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Giant Wart Problem


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#1 TonkaB

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

Hi Folks, first time posting here but have read this forum for years and would appreciate some help if possible. ( long story be patient)

I have a 25 yo arab x gelding, he has PPID, and is IR, everything is under control and he is doing great, except last summer he got some growths on his "flagpole".. read the other thread that the correct word couldn't be used!

I had the vet out and he removed them by basically scratching them off, they are on the rim of the head. Vet said it was SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) but not aggressive and didn't seem worried about it. I kept an eye on them and they started getting very proliferative.

Had the vet out many times after that and he continued to remove them by taking hold of them and literally ripping them off!

That just made these "tumors" more angry, so the vet said that it was SCC and he needed to go to the vet hospital and have a phallectomy, I wanted a biopsy first to make sure it was SCC before we did that for many reasons, including expense, which would have been over $5000, and to me they didn't "act" like SCC. He refused to do a biopsy and made an appt for the phellectomy! I called the vet school and told them I would be bringing him but wanted a biopsy done first.

Turned out it was NOT SCC, but totally benign squamous cell warts. When they did the biopsy they were able to get rid of 2 of them and they have not returned.. however the other 2 they were not able to totally remove and they have gone nuts again! They are HUGE I would guess close to 2-3 inches in diameter and very gross.

Topicals are not possible because of the location

The vet I had been using has been terminated. I called the vet school and they said, they could laser them off, again for a big cost.. nearly $3000, plus this is not a close place, we live in the sticks and nothing is close. My concerns with this is many, he is old and PPID, I am wary of general anesthesia, the money is an issue too. Don't get me wrong I love this old guy and if I have to spend it I will, but my guts don't like the feel of it.

I asked the vet what my options were she said if I could find a vet down here they could perhaps remove them with a standing operation while blocking them. I don't understand why THEY can't do that if I took him there. They did remove the other 2 that way and it worked out fine, he came home the same day, they haven't returned. She insisted if I brought him there it would have to be laser surgery :confused0024:

I did talk to another equine vet in the area, he is willing to come out and look at them and see if he can do anything for the poor guy.

My concern is when I had the other vet ( the terminated one) he refused to do anything other than rip them off because he said they would bleed so bad.. when he "ripped them off" they did bleed but not horribly, and believe it or not it really did not seem to bother the horse, I think he was grateful to be rid of at least part of them, in retrospect ripping them off was the worst thing he could have done, because it made them angry and grow even more. Would surgically removing them in the field be an issue? I know all surgeries carry a risk..

These need to be removed soon as they are getting HUGE and fly strike is a concern.. would surgically removing warts cause risk of him bleeding to death?? I can't imagine that but thought I would ask JIC..

Thanks for any ideas or experiences..

#2 cvm2002

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

Depending on the size of these things, they can be surgically removed and likely sutured just like any other wound. With proper surgical technique, there should be no risk of bleeding to death. Lasering IS ideal, simply because it seals the blood vessels as it cuts.

If they're getting big, they're going to NEED to come off, otherwise you risk him not being able to retract back into the sheath and that's a whole host of new problems that WILL require a phallectomy.

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#3 TonkaB

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

Depending on the size of these things, they can be surgically removed and likely sutured just like any other wound. With proper surgical technique, there should be no risk of bleeding to death. Lasering IS ideal, simply because it seals the blood vessels as it cuts.

If they're getting big, they're going to NEED to come off, otherwise you risk him not being able to retract back into the sheath and that's a whole host of new problems that WILL require a phallectomy.





Thank you for your reply CVM I appreciate it, this whole situation has been quite a battle, and I really have no vet counsel available to me at this time, since my vet got fired a few weeks ago.

The warts are the size of a large egg, they look just like a ball of proud flesh. I do have pictures but they are quite shocking so didn't post them! However the BIG one is only attached at the rim and the rest is just hanging there, there is another one by his urethral process, not in the urethra however. I am concerned about being able to put it in, and about his urination getting blocked, at this point he is fine, but something does need to be done soon. They are not growing any bigger at this point and at times they seem to shrink on their own a bit..

I think it would be easier on the horse to do it here, but of course I may be wrong :smilie: He would have to stay at the vet hospital for 3-4 days and I think that would stress him horribly, plus I live so far away I wouldn't be able to visit him.. which would be hard on me too!

