Swollen sheath??

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Swollen sheath??

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    12-28-2011, 08:29 AM
Green Broke
Swollen sheath??

Ok I don't have pictures at the moment if that would help at all. I went out this afternoon and found my horse Sam had a swollen sheath. Just the end of of it has almost doubled in size. I'm not really sure what has happened, I haven't had much chance to do anything with my horses lately other then dayly checks. I don't recall seeing this before except for late this afternoon and it was quite a noticable difference. He didn't seem to mind me fiddling with it. I didn't notice any scratches of anything and it didn't feel any different (if that makes sense) it just looked a lot bigger. I plan to catch him and take a closer look tomorrow morning. Other then that though I am a bit unsure. Its a bit late in the night here to do anything but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts??
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    12-28-2011, 08:53 AM
Green Broke
Two reasons this happens. First, has his sheath been cleaned in a while? There may be a bean that is irritating him and causing the swelling. Second, is he in a confined area where he gets limited running room? This for some reason also can cause swelling. We had the same thing happen to our horse Harley. We assumed it was from not getting cleaned. We cleaned him but didn't find any bean. His swelling remained so we had the vet check and clean him too. Again no bean. The vet told us it was probably from lack of moving around and usually happens in the winter. In the spring it should go away. There was a lot of this happening last winter. Our horses were being kept off their pasture area and in a paddock. In the spring it did go away. Since it doesn't seem to bother him when you touch him, I would guess it is caused from him not getting to move around as much.
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    12-28-2011, 08:58 AM
Green Broke
That is why I'm going to have a closer look tomorrow. I cleaned him not long ago but I thought I would look more thoroughly tomorrow just in case. He also does have a big paddock to run around in though he doesn't necessarily run much. I was leaning to it being a bean irritating him but when he didn't react to me checking it I thought maybe not.
    12-28-2011, 09:13 AM
Could be edema, which is just swelling due to lack of exercise. Not unlike a horse who's legs may stock up if they are stalled overnight and not used to it.
I don't even mean overall lack of exercise, but maybe just the last 12 hours or so.
My horse tends to get swollen in the sheath area in the summer time when it is very hot and he doesnt feel like moving about very much.
    12-28-2011, 05:27 PM
Green Broke
Even if he's in a good sized paddock, during the winter they don't move around as much as they do when grazing in summer. They stand around a hay bale. When they graze, they keep moving around.
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    12-28-2011, 07:52 PM
Green Broke
Thanks I know what you mean though we are in summer at the moment. I was thinking about him spending a lot of time in the dam though, he is nearly always in there.
    12-28-2011, 08:16 PM
Unless the horse is straining to pee, it's more than likely swollen from too much protein & not enough exercise.
    12-28-2011, 08:30 PM
Green Broke
I agree, with the others, maybe not enough exercise or an irritation causing an issue. It may not necessarily be a bean, other things can um, get stuck up there. I did Cin's first cleaning (since I owned him) about a month after getting him. He didn't have swelling but was acting really itchy. WELL, I didn't find a bean, but I did find an old, gross, nasty straw wrapper, one of those plastic ones from a kids juice box, stuck way the heck up there! So now I don't think there is any end to what a horse could possibly get stuck up there.

If you find nothing, then maybe a 15 min to half hour trot or more on a lunge line may help.

If it starts smelling funky, or having discharge, I would get a vet though.
    12-28-2011, 08:57 PM
Green Broke
Thanks I will keep an eye on it. The exercise is a quite a possibilty as he usually gets ridden at least once a week minimum. The last couple of weeks though I simply haven't had time so he's just been fed, checked on and left with his buddies.
    12-29-2011, 04:11 AM
Green Broke
Finally got out there to check on it more thoroughly.

He doesn't seem bothered at all with all my poking and prodding of it. Now I'm bad at describing things but I'll have a go. The swelling looked to have gone down a bit, but on one side it looks not so much like he has grazed it but a bit like their nose when it gets rough from grazing on short grass. Also that side is a bit firmer then the other side. I'm confident there isn't a bean in there it doesnt feel like there is a hard ball in there or anything. I hope that makes some sense.

I also lunged him for a bit then I took him for a good trot in hand for awhile. I am going to check on it tomorrow. It just kind of confuses me because I've never seen this before. Thanks for all the help.

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