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Discussion on Penile cancer in horses

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Vicci L. Eaton
Member
Username: Calico

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, Sep 18, 2006 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can someone explain phallectomy to me? I am having difficulties finding much information on the subject of penile cancer and available treatments for it.
Thank you
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16652
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 - 7:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Phallectomy is the surgical removal of the penis Vicci. It will require general anesthesia but is a fairly simple straight forward surgery.
DrO
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Vicci L. Eaton
Member
Username: Calico

Post Number: 10
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is the success rate good? I have only found one research doc on the internet and only 45 horses were involved. My concern is having this surgery done and the horse not recovering. Is there after surgery treatments required?
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Dawson
Member
Username: Dawson

Post Number: 32
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 - 2:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Vicci; I am not a medical person but can tell you that my father's riding group had a small pony they used to pull a cart in parades. He was diagnosed with penile cancer when he was in his early twenties, and they debated on whether the surgery was a good idea due to his age.

They opted for the surgery, with the possibility he would likely be forced into retirement after the surgery. The pony was given a local, he came through with flying colors, and seemed sore for only a few days after the surgery.

The good news, the pony did not choose to retire for another five years and he lived into his mid thirties with no other medical issues other than the missing a tooth occasionally.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16664
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 - 6:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The surgery is no problem but will this cure the cancer I cannot answer. It depends on the type of cancer and how far along it has gotten. Has it spread up into the pelvis or abdomen? Has it metastasized? Whether further therapy will be needed will also depend on the answer to these questions too.
DrO
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Monique Gatt
Member
Username: Monie

Post Number: 28
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 26, 2006 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For many years my gelding had problems with his penis. Many times I have referred to your site for advice. It originally started as a crusty covering, developing into what appeared to be nodules in areas. At times it also smelled very foul. I have regularly washed it and treated it with various medications. I was advised to use lice shampoo and various ointments for lice. I have also used various ointments for infections & fungus. Sometimes it has been very bad and I have washed on a daily basis, other times it has been reasonably clear and didn't need quite as much attention. Usually the horse drew my attention to the problem when he was uncomfortable. A few weeks ago, yet again he drew my attention to his discomfort. Unfortunately I had been busier than usual and perhaps neglected him a little. When I did wash him I found an unusual growth growing on the side of his penis and the sponge I was using had some blood. I called my regular vet who is well aware of the problem. Although we sedated him he did not drop far enough for us to examine him well. Getting him to drop has always been a problem. I have been medicating him with a anti parasite shampoo and ointment on a daily basis. It's not smelling and I do not always see blood but he is not comfortable. Now these last 2 days he is barely touching his food. I normally give him crushed barley with bran. To entice him to eat I have been grating a few apples and carrots and mix it with his food. Roughly 50/50. That, he is eating. He is a very sensitive horse and many times he has refused his food if my other horse, a mare, who lives in the adjacent paddock bullies him as she tends to do. On the other hand I am worried that the growth is a tumor. Due to the festive season my vet is unavailable and I am very worried about the situation. Can anyone offer me advice? How do I confirm if this is a tumour or not? Is it possible that this is due to the recurring problem and not a tumor? As an emergency measure how can I persuade the horse to eat? What quantities of apples and carrots should I give and perhaps some added supplement to sustain him till my vet is back at work?
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Charlayne Penrose
Member
Username: Image

Post Number: 25
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 26, 2006 - 5:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Monique,

I am not sure I have a lot of answers for you but let me tell you about an Appaloosa gelding I once had. (now before I get started, he died of unrelated causes...) When he was 11 years old I found a warty like nodule way up high on his penis while I was cleaning him. I had noticed that he seemed to have alot of thick, greasy grayish gunk and when the vet was out one day, had him sedated. He was always good about being cleaned but I wanted him totally relaxed so we could see why he was grosser than usual. The warty like growth was the size of a pencil eraser. The vet removed it and send it for biopsy. It was squamus (spell?) cell carcinoma. At the time, cryosurgery was what my vet wanted to try. I knew it depended on if it had traveled elsewhere in the body but figured we didn't have much to lose as squamis cell is bad. Doc ordered all the equipment to do it and we set the first appointment up. Apache was sedated until barely standing in the stock. The first cryo went well with the vet freezing the growth area as well as some suspicious areas just to be sure. We had a second session about 6 weeks later when we noticed the growth might be returning. It sounds awful but the doc would freeze the areas until they bled. In total, we did this about 4 times and then the growth didn't reappear. This horse lived for 3 more years in what we called "remission". We were lucky in that apparently the cancer had not spread. Apache was happy and healthy through all of the cryos and for his remaining years. After the sessions, his sheath would swell and I would have to keep everything very clean but he never had urination problems like I feared he might.

I am not sure if this is the kind of issue your horse is having but it reminded me of my sweet "Short Horse" and I thought it might help you to know, it doesn't have to be a death sentence.

Your boy's appetite problem may not be related to the growth that you found. Is he urinating normally? (is the wet spot in his stall/paddock the same size?) If he is sensitive, he just might be upset by something else that is throwing him off. Is he eating hay? Just out of curiosity, is this a new type of feeding program for your horse? I changed my girls to a new type of grain a while back. They really enjoyed the changed at first. Now sometimes I can tell they are missing the sweet feed they used to get. They often eat their hay then go for the pellets. Just a few thoughts.

