Sarcoids are a common affliction of horses and other animals, and one that can be very serious. A sarcoid is a tumor much like cancer in humans. It affects the skin of horses, mules and donkeys and is caused by the bovine Papilloma Virus Infection. Sometimes wrongly referred to as warts, they make up almost 40% of all skin tumors found on horses.
The tumors or growths are characterized by the thickening of the skin around the sarcoid itself and are usually just on top of the skin, meaning that they do not affect the horse’s internal organs. However, even though it only affects the skin it can be quite serious to horses and ponies especially. Sarcoids can occur in any type of horse no matter what breed, color, or type it is and will occur in horses all over the world no matter what the environment. They appear all over the body but are usually found in the areas where the horse’s skin is thin or where they have no hair covering the skin.
There are six types of equine sarcoids that can occur. They include the occult, verrucose, fibroblastic, nodular, malevolent and mixed sarcoids. The verrucose is the most common and is why sarcoids are often referred to as warts. They grow very slowly and develop a dry, crusty and hardened top to them making them look like a wart. The fibroblastic form will grow much quicker and can be found mostly on the head, legs and abdomen. This is also a very common form. Sarcoids generally increase in numbers during the summer months but increase in size during the winter months, as once equines get one they usually will have more later on.
Treating Sarcoids with Neem Oil
There are several ways to treat equine sarcoids. They include removing it surgically, freezing it, using radiation as you would on human cancer, laser surgery and chemotherapy. However, most of these are incredibly invasive to the horse and can cause unneeded side effects to the horse. That is why more than ever, more people are turning towards the natural remedy of Neem oil. Neem oil can be put directly on the sarcoid to lessen the tumor and to in turn stop them from growing more. Ideally, this should be done when the sarcoid is small and easily treatable. Neem leaf in general is great for the immune system of the horse, so Neem leaf extract can be put directly into the horses feed to help with sarcoids in the future. At the same time it can help with a host of other immune problems such as gastric problems and works as an anti-inflammatory as well. By using Neem oil directly on the sarcoids and the extract in the food, there is a very good chance that the sarcoids would lessen and the horse will soon be sarcoid free.