the horse is grey. We had ONE year with no visible tumor activity. Don't buy this horse. You have no idea what is going on inside and he could very easily end up losing that eye at the very least.

Unfortunately, this year my horse's shaft has exploded with tumors. Big flat ones, and tiny seed sized ones which worry us more than the big ones! We've made the decision to stop treatment and keep him comfortable until we no longer can and then euthanize him. He's 14.

I LOVE grey horses, but after the experience we've had with mine, I'll never buy another. Someone once said that grey isn't a color, it's a condition. I believe them.

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post #8 of 8 Old 06-25-2012, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Anoka, MN
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We are not getting this horse, but it's tearing us up inside knowing he isn't going to get any treatment where he is at. All the rescues in our area are over capacity with a waiting list and short on funds. It hurts to walk away, but I just have to remember there is always going to be a horse (or dog or cat or child) in need and we can't "save them all" as much as we'd like to. Since we board, it's even less possible if he needed extra care since our barn is 35 minutes away. If I had my own property to keep horses, I might take him just to make sure he's comfortable until it's time, but I know it's not possible. Thank you for all your input.
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