Clients & Visitors

Tumor Treatment at the EMC

tumor

Early identification and prompt attention are important in the successful management of equine tumors. Here, a mule presents with a sarcoid.

Most equine tumors involve the skin, and common skin tumors include equine sarcoids, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas. Surgeons at the Equine Medical Center use a multi-modal approach to treating skin tumors in order to optimize the chances of successful treatment and dramatically reduce reoccurrence rates.

Treatment often consists of a combination of laser-assisted surgical excision and ablation along with intralesional and topical chemotherapeutic agents. The local delivery of chemotherapy drugs avoids the many side effects commonly associated with their systemic use.

Photo gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to view a larger image.

tumor tumor tumor tumor

Our expertise

  • Dr. Ken Sullins, a world-renowned surgeon, has pioneered research in the field of tumor treatment and laser surgical techniques.
  • Dr. Sullins, in conjunction with Royer Animal Health, developed a slow-release chemotherapeutic biodegradable implant for the treatment of common skin tumors.

The advantage of laser surgery for treating tumors

  • Much more versatile than a scalpel, surgical lasers deliver light or heat to incise, coagulate, or vaporize tissue.
  • Laser surgical sites bleed and swell less than conventional surgical wounds. The carbon dioxide laser creates a clean, bloodless incision and can also vaporize tissue masses.
  • The carbon dioxide laser is controlled enough that corneal tumors can be vaporized from the surface of the eye.
  • Surgical procedures performed with lasers can often be performed on standing horses on an outpatient basis. The horses leave with no external wound.

Resources

Appointments for tumor evaluation and treatment

  • Appointments are available for EMC faculty clinicians to examine and diagnose equine tumors.
  • For an appointment or for more information, call (703) 771-6800 or email emcinfo@vt.edu.
  • View the Client Care Packet (PDF) to learn more about what to expect when you bring your horse for an appointment.