Would you buy a horse with melanomas?

You have a huge heart and I’m glad there are people like you in the world. :heart:

And I LOVE that face!


What a kind eye!

She’s lucky to have you.


You’re a good egg. :wink: I saw the photos in the other thread, and she is certainly a lovely looking mare.


Best wishes!!! Keep us updated. Love her beautiful face and tippy ears.


From what I understand— and have experienced— surgery can be disfiguring in that area because you have to get all of the melanoma just like with any cancer. Other removal methods might reduce the melanoma for a while, but they invariably grow back worse. Plus you’re only seeing the melanomas on the outside. It’s what’s inside the horse that is most deadly.

When our vet did a rectal exam on my mom’s horse he could feel additional melanomas internally. We went through a period where the poor horse had to be oiled occasionally to help pass manure. The day that the vet had to essentially administer an enema and manually pull out the manure I knew it was time to let the poor horse go. He was only 14, so handsome, totally sound and safe. He’d been a reliable long stirrup/short stirrup hunter on the county circuit and my mom could ride him all over town on the trails. :cry:


She’s lovely. She’ll fit right in with the others you have helped. Best of luck with her! :heart:


That’s lovely that you have room for a horse with a difficult diagnosis. The gelding I referred to in my post came to us with both melanomas. He was in his twenties and had other serious health issues. We kept him healthy and happy for six more years. He enjoyed his semi retirement with us and a dignified end.


Would not even consider it. If I had an empty stall and the finances I might take a horse with melanoma to give it a soft landing, but as far as buying one, nope.

1 Like

Maybe you will beat all the odds on this one?? Big difference in paying $ 2,000 and taking her for free. Best of luck with her and keep us posted on what happens.

Bless you for giving her a chance.


@Paint_Party that is devastating, I am so sorry. I figured that area might be too complex for a thorough removal of a tumor. I didn’t get a great look at hers – it seems to be growing more from the side than on the anus itself, but hard to tell. When we bring her in to the clinic, my fingers will be crossed that they won’t notice any internal growths on palpation.

@candyappy thank you. Who knows about odds…but can’t easily say no to a free horse that needs a good, understanding home. We can try and manage her condition, start her in training, and take it from there.

I completely understand why most would turn away, though.

Now my mom and I will both be impatiently waiting for the day the vets can look at her and give us more of an idea of what we are dealing with.


Bless you for taking her in. I can see why you want her. What a sweet face!

It may be some time before the external melanomas become a problem.

You may want to read the thread in Horse Care on Oncept. It spans a good length of time but it may help you decide after talking with your vet about what kind of treatment and when.

I’ve heard you can give a horse Tagamet or rantinidine; it is supposed to slow the growth of melanomas. I don’t know if this is still a thing or not . Other COTHers may be able to chime in and give their experiences as to whether this is efficacious or not.

I would say that you could go ahead and work with her as far as training goes, of course after you get approval from you vet.

It doesn’t appear that this melanoma is interfering with her ability to pass manure.

But again, you won’t know what is going on internally until you get her examined

I wish you the best and I hope that you will keep posting and let us know how she is doing.

Good luck .


Bless you. I think that this is the most uplifting post I’ve read on Coth in some time.


Aw @ratchet - you truly are a good egg. I wish you and all your equines the best.

I’m reading this thread with a pit in my stomach… I also took on a giveaway grey mare (about 12ish) two years ago, just to give her a soft landing. (Those of you who remember Kim Horan aka Sannois — Kim talked me into taking her on just a couple of months before she (Kim) passed away…. I feel a funny connection to Kim through this mare). Nim has become just an amazing little horse; so much more than I ever expected. She already had pretty huge melanomas on her dock and around her anus; they haven’t grown much (knock on wood), but I did have to get a fairly fast growing one removed from her neck. I think the writing is on the wall… I’m trying to look at it as if I don’t expect her to have a full lifespan, and every day with her is a gift. She was supposed to be euthanized before I got her, so I guess every day really is a gift for both of us. Here’s to our heartbreakingly beautiful horses…



The answer should have been “NO!” but my horse was a CraigsList pity buy and I really didn’t know what I was getting into.

He was 3 when I bought him and had a melanoma in almost the exact location as the one on this mare. I did have it removed - vet did it standing and it did not come back. That was 12 years ago. He has been fine ever since.

It is my horse who is the subject of the long running Oncept thread:

I can tell you that if you have taken her on, have the worst of the melanomas removed, and she has a successful trial with Oncept - you will probably be able to treat her like a normal horse for a long time. My attending vet at Ohio State says they have a 50/50 chance of an effective response to Oncept. It’s expensive but well worth the money if it works for the horse. My guy is retired now because I believe the ocular melanoma has finally started affecting his eyesight - but I rode and showed him for 5 years after he was treated with Oncept. So it’s not hopeless.

Bless you for taking her on. Somehow they find us, right?

PS: I wouldn’t bother with the cimetidine. Very weak results reported in one study. Save your money and give Oncept a try.


@oldernewbie I just read that entire thread. I was so thrilled with every update on your guy. I’m happy to hear he is still with you and has had a pretty standard horsey life with you and your family, aside from some dermatological quandaries here and there.

Rani’s tumors are large for her age, which I’ve read is a strike against her, but we’ve decided to take her on so what will be, will be. oldernewbie’s story has given me more hope.

After her initial vet examination, the plan is to discuss Oncept as part of the gameplan. Also hoping that the bum growth can be removed – it’s actually more on the butt cheek than near the anus, but who knows how deep it is. I will try to get better pics when I can.

@fargaloo1 heartbreakingly beautiful indeed. Your girl is lovely, and I truly wish you both the warmest best. Thank you both for sharing your positive stories.


I have a 38 year old large pony with melanomas. I’ve had him for 15 years. The ones we can see haven’t changed much in that time frame. He is such a fabulous pony, I would hate to have missed out on these 15 years just because he was a grey and he had existing melanomas. All that said, the ones in the OP’s photo would probably have me treading lightly on buying.


Well “Rani” (Hindu/Sanskrit for “singing” or “queen”) took a four hour trailer ride through mountainous roads and summer traffic with superior aplomb today. She was exceptionally well-behaved and easy every step of the way, and is now decompressing in a nice private paddock with fresh water and hay at the equine hospital. Vet did a cursory physical exam, seen here:

The hospital will evaluate her tumors and search for more, as well as do her teeth and get her updated on vaccines. Farrier will happen a bit later, likely once she is at the barn. Her first exams and consult with the surgeon are tomorrow morning and I will be present.

She is a lovely, sensible mare.


A stellar disposition is … priceless. :star_struck:


I have “seen” this, a horse who needs HELP for various reasons “sends out” to the Universe a message asking for HELP. Then the horse waits.

Then, sometimes, a suitable person appears. The horse is content, her message has been heard and the Universe sent you to help this gorgeous mare.

Welcome to the club of all of us crazy people who have a definite soft spot for Arab mares. Other, lesser horses, have to meet all the picky criteria, but the sheer beauty, majesty, and beautiful soul of the Arabian mare really screws up human logic centers.

It is a glorious insanity. However long she survives she will probably see you as her “savior”, and this can be a very rewarding relationship for both human and horse. She asked the Universe for you (or rather someone like you), you heard the call, you answered the call, and now she is HOME (once she leaves the vet hospital.)

Enjoy this.