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Should I buy a horse with sarcoids?

Whenever a horse is being bought it should be assessed as a package - there will always be some good things about it and some not-so-good ones!  The horse should not be rejected out of hand but the purchaser should be made aware of the implications!  Your vet will be the best source of advice and help. 

  • A horse with even one sarcoid must of course be liable to the disease. It will remain liable genetically for life but the condition may not get any worse and it may be treatable. 
  • The purchase value of the horse with sarcoids is invariably less than an equivalent horse without them! If you are buying you may be able to negotiate a suitable price - if you are selling you may have to be prepared to take less! Of course that is a matter for the sale process!
  • The insurance implications are that sarcoid will not be covered by a new policy taken out because the condition is pre-existing and must be declared; failure to declare it on the proposal form will likely result in complete loss of insurance cover for everything!
  • The purchaser may wish or need to sell the horse in due course and then of course the new buyer may well have considerable reservations. Even if it has been treated successfully, the seller MUST declare the condition before sale - failure to do so may result in court proceedings and much acrimony.

Note: We should all be grateful for the availability of health insurance for our horses! If your horse develops sarcoids and you fail to declare it to your insurer as soon as a diagnosis can be made, your insurance may not be valid. Most insurance companies run a 12 month condition limitation for claims. Therefore, you should try to get the condition treated rapidly. At least you should consult with a vet early and then pass the treatments decision to the insurance company. DO NOT wait for the condition to get very bad before looking for treatment sop that the "claim against the insurance policy" will be a "meaningful amount". Both vets and insurers are more than aware of the slow rate of growth of most sarcoids and so when a bad case is presented with a statement "They developed since yesterday" the insurers will be justifiably sceptical!

For further information visit www.liv.ac.uk/sarcoids.

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Your questions answered

Introduction: Sarcoids - what you need to know

What is a sarcoid?

What causes sarcoids?

How do horses get the condition?

What do sarcoids look like?

Do sarcoids have any general effects on the horse?

How can I be sure a lesion is a sarcoid?

Can sarcoids be treated successfully?

So what ARE the available treatments?

Can I prevent my horse from getting the disease?

Should I buy a horse with sarcoids?

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