So, my horse desperately needs his sheath cleaned, but I have been trying to wait for a warm day to have a friend show me how to do it. The only real reason I know he needs it cleaned it because he has been getting this sticky crusty black gunk on his inside back legs, and my farrier told me it is from his dirty sheath, and when he "relaxes" at night and lets it all hang out, it dirties up his legs.
I am wondering, though, if this could be contributing to his behavioral problems lately? He seems a little uncomfortable with his hind end - very tense (the farrier has taken care of any feet issues, so I don't think it's that). When I pick his back feet JUST this past week, he tends to hike his feet really high and seem uncomfortable. He also has been not-so-pleasant to ride in the ring lately, just being a bit stubborn and not his normal self.
Could any of this be sheath related? Just wondering, before I check out other options.
I would think it could be making him uncomfortable, and if he has a bean that is making it difficult to urinate that could also make him uncomfortable and irritated. I just had the vet clean my horse's sheath while he was already sedated to have his teeth floated. He still tried to kick at the vet, so I was glad I didn't try it myself.
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I've seen horses have behavior changes due to a sheath that needed cleaning, so it's entirely possible that is what is going on. Has he had his sheath cleaned before without sedation? Some horses will let you do some will not.
He came from a home that used his in a veterinary internship program as the go to horse for "how to perform procedures without sedation"- include sheath cleaning. So she's fine :)
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Yes, it can make them crabby and uncomfortable if they are really dirty.
One of my horses used to get the thickest, nastiest black smegma inside his sheath near the opening. His penis always looked clean. But all this tarry stuff would build up inside and get kind of dry and hard. One time after I mounted him he was kicking at his belly and acting hunchy like he wanted to buck (and this horse NEVER bucked) and I reached in there and got a wad of black stuff the size of a prune. So yes, it can accumulate and bother them.
My guy would also get it on the inside of his hind legs when he was really dirty.
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