Swollen Sheath... Have you heard of this?

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Swollen Sheath... Have you heard of this?

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    03-27-2011, 10:02 PM
Green Broke
Swollen Sheath... Have you heard of this?

Before I get anyone saying that he needs to be cleaned, I'll give you some history. During the winter, our horses are kept an a paddock area and kept off the pasture area. After winter started, sometime in November 2010, we noticed that Harley's sheath was swollen. We tried cleaning it and the swelling remained. We called the vet and had a full checkup done on him. The vet also cleaned his sheath but said it was really clean. The vet couldn't find anything wrong with him. The only thing they could come up with was that he swelled up from not being able to move around like in summer.

I've talked to other owners and have found out that their horses have the same thing going on. One side of the sheath is swollen, and kind of firm or hard. The swelling goes from the sheath forward along the belly, some farther than others.

Has anyone else experienced this or heard of it? It just kind of sounded like the vet was grabbing at straws when he told us that, but when we heard others having the same problem, we felt a little better. He's still swollen today.
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    03-27-2011, 10:08 PM
Have you checked for a "bean". The vet should have but maybe didn't.
    03-27-2011, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
I did get a small bean out when I cleaned it the first time. The vet also did check for it. Like I said he was clean and I keep checking him about once a month since he's been swollen. There is some smegma that I get out but he's pretty clean.
    03-28-2011, 12:03 AM
Could be pigeon fever... ask your vet about it, some don't know much about it at all so they may not have thought to check for it.
    03-28-2011, 01:00 AM
Its probably just edema if there are not other problems going on. If it goes away with turnout and excerize its likely poor circulation and the horse needs to move more itstead of standing at a hay bale. Its kinda like stocking up in the legs.

I've also seen it happen from allergies....food/grain allergies and bugs both. In this case you can try eliminating everything but grass hay and see if that makes it go away. Then add things back once at a time and see what if anything triggers it.
    03-28-2011, 09:01 AM
Green Broke
The vet will be out next week for spring shots and we'll have him looked at again. This has never happened before to him and he's 9. Nothing that I can think of has changed in his routine or feed except being in a smaller area for the winter. I guess we'll see what happens when he is able to go out in the pasture later in the spring, if the vet still can't find anything wrong.

I just thought it was strange when the vet said it was from him not moving around.
    03-29-2011, 11:06 AM
My cousin's gelding had something like that happen to him one spring. But his back legs stocked up, his sheath got swollena dn his lower stomach had some puffy swelling too. My cousin had just dewormed him when all that happened. The vet took a look at him and said it was probably related to him being dewormed. I had never seen that happen before, but his went away.
    03-29-2011, 11:08 AM
Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
Its probably just edema if there are not other problems going on.
My thought too.
    03-29-2011, 11:15 AM
Green Broke
One of my friends geldings had a similar problem. It was one of our hotter summers. The vet looked at him & said it was probably from diet & not moving enough. She started exercising him more, & cut back his alfalfa.
It seemed to solve the problem.
    03-29-2011, 11:37 AM
It is likely due to inactivity. This happens more frequently in older and overweight geldings.

Take him for a walk for 15-20 minutes and check again.

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