New Type Of Equine Wart Discovered

A new type of equine wart has been identified by a New Zealand researcher. Equine warts are caused by the equine papillomavirus, which may contribute to the development of some types of skin cancer.

A 10-year-old Warmblood had two round, thick masses nearly 1 inch in diameter on the back of his left front fetlock; his treating veterinarian biopsied them, thinking they were sarcoids, which would have been difficult to treat in that area.

The biopsy results showed that the growths were actually warts, which typically go away by themselves. There are multiple types of papillomaviruses; they are divided into categories based on what type of lesion they cause. The papillomavirus that caused these warts, however, was new. The type of papillomavirus it is most similar to causes self-resolving warts.

The horse was treated with a topical chemotherapy drug and the lesions disappeared within a month. The veterinarians on the case noted that the cream may not have been the cure for the warts and that they may have gone away on their own.

Though not every lesion caused by the equine papillomavirus needs to be biopsied, in this case it was the correct approach as the masses were not recognized as warts. It’s important for vets to remember that warts can sometimes present with an unusual appearance, the treating vet noted.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

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