HELP: sick pony, lame and swollen sheath !! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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HELP: sick pony, lame and swollen sheath !!

My gelding has a very swollen sheath and is quite lame and I really need some suggestions as to what it could be , some history on his case :

Two weeks ago I came home from work and my husband said your horse is lame you better go check it. So I went straight out to the paddock and my gelding was lame in his left front leg. I had ridden him a couple of days before and suspected a bruised foot or similar and wasn't to worried.

The next day on checking him he was noticably sore in both front feet. He was shifting weight between the two feet and very uncomfortable and unwilling to walk. I called the vet who suspected either bruising or slight laminitis. We were given a weeks worth of bute in sachets 1 twice a day.
The soreness did not improve at all with the bute. There was no heat in any feet at any stage.

A few days later he seemed to be getting sore in the back legs also. The next day ( 6 days after the first signs of lameness ) he was unable to walk at all and would just stand and shift weight between all four feet. Still no heat ( but still on bute ) (I have not noticed the poor fella lay down at all and he is just out our back window so we can watch him all day. )

Called the vet again and his diagnosis laminitis , we had made a yard 6 days prior and he had been locked up since. I had already started him on fouderguard a couple of days after first vet visit just incase. And the vet this time gave us bute in paste form twice a day 5 mls and ulcerguard 15mls twice a day. And he gave us an anti histamine to inject for 5 days.

Two days later he wasn't looking much better and his sheath area had swollen up. Two more days and no improvement except that he could walk slighty easier, very stiff and sore looking. Also a couple of times he had shown a few colicey signs and wasnt having much poos and those he was doing were not looking to flash.

So another vet visit and started on parrafin oil and bran mash for the colic and assuming the colic is secondary to everything else ??? Bloods taken and the results were an elevated liver reading ( sorry dont know which one and the technical terms ) but the vet says it was only 150 above normal and that that was not much and could be put down to the colicy symptoms. Also elevated muscular reading, apparently there are two and normal is 450 and 500 and his readings were 550 and 750. So once again only slighty elevated but on the pathology results it said "horse down ???"

We just continued on with the same regime and it is now 4 days later and exactly two weeks since the first signs of lameness, he is still very sore on all four feet, seemingly the back are worse, he continously shifts weight from one foot to the next and when he shifts the back feet he lifts them quite high, almost stringhalty. He is walking slighty better , very slow and careful and a bit wonky. Still not great poos, but most concerning he has a very swollen sheath and penis and now today the swelling is also on his tummy infront of the sheath. He is urinating and is eating well and does not seem unhappy in himself. He is drinking and tonight we have had to set up the electric fence cause he would like to escape so some signs of improvement.

Any ideas please, I am scratching my head and just cant work it out. This horse has never foundered and I have had him for about 8 yrs, hes had some back problems in the past and colic once before but from eating dirt in the summer. He seems to come good a little bit then something worse happens, please help, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

And Does anyone know if laminitis causes swollen sheaths??
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: midwest
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he could have a bean a bit of smegma in his sheath that is causing some irritaion I would have the vet come tranq him and clean his sheath a bean will make him terribly uncomfortable you can clean it yourself however it is a very unpleasant task and if he has never had it done it is just better off if he really doesn't care what is going on let me know hope this helps
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 09:33 AM
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Did the vet do any blood work on him? If he didn't I would call him back and demand that he did, or get a 2nd opinion. It is possible for him to have a bean but since he's had a series of problems starting with his front legs I would lean more toward other causes. Is it his his sheath only that is swollen?
Edema tends to go to the lowest parts of the body such as legs and sheath/shaft. There can be several causes so without blood work it would be hard to pinpoint the exact cause.

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway~~John Wayne
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 10:18 AM
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I would really consider hauling your horse to a large equine hospital or veterinary teaching hospital for a better workup. There is so much going on that I couldn't even guess at what it might be but you obviously need to find a true diagnosis for your horse.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 10:45 AM
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It sounds like an infection and I would have blood work drawn on him. I actually think Cindy's suggestion is the best. Hope he feels better soon!

~CoCo 17hh 4 yo OTTB~
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia, in the Western District of Victoria.
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Thanks for your suggestions but please keep them coming !

Yes, he has had bloods done, it came back with an elevated liver reading, only slighty above normal and elevated muscular reading, slighty above normal. The muscular one was in both readings about 100-250 above normal. Everything else was fine. There was no sign of any infection.

I have given the penis and sheath a good clean and nearly got it glistening ! This morning he had the penis out and it is pretty clean apart from right up near the top where he hasnt let me get to. I will try again this afternoon.

There is no swelling in his legs, the swelling this morning is in the sheath and on his tummy infront of the sheath.

I have the vet coming out some time today again and will ask him about a visit to Werribee our closest horse hospital. I am actually unsure if this pony could stand in the float that long.
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 11:08 PM
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i was thinking the same thing. if hes that lame it would be hard for him to make a trailer ride. is it there any way you could make enough room for him so he could lie down?
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 11:09 PM
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i would consult with another vet. a second opinion wont hurt.
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-18-2009, 11:44 PM
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If you do have to make a hospital visit make sure there is room for him to lay down in the trailer and dont tie him when you load him so he doesnt rig his neck if he tries to lay down....

Past this I agree with all the other suggestions...get a second opinion if nessisary and i would consider getting a better work up done on him...

Horses Will Listen...Even When No One Else Could Possibly Understand...
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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we have had the vet out again and waiting on more blood results. he is thinking founder in the front legs and maybe by componsating with standing differently he has reinjured an old back injury and hence the funny walking with the back feet. but the bloods will tell us more. the sheath is still very swollen but penis looks ok and there is still swelling under the tummy. when taken near pasture he eats ravenously so he is hungry and wanting to eat. the poo looks ok but not much of it. i will post the blood results when they come, also then i will decide the next step, whether we go to hospital or not.
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