Swollen sheath after gelding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Swollen sheath after gelding

Hi Everyone,
I just had Zephyr gelded about 6 days ago and his sheath has become unbelievably swollen. I got the vet to take a look a couple of days ago and he said it's all normal and that some just swell more than others - certainly there is no sign of infection and Zephyr is bright enough, if a little grumpy!
Has anyone else experienced this and if so how long did it take to get back to normal?

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post #2 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 01:37 AM
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Awe, poor Zephyr! I've been checking his blog for updates and was hoping he was healing well.

My guy got really swollen too but my guy also got infected. It's been a couple years ago so I don't remember the timing of it all, but my boy Zane actually ran a fever and had some pus coming from his incisions. I had the vet out again and he gave him antibiotics. Zane was lethargic, so I knew things weren't right.

I had been exercising him per the vet's recommendations and he got an infection anyway.

I believe the swollen sheath is totally normal but at 6 days I would think it should be decreasing by now. Exercise is supposed to help with that along with making sure things are draining properly.

So hmm. I think the main thing would be to keep an eye out for infection. As long as he isn't running a fever or lethargic I would think he is healing up and the swelling will go down eventually.

Poor Zephyr! I love reading his blog. Tell him to get well soon! His fans are counting on him.
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Awww thanks Trailhorserider,
Yes of course my biggest fear is infection but he really is as bright as a button AS USUAL and we've had a lot of rain so I can see by the marks in the grass that 'someone' and that 'someone's Uncle' have been doing a LOT of exercise. I am ruling out Muzzerr on the exercise front as it's just not her thing
So quiet? He is definitely not!
Of course his Uncle has told him he is now 'well endowed' which Zephyr, being Zephyr, heard as 'well embowelled' so he figures that means he can now eat twice as much as before.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Merlot View Post
Of course his Uncle has told him he is now 'well endowed' which Zephyr, being Zephyr, heard as 'well embowelled' so he figures that means he can now eat twice as much as before.
Ha Ha, that is just like Zephyr!

I went and found my old thread from when my guy was gelded. There are even icky photos of page 2.

Colt gelded 4 days ago- is pus normal?

Apparently Zane's swelling materialized around day 4. And he was coming right along with being healed by day 9.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 05-19-2013 at 01:57 AM.
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 01:56 AM
Green Broke
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My guys both got pretty swollen after as well.

We let them out in the arena Avery day to give them some exercize and it got down pretty quick (around 2 weeks after gelding)

I wouldn't worry just be vigilant

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post #6 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Geez trail horse! You went through hell!!! Thanks for that - I feel much better about the Zeph now
His wounds are not even visible - all clean and clear it's just the swelling.
Thanks Roperchick don't worry if anything I am hyper vigilant!
I had no idea it was such a big thing because calves and lambs are over it within an hour!
DUH to me!

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post #7 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 04:47 AM
Green Broke
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Horses are a whole different ball game than calves and lambs. The man parts are a lot closer to the body and receive more blood flow than cows and sheep. Heck, you could just stick a rubber band on a lamb an wait for them to die off by themselves. The closer to the body they are, the more work that is involved.

I got Henny gelded at 10 months old. He swelled A LOT. First of all, he is apparently a "bleeder" and bled too much after getting cut, so he stayed at the vet overnight as a just in case. When I brought him home, he stayed outside the whole time. I cold hosed him off everyday and hand walked him while I was there to make sure he was getting enough exercise. I think around 10 days after, I saw the incisions closing up and didn't know if it was too early and he hadn't drained completely yet, so I hauled him in for the vet to look at him and she said he was coming along great. What a relief! So yeah, theres going to be a lot of swelling. I'd say his got to be a large grapefruit/small cantaloupe size. And fluid/drainage seemed to collect on either side of his sheath, making it look like he had a milk bag any mare would be jealous of. I have pictures of when I brought him home, I'll have to find them for you later.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 08:55 AM
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I had a colt we gelded end up being the size of a soccer ball. yuck! he did eventually go down, but its very important to walk them and keep them moving. If they stand still, they get more sore and more swollen.

I think our colt even broke open a little and allowed some drainage which is pretty typical if you swell too much.

Cold hosing is wonderful for them too.
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 09:22 AM
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Usually it looks worse than what it is, the sheath is a low point so and swelling/drainage is going to head to that point. As the others said, cold hose and walk. Also feel around up there and make sure the incision didn't heal from front to back, meaning it didn't close up from the outside before it closed up from the inside, this is the number one cause of huge swellings and sometimes they will burst open and release a whole load of goop - at the track in NZ after dealing with innumerable gelding after care wounds sometimes one must reach in and fiddle around....gross but necessary!
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 11:27 AM
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More than likely, the incision closed up sooner than it should of. Get him out and MAKE him do a nice extended trot. He must trot to get the legs to separate and open it back up. At a canter and walk, he can keep the legs together or short stride it and he won't open it up. 5 minutes twice a day will get keep it open until it heals from the inside out.
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