#4 *BurgundyBlankets*

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:01 PM

I'm sorry if this sounds rude, please take your horse to the vet hospital and get these things removed. Leaving them can and will cause problems. Having them removed in the pasture and him recovering laying down in the dirt COULD cause problems. Please stop humanizing your horse. He WILL recover from a few day stay at the clinic.

#5 TonkaB

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

I am pretty sure he won't be laying in dirt, nor in the pasture.. I am not a newbie to horses, I have raised many and have owned them for 40 some years.. I take VERY good care of them..
Thanks

#6 TonkaB

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

These thing have such a long history and I haven't even scratched the surface of it. Just gave the facts for some opinions or hopefully some experiences.. just so you are aware, they WILL be taken care of one way or the other. The reason I have waited is because the vet hospital told me to after his biopsy. They said sometimes they can go away on their own, and sometimes they do seem to be trying to do just that. I am giving him immune boosters, cleaning them daily, and giving him previcoxx for inflammation. He is not being ignored, nor is he suffering, he actually seems oblivious to them. I have no vets around here so I have researched these until I am blue in the face and must admit I have tried some "holistic" approaches, that did seem to work. I also tried cimetedine on them as research has shown it can help control them and even get rid of them..

fly strike is my concern at the moment, he can retract his "flagpole" all the way up and make it disappear, he is urinated fine.. they most definitively have to go, I am just weighing all my options and hoping to do what is best for him..

If this other vet says he thinks he can remove them without a problem, I will probably take that route, if he thinks he will not be able to do it safely he will go to the vet hospital.. they said they couldn't do anything until May17th anyway.. unless it was an emergency.

#7 Avishay04

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:38 AM

I've dealt with this exact same problem with two horses. One of whom did end up having another form of cancer in his liver that led to his need to be put down (at age 35), and a pony, who I still have, is now doing well and has been cancer free for almost 3 years (and he's currently 34). In both cases, the horses needed multiple surgeries to remove new tumors, but in every case we did them on the grass with no complications. Several we did while standing, others, because of the angle of the tumor, we had to lay them down. Every time the vet removed a tumor, he simply cut it out and stitched up the wound, the horse got a treatment of antibiotics for five days as a precaution, and the wound was flushed 2x daily for a week or so. If a vet can come to you and remove the tumors in the same way, chances are good that your guy will do just fine, at least based on my experiences.
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#8 TonkaB

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:54 AM

Thanks Avishay, that is very good to hear!! :smilie: At this point it is NOT cancer but squamous cell pappiloma, biopsy report said it was totally benign. It is nice to hear from one who had the same experience. I have talked to other horse owners around here and a few of them said their horses had growths on their "flagpole" and the vet just came out and cut them off.. but that was years ago and that vet isn't around here anymore. The vet I talked to has removed them, but he said they were small.. my horses are quite big, I feel I have gotten poor vet advice though out this whole thing, including the vet hospital who said to just watch them, that they would probably go away.

Thanks again appreciate it, makes me feel a little more hopeful!

#9 Serah Rose

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

feel free to post a pic or two...we aren't a squeamish bunch!
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#10 TonkaB

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:02 PM

They are quite disgusting and BIg, so would rather not post a pic, I have not seen anything like it in all my years of horse ownership, and managing a big equestrian barn. It definitely wouldn't be for the faint of heart!

I called the university back again and decided to make an appointment there, the local vet had never done something like that, and I have a feeling once he saw them he wouldn't want to do it anyway.

I talked to a different vet that was "on clinic" and she said she could do it this coming week, and she also quoted me a MUCH cheaper price then the other vet I had originally used.. she wasn't going to be "on clinic" until the middle of May, she said it would be around $2500 and a 3 day stay

This other vet said if it went as planned it would be $500 and he could go home the same day.. why the big difference I have to wonder, if I had known it would be around $500 he would have been up there and back by now :angry: I wouldn't have had to worry about "rounding up the money"

Anyway hopefully it will go well...

#11 VAQHMA

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:45 AM

Best of luck! You can always post a link to the pictures, so that people don't have to see if they don't really want to :) I for one enjoy looking at disgusting medical pictures.


