One of my neighbors wants to give me her old gelding. She's elderly and no longer able to care for him physically. She's owned him for most of his life - he's 22 years old.
I like her and would like to help her out. The horse is also a real sweetheart and very healthy except for his sheath.
The first time I saw him, his sheath was swollen with a raw wound on the opening area and leaking bloody liquid. She says this builds up and occasionally 'bursts'. I saw him again today and his sheath was normal sized, still with a raw wound, and still a little drippy. She says this is skin cancer and that he's had it for several years now. When I questioned her further, she says she does nothing to treat it and that she never cleans his sheath as she's just not physically able to and hasn't been able to for years.
Is it possible that this is just from not having his sheath cleaned? I know nothing about horse sheaths and googling for information just isn't giving me a clear enough idea of possibilities. I'm willing to give him a home for his last years but I'd really like a better idea of what I might be getting into as far as his sheath problem goes.
Anyone have experience with sheath infections or cancer in the sheath?
He seems comfortable, does not seem to be in pain or itchy. I saw him urinate so I know he can do so ok and without signs of distress when he does. I spent a couple of hours grooming him today and just getting to know him to help me decide if I want to take him. He's very amenable and was willing to let me handle him there, though I didn't try to clean him or anything. I just wanted an idea of whether or not cleaning or treating him there would be a problem. It looks like it wouldn't be a problem to clean him or treat him there. If the treatment burns or hurts...well, that might be a different story though.
I'd love any information you guys can share.