Sorry this is so long but you brought back memories of a very dear friend. I hope something in this post eases your mind a little. I won't tell you not to worry because we just can't help doing that, can we? Take care! I hope your boy turns out just fine!

Image
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Monique Gatt
Member
Username: Monie

Post Number: 29
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 7:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Thanks for your reassurance. It does help because I'm so worried. Still haven't managed to get my vet. I could try another but he would be new to our problem and I won't feel so confident. Yes Roy is eating hay and when I mix his regular food of Crushed barley and bran (I have always fed him this) with apples and carrots which I have only just added to encourage him to eat. He is eating. How much food would be sustaining enough? I have been giving him 3 apples and about 6 carrots once a day. Today I intend doing it 2 or 3 times a day. His bucket of his normal food is always in his stable but he takes very little. His stable seems to be as wet as usual. He's very good about letting me clean him. We have no problems with that. My worry is that my vet has a foreign wife so they have problem gone away for Xmas and the New year so he probably won't be back before next week. In the meantime I have a holiday organised myself and will be away for over 3 weeks as from January 12. I do have friends who have promised to come round and look after him but it will never be the same and I just can't cancel my trip and loose all that money!!!
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Corinne Meadows
Member
Username: Corinne

Post Number: 678
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 9:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Monique I will be praying for you and your boy!
Good Luck with getting the vet out and hopefully a good outcome!

Take care,
Corinne
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17343
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 9:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Monique,
Though I could be wrong, I don't think the local problem with the penis is causing the systemic signs of depression and decreased appetite. An important first step is to deciding how serious the general signs are and possibe causes. A good first step is evaluating your horses vital signs. For more on this see, Diseases of Horses » First Aid » Taking Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration. Besides the information there, the general condition of the horse would help.

When you generate this information you should post it along with the history in a new discussion, instead of posting at the bottom of Vicci discussion as you will get more and quicker responses. You will find the new discussion link at the bottom of the page with the article and list of other discussions. Once we get the more acute problem straightened out we can work on the penis tumor.
DrO
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Monique Gatt
Member
Username: Monie

Post Number: 30
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roy is eating his hay and this afternoon I mixed some grated apples and carrots with some crushed barley and he ate that quite happily. Today I got to the middle of the barrel of bran and have found it to be lumpy and not very nice looking I wonder if that could be the problem? My other horse will eat anything but he has been a fussy eater before so I'm just going out to get a fresh sack of bran just in case! This afternoon I took my other horse for a ride and left Roy behind and he was really annoyed about it. I could hear him neighing from a distance and got home to find he had been running around his paddock and was hot and sweaty. He always hates being left behind but I didn't think he was well enough to ride. I don't think he would race around his paddock if he were ill. Perhaps I'm being over anxious because I know the vet is away and because I'm going away for so long myself. Could the growth - it feels a little like a mushroom - be caused because the problem I have had with his penis has been going on for so long? I had once taken a swab. The result was not fungal. At the time I had treated him with Gentaject 15ml. On one of the discussions I have had on this site it was suggested it could be mites of various forms. Finally the vet is agreeing with me and treating him for this.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 2020
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 12:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Monique, what breed is Roy?
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Carolyn A Burton
Member
Username: Mcbizz

Post Number: 44
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 2:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is my understanding that gray horses are more prone to penile and rectal cancer, especially where the climate is sunny. We had one gray gelding with that problem...my Mustang gelding (sorrel) needs sheath cleaning far more often than my Arab gelding (chestnut). Though their coloring is similar, their glands must be very different. The Mustang gets very a very oily, smelly discharge, the Arab is generally very clean. What color is your gelding?
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Monique Gatt
Member
Username: Monie

Post Number: 31
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 - 3:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roy came from Tunisia. I don't have official papers for him but he looks like a Tunisian arab with English thoroughbred. He's a chestnut. I have had problems with his sheeth for the last 7 years. He's 20. At the start of the problem he wouldn't let me get anywhere near him but as it got worse we had him sedated a few times so we could check it out and get him cleaned. He now seems to understand we're helping him and stands there with absolutely no problem. It started of by getting smelly but the skin was never smooth and always very pink and obviously he was uncomfortable. When it gets really bad he comes to the edge of the paddock closest to the house and starts swishing his tail between his legs and stamping his hind legs drawing my attention to the problem. Now, when I clean him I can detect blood on my glove and there is this growth about 1/2 way up the penis which I think has grown since I first noticed it. I also think the head of the penis does not feel quite right.
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Monique Gatt
Member
Username: Monie

Post Number: 32
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 1:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roy is back to eating well. I never found out what the problem was. It wasn't the sack of bran I had suspected as he started eating before I got a fresh sack. Now it's 'just' the penile problem I have to solve. I've just got in from cleaning him. Today I didn't see any signs of blood and neither yesterday. The growth is definitely mushroom shaped. The stem feels soft and I suspect that is the area that bleeds while the head of the mushroom is firm and very nodular. His urine flow is not always steady on occasion it's intermittent.
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KATHLEEN WHEAT
Member
Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 603
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Monique, You mentioned that there is a smell sometimes? Our Arab gelding has a sarcoid on the inside of his sheath and it sounds kind of the same as you describe and it too smells sometimes and we treat it with Silver Sulfadine and it goes back to smelling OK and looking ugly. Since we already had one sarcoid removed from him, the vet said he doesn't want to mess with it unless absolutely necessary, because once you start, you 'wake a sleeping giant' and have to get aggressive until it is gone. Just a suggestion.
Kathleen
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