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#12 TonkaB

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:24 AM

I'm the same way VAQHMA, I figure that is how I learn and seeing pictures of strange things has helped me before.

These are GROSS, I will post a link to the last four I took. Just remember he has had very regular vet attention with these and a biopsy at the university, they thought habronemiasis may be involved with it too, and why they said to try to wait them out this winter and at one point the one down by his urethra did go away, and the big one got MUCH smaller, I had hope at one point that they were going away. I de-wormed him regularly with Ivermectin, Quest, and even a double dose of equimax..twice!! Here in the MW we had an early spring and when it warmed up a little they went nuts, It's a depressing mess, as I said he seems oblivious to them and seems happy and content, doesn't rub his tail.. bite at his sides ect. I sure will be glad when they are gone because they drive me insane, and believe me this is just a small part of the story with our struggle with these. He goes to the university next Thurs.

The biopsy report said they were totally benign, but had alot of inflammatory cells, that is why I give him previcoxx daily.

Do NOT look if you are squeamish.. hard to tell from these pics but his urethral opening is located BEHIND this mess so at this point anyway he CAN pee fine and he is able to retract his flagpole far enough that I can't see it up there.. surprisingly..

https://picasaweb.go...gCPTFicPv2ubTfQ

Edited by TonkaB, 14 April 2012 - 06:25 AM.


#13 dougal

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

My heart goes out to you as my gelding is suffering from sarcoids on his sheath. I have been using herbs to boost his immune system, and topically frankinsence oil, turmuric mixed with white clay and duraphat toothpaste. Since December I have been cleaning and applying these different potions and they are about half the original size. At no time have these topical treatments made him uncomfortable but it looks like your gelding has open sores and they are a lot larger than my horses' so I don't know if this would be suitable. Anyhow I wish you all the best for your horse and thank you for posting the photos.

#14 TonkaB

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:11 PM

Thanks Dougal they do weep sometimes, I also was applying different herbal stuff this winter, and giving immune boosters and they too were half the size as in the pics, and the smaller one by the urethra had totally gone away.

Then the warm weather came and they exploded.. Good Luck with your horse, sarcoids are hard to "beat" I have another acquaintance that is battling habroneamaisis on the inside of her beautiful arabian stallions sheath.. she had surgery done and it came right back.. hard place to treat

I will let you know how the lasering goes.

#15 VAQHMA

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:00 PM

Holy wow! Poor guy! Glad to hear they're benign. Will you be able to get pictures of the procedure when he goes up on Thursday? Wishing the best for him.


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#16 TonkaB

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:20 PM

No, I am not going to watch the "procedure' I will get pics afterwards and post if you are interested.. IF indeed they will be able to laser them off... In Jan they were almost gone... just the last month they have went wild.. can't wait to be rid of them and I am sure my horse will be glad too.

#17 Serah Rose

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:41 PM

that's pretty much what I was picturing! We had a gelding down on the island with a very similar growth.
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#18 Ardent

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

THat looks awful. It's amazing that it doesn't bother him. I'm glad you're able to get it taken care of.
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#19 TonkaB

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

Horse went to the vet school Thurs. and after looking at them decided they were too big to laser off, and they also found a few more smaller ones up further. My options were laid out.. partial phallectomy.. standing or laid down.. ignore them.. they said he doesn't seem bothered by them..

I opted for the partial phallectomy surgery, not the standing "banding" one.. I believe it is called a modified visnot procedure.

He had surgery this morning and they called and said it went very well.. of course I had to read up about complications and all.. has anyone had one of these done? He will be coming home Mon as long as everything goes well during "recovery" I don't have a vet here and hoping complications don't happen!!

#20 dougal

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

I wish your horse a speedy recovery. Please let us know how things are going.:smileywavey:

#21 TonkaB

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:50 PM

My horse will be coming home tomorrow, everything seems to be doing well, the surgeon said he handled the surgery and anesthesia wonderfully. He was a bit dehydrated after surgery so they gave him fluids.

Sat. he developed diarrhea and they were concerned that the antibiotics ( smz/tmp's) may be causing it, colitis was not something we wanted! They decided to remove the antibiotics and this morning poop was back to normal. they said he had no swelling and was doing well.. peeing normally, great appetite. They have been cold hosing his sheath and hand walking him.
She said I would have to continue to do this for a few days, keep him on stall/paddock rest a couple days.. then back to normal. I asked if he will be on anti- inflammatories and she said no... sounds simple! Hope it goes well.

