Periocular (Eyelid) Sarcoids

This pony developed a large ulcerated growth in front of the left eye (Figure 1).

Although skin growths are relatively common, this type of mass growing around a horse's eye is usually an equine sarcoid. These are a type of benign but locally invasive skin tumour, most commonly found around the eye, around the head, under the belly and between the front and hind legs.

Sarcoids can be very difficult to treat as recurrences and new growths are common. Of all the types and locations, periocular sarcoids are one of the most responsive to treatment using a series of injections directly into the sarcoid tissue.

Under standing sedation this pony was injected with a series of BCG vaccine injections into the abnormal tissue over a 4 week period.

The tumour was also treated by the topical application of a chemotherapy cream for a two week period, causing considerable ulceration of the tumour (Figure 2).

Aside from a course of painkillers to minimize any discomfort during and for a short time after treatment the sarcoid was then left for about 4 months to allow the body's reaction to the vaccine injection which effectively stimulates the immune system to reject the sarcoid tissue.

The end result is a small area of scar tissue with no evidence of any sarcoid (Figure 3).