View Full Version : Sheath swelling in elderly gelding - Why????

31-08-09, 10:19 AM
Brandy is 30, always had a sheath which needs cleaning regularly. Over the last year or so (I think ) he has developed what I refer to as 'the mystery itch', he asks to have his sheath area scratched, as he can't reach round there anymore. Have for past couple of years started cleaning sheath around monthly, and each time it would be absolutely minging.

Then this summer, his sheath swelled up massively. Upped his Danilon for a week and it went down. During the hot weather in June, sheath came up again to HUGE proportions, http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif and he developed a dangerously high temp. Vet treated with IV ab's and anti-inflammatories, followed by increased Danilon and ab's for 3 days, and the temp and sheath went down (sheath took around a week to go totally). Thought this time we may have cracked it, as sheath shrunk to a size it hasn't been in years.

About a week ago, the mystery itch returned. This morning the sheath is well on its way back up to huge proportions, and is very hot and uncomfortable for him. Have given extra Danilon and hosed it to cool it. http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

In June blood tests told us his Liver was struggling, so diet adjusted, and put on Vit b supplement, after which he noticeably picked up. But I never really got a link from the vets as to why this would cause the sheath to swell? And what if anything can be done to prevent it?

Anyone experienced similar problems - well not personally, but horse wise?

Hes so well in himself otherwise, looks amazing, but this is clearly making him uncomfortable and unhappy.

31-08-09, 01:41 PM
i think he is getting and infection which is why it is swelling, i would suggest washing in a mild iodine solution to keep the bacteria or fungal infection under control

31-08-09, 08:16 PM
My horse gets this when he is stabled. It goes down after a few days of turn out.

Coincidentally, my horse needs his bits cleaned weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter and he also has itchy bits which he loves having scratched.

Yours could have an infection and I cant recommend hibiscrub enough.

Are his fetlocks swollen too?

31-08-09, 09:24 PM
My big lad, shire x has had sheath swelling problems for a number of years. It is mostly at its worst during the cold months when he doesnt move around as much. He is always smeggy and my vet advised us not to use hibiscrub but a very mild soap, he has had a yeast infection up there too.

31-08-09, 09:29 PM
maybe the flies have laid eggs up there and they have hatched in to the maggot stage. would clean his bits out weekly with a willy wash you can get your arm up nearly to your elbow on most horses. and have you ever met a male that didnt like his bits being done?

01-09-09, 07:41 AM
m friends horse has something like this and the vet said it was exzma up ther so she washes it weeky and the vet gave her some cream for it. Get in touch with the ets again and say you are not happy and want more done to get to the problem!