#22 TonkaB

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:40 AM

My horse seems to be doing well, I really don't know what this is suppose to look like.. he seems fairly comfortable, they said to expect bleeding after urination for about 5 days, the first day he had a drip and now nothing.. so that is good I think!. They used the "williams" technique. The first day the swelling was quite impressive I thought..

He is on stall/ small paddock rest for 5 days and if everything is going well he can go back to normal routine. Right now hand walking and cold hosing for 5 days.. he is not on antibiotics because of the diarrhea he got at the hospital, also not on bute.. unless I feel it is needed. He does not seem painful.. altho I don't know how.. but colitis is a worry.. his poop is "formed" but not quite normal..

After surgery.. not sure what this is suppose to look like.. hopefully it is "normal"

https://picasaweb.go...CNWpiKT1x4fLJQ#

#23 spanish_walkin_wannabe

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

Wow big difference! I bet he feels a lot better having those things off. It looks like it's healing well but some of the pictures leave me not sure exactly of what i'm looking at. I'm assuming the first picture is with his ..ahem..weenie all the way out from a front facing view? I hope he heals quickly. I've been following this thread and find it interesting!

Love the "New Weenie" title of the album. lol

Keep us updated! :smileywavey:

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#24 TonkaB

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:16 PM

The first pic in the album is the day he came home.. the red part is his urethra.. he did have a little blood today after urinating.. but that is still normal. They took off most of his "wiener" he only has enough left that it barely makes it out of the prepuce.. they found more further up so they ended up removing just about the whole thing :( he is very bright and raring to go on our hand walks.. he has really done awesome for an old horse.. his temp remains at 99.9 so hopefully that means no infection is brewing..TPR is all normal.. so far :) still some swelling, but I suppose that is normal.. I really don't know what is to be expected and at the moment I don't have a vet.

And yes he doesn't seem to miss those big warts at all!

#25 TonkaB

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:11 AM

I guess I can wrap this up ( knock wood) My gelding went back on turnout yesterday.. I am slowly easing him into it, but he was over joyed to get out.. went galloping with tail flagging, he looked excellent for a 25 yo that just had surgery a week ago. So far no complications, his attitude has remained very bright, for a 25 yo PPID / IR horse he handled the surgery, anesthesia, and recovery very well. I have one more week to hand wring a bit, but swelling is gone, he still has a tiny drip of blood after urinating, but I guess that is considered normal for a few more days.

I read about phallectomies on line before he had his and I did run across some bad outcomes, but I got to say I am very happy so far with this outcome, he seems happy, so perhaps those things bothered him more than he put on, I don't know how they couldn't !!

Since being home he hasn't been on anti- biotics or NSAIDS.

His PPID/ IR is handled without meds and he does well with just management

#26 dougal

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:31 PM

Thats great news. Thank you for sharing this. After reading your story I would consider this option for my gelding if things don't improve. As well as the sheath sarcoids he also does have a few very small warts on the head of his John Thomas similar to your gelding. May he live many more happy years!

#27 TonkaB

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

dougal.. now that it is over with I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.. of course every horse is different, I was concerned about the general anesthesia, especially at his age, and infection considering his PPID.. but vet medicine has come a long way.

I am sure you will understand this.. but I am SOOO happy I don't have to worry, treat, try to keep flies away anymore.. that was almost a full time job and I already have one of those : )

The total cost ( US currency) was almost exactly $2000.. that included his 4 day stay. I think I was spending more on things trying to treat them myself and immune boosters..

Good Luck with your horse.. hope things turn out well, like I said that is one hard place to treat : (

#28 Serah Rose

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:57 PM

thanks so much for posting "after" pics and keeping us updated. It was an interesting story to follow! I hope you and your old man have many more wonderful years together!
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#29 TonkaB

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:45 AM

Thank you :smilie: according to the vet school this is a fairly easy surgery, even though it seems pretty radical to me! Hoping we get through the next week with no complications.. things look good so far :happy0203:

#30 Ardent

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

I'm glad to hear he's doing so well. I've been following your story and I find it really interesting.
Anne

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