Laser removal of equine sarcoids has been shown by British researchers to be an effective treatment for the troublesome growths.
The researchers said laser removal of sarcoids was an established part of equine practice. However, few studies had provided long-term follow-up results on the treatment. Also, many previous reports had evaluated several treatments used together. In other cases, the researchers had not been able to provide definitive microscopic diagnosis confirming the growths were sarcoids.
Claire Wylie and her colleagues set out to establish the success rate following laser removal as the sole treatment for sarcoids. They also sought to evaluate risk factors for recurrence.
Ninety-nine horses, with a total of 235 sarcoids, were included in the analysis. The horses had undergone laser surgery to remove one or more sarcoids between July 1, 2005, and September 1, 2012.
Laser surgery was the only known veterinary treatment given and the growths were confirmed as being sarcoids through microscopic examination in all cases.
The researchers found that 83 percent of the horses had no recurrence of the sarcoid removed, and 72 percent had no occurrence of any sarcoids after surgery.
Horses with sarcoids on the head and neck were at increased risk of recurrence, as were those suffering from verrucose sarcoids – those with a wart-like appearance.
The researchers, writing in the Equine Veterinary Journal, concluded that removal of sarcoids by laser had a positive postoperative prognosis in horses.
“Further work is required to evaluate risk factors for recurrence fully,” they said.
The research was centered at Rossdales Equine Hospital in Newmarket.
P.C. Compston, T. Turner, C.E. Wylie, and R.J. Payne.
Laser surgery as a treatment for histologically-confirmed sarcoids in the horse.
Equine Vet J. 2015 May 11. doi: 10.1111/evj.12456.
The abstract can be read here.