Dude, Willy's sheath is out of control. He has a schmegma problem. Since I've owned him I've had the vet clean it once after a float. It was cleaned the end of March, and I haven't cleaned it since....Willy hates it! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him used to me doing it? I've never done it before, but I know it's been too long, so I should get some balls and do it myself.
Sorry i can't help you there.
I've never cleaned my horses before, My horses both have a coating of wax.. why take that wax off?? it's protecting it.
What does he do, since you said he doesn't like it.?
A sheath really only should be cleaned 2 times a year at the max...that is at least with cleaning stuff like excalibur or soap.
I "spot" clean Sonny's every month just making sure there is no HUGE pieces there.
But I only use Excalibur 2 times a year.
I perfer to do Sonny's myself...it saves money (big plus) and I just never am able to schedual things and have time to get there hehe...I have a hard enough time schedualing farrier appointments
But I don't agree with ArabianPrincess saying that just because it has a coating of wax that it shouldn't be cleaned. If your body was covered in a coat of wax, would you still not take a shower?
Sorry but i wont clean my horses no matter what people say!
I've asked my vet if i should be i got advised if it's never been done why start now.
hey well my boy had this problem to and we just worked on the friendly game..i just started on his belly and started working my way back it will take a while but soon enough he will trust you enough to clean it. with dusty it took like a year to get him to the point where he doesnt mind it at all. the idea is just to get him comftorable with the idea of you being down there.
Why start now? um...for your horses health, maybe? For their comfort to be able to "go" easier.
If your vet said don't clean it I'd definately get a new vet, but that's just me
Without getting into the should you/shouldn't you question, desensitise him to it in the same manner you'd desensitise him to anything - approach and retreat to gradually work towards your goal in a positive, non threatening way.
Smegma, from my understanding, isn't just the wax but the combination of dirt, sweat, and wax that builds up the sheath and bag. As Sonny said, you can get a bean or pea, which is a ball of smegma that gets lodged up the urethra. If it happens to be a full block, and isn't caught within a few hours, the horse will begin to go into kidney failure and die.
We do the boys about once or twice a year, with Excalibur cleaner. Honestly, if you haven't done it in a while, I'd get someone experienced to give you hand and show you. There's a little opening up inside that needs to be cleaned, but you can do serious harm to the horse if you don't know what you're doing. Some horses, also, are just really really sensitive about that area, and end up having to be sedated to get it done. One of our sweetest gelding has to be sedated to have his cleaned.
There's no shame in just paying to have a sedated sheath cleaning from a vet once in a while.
Personally, I don't wash my boys' "areas"...ever. I DO think there's a natural blance of healthy oils/bacteria in there, just like women shouldn't douche,.....HOWEVER, yes, that doesn't stop a bean from forming because geldings are unnatural creatures (the life of a stallion would help clean his penis from frequent erections, matinge, etc. Plus geldings tend to not drop all the way to urinate and little dribbles cling to the end, attracting more dirt than normal.
I still don't soap them up. I pick off any obvious loose flakes of skin, if I notice them "dropped" and relaxed while I'm grooming them. I do it so fast they either don't notice, or don't care. Sometimes they get erections (all male horses do on occasion) and I take advantage and quickly check for/pick out any beans about once a month or so. Doing it more frequently keeps them to a minimum, and before they are large enough to be an issue. If I'm hosing off a sweaty horse, I might shoot some water up in there to rinse, but that's it in the way of cleaning.
I've NEVER had one develop problems from doing it this way-no infections, no swelling, no irritiablity. Toby has a really greasy smegma that's very tarry and smelly, but some horses have very little. He also ENJOYS any digging I do. :roll:
If your horse has never been checked for beans, then yes, a good cleaning to check for beans by a vet if you are inexperienced is a good idea, then maintain regularly with the "quick pick". The "quick pick" is also a good way to desensitize them. It's over before they react, you catch it while they are already relaxed and it's not as invasive. If you have a horse that wants to kick, go ahead and have him professionally cleaned. If it's a really big bean, sedation might be the safest route, then when he's comfortable again, you can work on training him to let you touch it.
To desensitize, I just run my hand lightly along the belly (standing out of kick range) and over his sheath. At first, I do it once or twice if they are antsy. Then come back to it later. If you are quick, you will have touched and quit before he can react and he will quit objecting. Do it every day. Then start to let your hand linger longer over the area. Eventually work up to being able to stick your hand in his sheath and pick/rub gunk from the entrance-almost ALL horses I've done this to actually start to drop at this. Keep picking gunk everyday, let him relax, and quit. Work up to grasping his penis..then eventually do a quick check of the end. Taaa Daaa! You've just checked him for beans.
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