Experiences with horses with cancer
Every thing you know.
Depends on a lot of factors and the type...
We had a 4yr old mare mare who had it that dropped weight and we couldn't figure out why she suddenly dropped weight. We upped feed thinking because she was getting rode pretty good. So we upped feed and started giving her rice bran, ect.
We drew blood and found out she had cancer, and it was obviously slowly destroying her body. So we put her down.
We had a gray polish Arab gelding that lived with skin cancer for 15 yrs.
We tried chemo, surgery etc. Some of it was successful and he did fine until he was 24 when we pts due to it getting outta control.
I would not buy a horse that I knew had cancer with hopes of it being cured and being around for a while.
My pony had a melanoma on her chest about 8 years ago. She does have a few now as well, though they have not changed in roughly 8 years so vet is not concerned. The largest one (8 years ago), was found to be cancerous after a biopsy. She would have had to be put down, but surgery was decided. Thank god that was possible because she's my heart horse. I was able to watch the entire surgery with my mum, can't remember how long it took, but she was drugged (obviously) and they did the surgery standing up. After the melanoma came out it was about the size of two fists, or a fist made by a larger man. After the surgery she was stitched up and on stall rest for 12 weeks I believe, and I think it was at 8 weeks I was able to hand walk her slowly.
Today she is fat and happy and in regular work, cancer free. =)
Its the cancers you cant see that are the biggest concern
They can develop so slowly that you often don't notice until the horse is really bad - you put it down to old age, them feeling low etc and often go through a whole series of trying different things
Our old pony died in his 30's from a cancer in his digestive system, he'd been losing weight but otherwise still lively and happy, he suffered a terrible colic attack totally out of the blue when it must have suddenly blocked him inside - we had him put down that day
An OTTB that was a great showjumper and always really forward going had a couple of odd turns when he's suddenly stand still and go vacant, shake a little bit then carry on as normal. We had him checked out every time by different vets who found no reason for it and he looked really well then in space of a week he just went downhill really fast, could hardly walk, refused to eat so we had him put down to spare him any more suffering - an autopsy showed he had a large tumour close to his heart that at times had been cutting off the blood supply, it must have grown faster or moved enough to be enough to stop it working altogether
The melanomas that grow under the tail especially on greys can be internal as well - we lost a young mare that had them along her spine like that, she'd always looked super healthy but had a disturbing thing for throwing unpredictable broncing fits that made her a danger to ride - Chiro and osteopaths couldn't help but when we sent her off to a Vet Hospital for examination they showed up - must have been pressing on her nerves and sending pain shocks through the system but for some reason not all the time
There was a more at the ranch where I work, she's 18?? She has 2 large tumors protruding right under her throat latch.
Don't bother her at all. She has no problems breathing or swallowing and has never shown any pain toward them.
The only inconvenience of them is getting a halter or bridle to fit.
Now maybe some day down the pine they will grow and block her airway etc. But till then she's a happy perky horse and they see no major problems.
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