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trailhorserider 08-03-2011 10:31 PM

Gray horse melanoma? Photos
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Hi all,

My gray mare has had this little mole since I bought her about 2 years ago. It has never grown or changed except recently I went on a 12 mile trail ride and the corner of my saddle blanket irritated the area and caused it to scab over. I treated it will a little triple antibiotic ointment just to keep soft and help it heal. It is currently pink and hairless but it is looking really good.

These photos where taken before that happened because there was another thread on this forum discussing melanomas on gray horses and I was wondering if that is what this is so I took these photos. (She also has one on her right armpit/girth area but it didn't show in the pictures.)

She has no anomalies around her face, butt or genital area (or under the tail). So is this just a mole or does it look more like the start of a melanoma? I asked my vet about it (before the whole scab incident when he came out for shots earlier in the year) and he really thought nothing of it, basically telling me if it was a melanoma it would show up in the other areas mentioned. Any thoughts?

PaintLover17 08-04-2011 02:04 AM

My mare has had a spot like that on one of her white spots since I've owned her. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.
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trailhorserider 08-04-2011 02:22 AM

That's interesting PaintLover17. Thanks for the reply!

I had a bay horse once time with a skin tag on his ear. It was covered in hair and looked like a hanging bit of skin like people sometimes get.

I guess what worries me about her is that she's gray, and there is a statistic that something like 80% of all grays over a certain age have melanomas. So I am always keeping an eye peeled on her "moles." If she was any other color, I wouldn't think much of it.

bubba13 08-04-2011 02:45 AM

Any other colored horse, I'd call it a sarcoid. But I'm not much help, because as a fellow gray owner, I'm prone to panic. Like you, I'd just watch it.

smrobs 08-04-2011 11:44 AM

I'm tempted to side with Bubba and call it a sarcoid instead of a melanoma. What Dobe has are very round and even the small ones feel like small BBs and they just look different. I'll have to get my camera and see if i can get some good pictures of the ones he does have.

How long has she had this? Has the size changed at all since you first noticed it?

I had also always thought that gray melanomas were restricted to the genital area and between the legs around the sheath/udder; however, Dobe has one in the middle of his back, so that kinda blows that idea out of the water LOL.

kathryn 08-04-2011 12:09 PM

There was a lesson horse at my barn that had very very bad melanomas. They were on the side of his face/upper neck area, and were very large and noticable, larger than pingpong balls and clustered together. They never bothered him until recently. He collapsed during a lesson because one of his melanomas was pressing on an arterie in his neck that fed his brain, and he was immediately retired.

The picture doesn't look like Rocky's melanomas, his were mostly under the skin and rock hard. His were also much larger than shown.

trailhorserider 08-04-2011 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by smrobs (Post 1124273)
How long has she had this? Has the size changed at all since you first noticed it?

She has had it ever since I bought her, which is about 1 1/2 years. It hasn't appeared to have grown any, but then again I see her everyday. But still, if it were growing fast it would have been much bigger by now. So I think it has basically stayed the same size.

Up until it got rubbed and scabbed over, it had some hair in the center of it too (as shown in the photo).

Hmm. A sarcoid would be good news, as I think those can be treated with blood root (or Xxterra ointment).

Thanks everyone for your opinions! Please keep them coming!

OasisRanch 08-04-2011 03:10 PM

We have a Grey that has melanoma. She has an uncountable amount in her tail, a few in her neck, flanks, etc...She is aprox 23-25 yrs old (we help run a horse rescue so ages are aprox). She has had the lumps for many years and what you are showing look nothing at all similar to hers.

As others have posted melanoma are typically going to be lumps that reside underneath the skin and are pretty noticeable. I would just keep checking during grooming sessions, prior to rides, etc... I would not worry to much about it and become obsessed. Unfortunately Melanoma seems to be pretty common place but its not the end of the world (As long as the skin cancer is not effecting vitals as in the other story shared).

Beautiful horse btw... and good luck :D

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