Meaning of swamp cancer in English:

swamp cancer


mass nounAustralian
  • A skin disease of horses caused by the presence of the larvae of a parasitic worm.

    ‘swamp cancer continues to affect horses in northern areas’
    • ‘The horses stand hock-deep in water and develop swamp cancer.’
    • ‘Her hooves need attention, and there's a swamp cancer on her neck which should be frozen off.’
    • ‘These larvae were formerly thought to cause swamp cancer.’
    • ‘Veterinarians in north Queensland see many horses suffering from swamp cancer.’
    • ‘A friend of mine's horse has had swamp cancer twice.’


Late 19th century from the popular belief that the disease is associated with swampy areas.