All natural horse care in the west of Ireland

Aciclovir for treating sarcoids
Thursday, 17 November 2011

I came across this very interesting article which I thought I would share with you. I have started treatment on my mare Polly who has had sarcoids on her udders for the past 4 years. We have "managed" them using initially Thuja cream and then with some success, Crest Toothpaste. They didn't grow but at the same time they didn't shrink too much. Since starting treatment with Aciclovir a few weeks ago the sarcoids have shrunk by appx 25%

Another option for treating equine sarcoids is suggested by a report from Austria which described the use of aciclovir cream.

Aciclovir (or acyclovir) is one of the most common anti-viral medications, being used primarily against herpesvirus infections such as herpes simplex in humans.

Dr S Stadler, of the Pferdeklinik Tillysburg, Austria, and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Austria and University of Leipzig, Germany reported the findings of their research in the Veterinary Record.
In total, 47 sarcoids, on 22 horses, were included in the study. They had been referred to the Pferdeklinik Tillysburg for treatment between 2006 and 2009. The diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of bovine papilloma virus type 1 or 2 (BVP 1/2) on swabs taken from the lesions.

The sarcoids were treated by topical application of 5% aciclovir cream once daily for between two and six months.

All 47 sarcoids improved in response to treatment. Complete regression was achieved in 32 lesions (68%) - these were mainly occult or verrucous type lesions.  Partial remission occurred in 15 cases (10 occult and 5 mixed sarcoids). By June 2010 there had been no reports of any cases having recurred.

Thinner lesions appeared to respond better. The authors comment that this suggests that aciclovir's action is limited by its ability to penetrate deeper tissue.

Aciclovir has benefits over other some other treatment options for sarcoids in that it is relatively inexpensive, with no side effects, and can be easily applied.

In conclusion, the authors propose using aciclovir for treating mild-type sarcoids and in combination with other therapeutic options for more complicated cases.

For more details see:
Successful treatment of equine sarcoids by topical aciclovir application
S Stadler, C Kainzbauer, R Haralambus, W Brehm, E Hainisch, S Brandt
Veterinary Record (2011) 168, 187
doi: 10.1136/vr.c5430

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