cleaning his sheath
So, I have an 11 y/o gelding that NEEDS his sheath cleaned. Its just gross. It was last cleaned in July, when his previous owner had the vet out to get his teeth floated.
The problem is, he is VERY sensitive. I saw it with my own two eyes, he was under standing sedation and still tried to kick the vet while he did it, so we twitched his lip, and he still pinned his ears. My BO wanted to test my theory while he was cross-tied one day and fully dropped, so she just reached down and grabbed him, and he raised his leg at her.
My question is can I hobble him to clean it? What other methods would you suggest? Its ridiculous to have the vet out to clean it every six months, and I can't really afford that bill.
Just work with him. Rub him all over rub his hind legs, lift his tail, rub his flanks, rib under his tummy. Talk to him while you do it, keep your hands on him before you go to grab his penis, don't just grab it and surprise him, make sure he knows exactly what you are up to.
Get him used to being touched everywhere down there. If he tries to kick at you , let him know that it is not tolerable, but do not back off until he stops reacting.
Maybe do a nice looong grooming session before you get to cleaning him so he is more relaxed and trusting of you...
**Mind you now, don't get yourself hurt, if you feel unsafe trying to desensitize, have a more experienced person do it.
He lets me touch/rub his belly and the insides of his legs and the sheath/skin around it, but NOT his penis. I can spray it with the hose and reach down to scrub his belly with a sponge also. But, if he thinks I'm about to go and do something while he's dropped (say, pick his back hooves) he turns to look at me to make sure I'm not going to touch his stuff. Of course, I personally have never tried doing it, just in case, lol so he might not raise his leg particularly at me. Probably should have put that in the first post, but oh well.
You won't know until you try it, I guess.
Make sure to stand close to him, with your head up and out of the way in case he cow kicks.
Talk to him soothingly.
If he tries to kick you give him a smack on the rump and let him know he is not to kick.
If he just raised the leg talk to him, pat him, but do not let the pressure off until he relaxes.
Some horses never let you near it. They just feel very vulnerable. I had a horse for 5 years who required the vet to do it. You want to make it the least scarry and traumatizing as possible. It should be done more then every 6 months, esp if he gets very dirty. If he still acted out chances are he was given the wrong sedative, not enough or was nervous before it was given. I give my horse a sedative myself for the farrier. I use dormosadan and Ace IM and it works great. Some people prefer not to use ace on male horses though. It shouldnt cost that much if you do it with a regular yearly exam/shots, although you should do it more then that. If you have given any IM shots before you can usually buy one syringe from your vet preloaded, so you can try it yourself. I wouldnt suggest doing this if you arent comfortable w. needles or cleaning his sheeth.
Thanks, I'm pretty fearless, so what ever I choose to do, I shouldn't have a problem doing it. I just don't want to have to pay 36 dollars or whatever every single time for a sedative that for all I know might not even work. I don't think its scary or traumatizing for him, he is very confident (like most OTTBs are) and very dominant, so he's letting me know its his junk and I'm not allowed to touch it, lol....his eyes are never wide and there's no white, and his body language isn't stiff or strained, his eyes are just full of daggers and his mouth gets really tight and wrinkly.
He's not too dirty.....I mean, its dirty, but I'm sure it could be worse. I usually have the spring vaccs done by the vet (when he gets his coggins done, and his yearly rabies, and usually his teeth floated too), and then I do the fall vaccs myself. I think if I did end up waiting a whole year it would be even more traumatizing to him (if it ever was in the first place) because wouldn't they have to be extra rough or something to get all of the older crud off? Does anyone know how they clean sheaths on the track?
2 of my geldings don't mind being cleaned but our paint gelding is more sensitive and will kick. I've learned that putting KY jelly up there the day before to soften things up helps, then have someone feeding him carrots while I'm cleaning him helps a lot! Also, using warm water :)
Everyday you should go out there and just get him used to you touching it. First start off by touching the surrounding area and gradually work to the point where he doesn't mind. I don't think there is really a quick way, good luck.
oh the joys of owning a gelding
just make sure the neighbors aren't near :D haha
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