we have a 22 year old geilding who has an extremly swollen sheath he does not have a problem urinating we have tried soaking with warm and cold water mixed with epson salts and also clear water nthing seems to be working his appetite is great and no fever he does not seem to be in pain. any sugesstions?
A swollen sheath can be due to several different factors. First of all, many horse have very large sheaths due to fat collection in this area so if the problem has been present for a while and is slowly getting worse, it could just be fat, especially if he is fat in other places. Other causes would be tumors in the prepuce or on the penis or infection in the area. I would rec. contacting your vet to sedate the horse and do a complete exam of the area. If there are masses in the sheath, your vet can aspirate the masses with a needle to help get a diagnosis. The sheath can also swell with congestive heart failure or renal disease so your vet may need to do some blood work and perform a cardiac exam
The most common reason a gelding's sheath is swollen is that it is dirty AND there is a bean in the 'blind pocket' of his penis. The beans can get quite large, and even impede the urine flow to the point of being dangerous. I saw a golf ball size bean come from a small pony this past summer! Pour little thing could hardly walk, let alone urinate :-(
If you are unable to properly and safely clean your horses sheath, have your Vet sedate him and show you how it is done. It takes more than squirting water up there to properly clean it!
Dr. Judd is right, most likely a dirty sheath and as you know these need to be cleaned regularly. Only some horses will let you do this without sedation. It helps to use an over the counter "sheath cleaner" that has cleaner / softeners in it.
You can get hurt doing this - it is not uncommon for a horse to kick you!
If you are unsure please have your veterinarian do this under sedation. Then discuss with the doctor how often this needs to be done!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.