Constantly swollen sheath? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-26-2015, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Constantly swollen sheath?

Hello all. My gelding has a constantly swollen sheath. It's noticeably swollen- less so then it used to be but still obvious. I would say it is swollen to two or perhaps 3 times the usual size. It has the vets baffled- he has been treated with anti inflammatory and the usual bute and when that did nothing to the swelling they operated to check for cancers. He has been thoroughy cleaned and there is no sign of an irritant. There doesnt appear to be any stocking up in his legs at all.

He was wormed a month ago as I have heard redworm can cause this. The swelling goes up and down- sometimes it seems almost normal and then it goes back up. He tends to stand camped out and I often see him with his penis partially out and he is not peeing. He doesnt seem lethargic at all and appears to be very alert and happy. I have been cold hosing it, feeding tumeric for anti inflammatory and exercising as often it is just liquid causing the swelling. There doesnt appear to be any pain at all and its not hot like an infection, just swollen.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-26-2015, 11:03 PM
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Has he been tested for equine cushings? A swollen sheath can be a common finding in male horses. I would be surprised if that was the ONLY sign, but stranger things have happened.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-26-2015, 11:19 PM
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Also IR. I'd test for both just to rule it out.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-26-2015, 11:20 PM
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Yeah, I'd test for IR & cushings, as it is one sign of this.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-26-2015, 11:20 PM
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How old is your gelding? if he's young i doubt its caused by cushings. My 5 year old gets a swollen sheath had it cleaned by vet,it still swells. I just ride him every day and swelling goes down. Been normal now for last few days,but he's been getting worked.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-27-2015, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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He's about 7. I'm going to get bloods done on him next time a vet is out then- i wondered if it might be something metabolic/sugar related. From the looks of his hooves he appears to have foundered before. He was also pretty overweight (fat covering tail bone and the beginnings of a crest) when I first got him but he has since lost weight.
The only thing is it doesn't appear to change with grass intake- he has been moved to 5 different paddocks and the swelling hasn't much changed.

Last edited by falling; 04-27-2015 at 03:30 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-27-2015, 06:51 AM
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That does sound like IR. I'd get him off the grass, soak his hay, definitely give magnesium, and treathim like IR at least until tests are back. If he's confirmed,Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group Inc. has all the necessary info, including exactly how to test.
My IR gelding also had the classical signs, the swollen sheath disappeared, together with the telltale fat deposits after going on the IR diet. That happened fairly fast, within about 2 weeks.
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