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Old 08-19-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
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swollen sheath

I read a couple of other posts on here about swollen sheath problems. I have an older horse (34years old) and he seems to only swell when he is being stalled during the winter- so i attribute it to not as much movement and i clean him regularly. the problem usually goes away.
However, my 18 year old horse came up swollen the other day- he is outside since it is summer and gets used alot. So it isn't lack of movement. I watched him the last couple of days to see if it was a bug bite or if it seemed to bother him. He has been camped out next to the water trough the last couple of times i was out there and now the sheath is tender to the touch. he is somewhat new to us and i haven't had to clean him before. so he was a little kicky when i touched it. it is hard and not hot and he does seem to be dropping. however the other night right after i noticed he was swollen my husband was working him in the round pen and the horse was urinating all over. not just stop, drop and urinate? so i don't know if it is more of a bladder issue than a sheath issue?
but any other advise would be nice- i like to try as many things as possible before just calling a vet...
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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Could it be diabetes? I know a friend had a horse who's sheath was swollen and they couldn't figure it out until the vet did some blood work to find out that that's what he had...I guess it can cause a swollen sheath among other things...??

Rest In Peace Zeus April 2007 - November 2009

Love you so much, you will be dearly missed my "LITTLE MAN"
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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I'd call a vet and ask for a list of possible remedies with the least expensive and complicated first, a elimination by trial kind of a thing. It could be something as simple as being one of those geldings who needs to be cleaned more often. My vet recommends a mild solution of Dawn dishsoap and plenty of it and then rinse, rinse, rinse. You need to use something that will cut through the oils. I tried using a lubricant once and my horse ended up with an infection. Some geldings are more prone to getting beans which if not removed, and some are hard to find, will result in an infection.

Doesn't always have to be complicated.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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When you cleaned this horse's sheath, did you remove the bean? How large was it? Some people don't know about removing the bean, and if it is left in, it can cause urinary tract disruption.

Good luck,
Mark Sellers
Horse Health Matters
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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My horse had a swollen sheath for a while, and we attributed it to the swelling from his scratches on the back legs. Myself and the vet did 2 thorough cleanings as well. He did the pee-on-himself thing too because he was too swollen to drop to pee.

After a while we figured out it was from him laying down and curling his hooves under and basically sleeping on his man-part! His shoes must have smooshed his sheath! We added more bedding to his stall and the problem cleared right up. If your guy lives outside, maybe add some straw to where he sleeps? Give him a little more cushion. Hopefully your issue will be as easy to resolve as mine was!
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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I did a good cleaning and didn't really smell or find anything in there and we rode him. he didn't seem to act like his kidneys or anything hurt to be riden. the next day he was still swollen but not as bad. so maybe i should just clean him once more and see if it was something that simple. if he still swollen i will call the vet and see what they suggest. =) Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:22 AM   #7
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My sister had a gelding that swelled and couldn't drop to pee. Vet thought possible kick or insect sting. They treated him with cleaning him every day and then applying DMSO. It worked and he never had another problem. He was an old guy 30, and lived another 3-4 yrs before he passed away.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:26 AM   #8
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OH MY GOSH I JUST WENT THROUGH THIS!!!!!! I was horrified. My horse Tiny is my first gelding, i've always owned mares. I didn't realize that you actually had to get on up there to clean the sheath. I went off island for a weekend and when I returned my poor boys sheath was the size of a cantelope . I called the vet but he was "unavailable" so sure enough I came on this great forum and searched, searched search and have had success a week later! I had him on bute for two days (very low dose, i don't like to use bute but he was SO uncomfortable!) I also put him on Probios (whether that helped or not I am unsure of...i like to think it did hahaa but i figured it's adding good bacterias to the body and the more the better). I purchased excaliber and cleaned his sheath out (bean included) two days in a row. I iced his "manliness" for 15mins TWICE a day...nothing more awkward than squatting and icing your horses peepee . At first he wouldn't move around at all he was so sore and i was discouraged on the second day because the swelling moved under his stomach both sides!!! SO i iced his tummy and one lady had wrote to massage the swollen areas to stimulate circulation hahaa i massaged his tumtum but couldn't get myself to massage the other part haha. movement is key...i walked him a little in the morning and a little at night. he is out in a two acre pasture at the moment but because of all the rain he hasn't moved around as much as normal, this is why i believe he got so "bloated". I've learned a lot because of this situation haha...GOOD luck! it is so stressful seeing these sweet animals in so much discomfort. For Tiny it took him about a week to get almost back to normal, he is a bit saggy down below after all that swelling
My boyfriend said I needed to choose between him or my horse...I better go grab my saddle

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:56 AM   #9
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His sheath has been swollen the majority of winter. He's done this for the past couple of winters. Gets swollen over winter/the colder months then no swelling over spring-summer/the warmer months.
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