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Hello -
Perhaps this topic has been addressed, if so, excuse me-I'm new and there are over 800 threads to go through. If you know of a previous thread you might be so kind to direct me to it. Thanks

My 20 yo gelding was just diagnosed with melanoma - a couple of places, but the worst spot is inside his sheath, on his hoo-haa. Yeah, big bummer. So, who has had similar experience and what did you do? I'm researching, and talking to others always provides the best insight. Thanks
 

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If you and your vet think the tumor may interfere with his voiding, you may want to get it removed. I know someone who did this just last summer.

Otherwise, the common thinking is that melanoma is not usually terminal in horses. Many living to old age.
 

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I know a few horses with melanomas in that area. The owners have had them removed because they were causing issues with elimination and to a smaller degree ulceration/infection. The issue they encountered were a lack of tissue/difficulty getting clean margins on the lump removal. They tumors also reoccured it became somewhat like fighting a medusa (chop of one head and two more grow).
 

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Most of the time melanomas aren't removed. But if it's causing issues being where it is, you may need to talk to your vet about having it removed. We just did that a couple of weeks ago to a pony who came into our clinic with several small ones on his. For him, it took a couple of trips to us to have them removed totally, but it went fine.
 

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As others have said, you should talk to your vet about whether or not it would be a good idea to try removing it. If it is large enough to cause problems with urination or if it is growing quickly, removal may be the only option. If it is still small and/or not growing fast, it is often best just to leave it alone and keep an eye on it.

I also have a gray horse that suffers from very aggressive melanomas. He's 13 this year and I've already had him in for surgery twice, removing a total of about 20 external tumors from all over his body. I have spoken with my vet (who, in turn, spoke with a group of specialists that he consults) and he said that there has been success in preventing and shrinking melanoma tumors in some cases by treating the horse with Tagamet, the human heartburn medication.
 
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