Lumps that suddenly appear on horses are always a big worry for their owners. One of the main worries is Sarcoids, a type of growth that is known as the most common skin tumour in horses and ponies. These wart looking growths are now known to be caused by a papilloma virus which do not easily go away once they start. To make matters worse if a vet tries to cut them out, they can have the potential to grow back even more viciously. We can sometimes try to put rings around the stalk but these nasty growths can even appear like rough skin with clusters of grape like swellings. A horse might only get one sarcoid but these can spread and if the immune system weakens, they can eventually cover the whole body if your horse is unlucky.

We are surrounded by trillions of viruses every day so how can one particular type suddenly cause so many problems? Viruses often cause nasty growths and scientists don’t really know the answer to this problem yet or why matters can get so out of hand. A weakened immune system is a key factor. If your horse has a strong enough immune system, they have the potential to fight off any viral problem, including Sarcoids.

Feeding the immune system

Here, at Global Herbs, we have a range of supplements for maintaining a strong and normal immune system. We can support horses through many approaches, such as liver and digestive tonics containing Indian ginseng (Winter Cherry), a very powerful adaptogen that helps the whole body to adapt to difficult environments that can be full of viruses. It is known to aid recovery from illness, enabling the liver to detoxify after toxic exposures.

My experiences

I remember helping the very first horse with Sarcoids, who was up near Newcastle. It was covered head to toe with lumps and bumps and with a nutritional approach in 6 months there was a lot of improvement as they were nearly all gone. Sometimes with the right 'Sarc' formula, the lumps can reduce in a few weeks but sometimes in a long-standing situation it may take up to a year. We can strengthen the approach at any time by adding in some more liquid liver tonic or some special cream to support.

Another situation I remember well was a horse who had sarcoids all around one of its eyes. This was causing sight problems and looked awful. Surgery was not an option and powerful creams and radiation were also not suitable. We took pictures before and after and were so relieved to discover that a simple nutritional approach was all that he needed.