Tommy is a 10 year old grey pony who developed a small, flat sarcoid on his face. Sarcoids are the most common skin tumour of horses. Sarcoids are challenging to treat due to their highly variable appearance, behaviour and response to different treatment methods.

While Tommy’s sarcoid was quite small, a “wait and watch” approach was adopted. Tommy’s owner noted precisely where it started and checked it on a regular basis for signs of growth. For the first 9 months, his sarcoid happily remained the same size and caused no problems other than cosmetically.

Then things began to change quite rapidly. Over the space of a couple weeks, Tommy’s sarcoid expanded to more than four times its original size! It was now in a position to interfere with his tack. Sarcoids can suddenly change in behaviour after some form of trauma to the site – resulting in rapid sarcoid growth and sometimes ulceration.

Many treatment options exist for sarcoids, but there is certainly no single cure-all approach for sarcoids as they are so variable, making them very frustrating to resolve. As Tommy’s sarcoid wasn’t ulcerating or causing him any irritation, it was decided to use an advance veterinary acupuncture technique to help treat him.

Tommy sarcoid free!

The treatment involved one precisely placed acupuncture needle, and then allowing 2-3 months for resolution of the sarcoid. Some patients will require more than one acupuncture treatment, but many respond to well to a single treatment. The method requires the precise position of the sarcoid’s first development being known.

Acupuncture points located on the body’s surface are linked together with channels or meridians. In order to treat sarcoids using an acupuncture approach, the sarcoid’s origin must be known and then mapped onto one of the meridians. The point to use is dependent on which meridian it developed on.

While it has not yet been discovered how this method works, improvement is expected within a few months. Tommy has now been sarcoid free for over 12 months!

To find out more about veterinary acupuncture, and how it works, visit our Veterinary Acupuncture page