I went riding on a short (45 minutes) ride on my pony today, and he seemed fine and quite happy during the ride. After I got off however, he went in a position to pee and stayed for about 45-60 seconds without urinating. When it did come out, it was thin and there wasn't much. He has never had trouble urinating before, so I checked his genitals (he's a gelding) and it looked very swollen. I didn't actually see his penis so I can't tell you what it looked like. He didn't seem in any pain as I rode him, nor when I prodded his groin. Because I don't own him, and his owner never calls the vet unless absolutely necessary (in which case he will probably have the animal put to sleep) I cannot ask a vet yet . Is this a very dangerous or urgent problem? Is it likely to clear up by itself in a couple of days? I only see him once a week, so I don't know how long he has been swollen. He lives outdoors in some fields with about 10 other horses, a donkey and a llama.
Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!
The only thing you can do since it's now your horse is to inform the owner of what you saw. It could be something as simple as him needing his sheath cleaned or it could be the onset of something major but there is no way to know without someone really looking at this horse and checking for other symptoms.
sounds like he needs a good sheath cleaning. Especially being outside so much, leaves a lot of time for dirt and other gunk to get in there on top of the smegma build up. I would clean him first and then see if the swelling goes down. I would bet most likely it will. Sounds just like he's got some beans and other gunk stuck there which would also cause the swelling you see.
Wow, I seriously would not have thought of that. I've seen it done on female horses, but I'm not sure how to go about it on a male. I did inform the owner, but he doesn't know much about that sort of problem so he's planning on waiting to see if it improves. Any tips on cleaning the sheath out? Should I just use a clean wet sponge and wipe it down? Won't he mind?
Much safer for the vet to do it! Esp if he's never had someone clean his sheath! There's no knowing what he'd be like until you tried but it's something you wouldn't want to get him upset over cleaning and then not finish and leave a bad experience he'll keep in mind the next time.... Quite often they can manage on their own - my gelding manages without cleaning, I think he's been cleaned twice in 12 years, other geldings need it cleaned once a year if not more... I would ask the owner to call the vet to look at it. It probably wouldn't be a whole lot to just come out and look at it and clean it. Better than the vet bill if he gets an infection and needs antibiotics and the whole bit!