Does gelding late lead to more build up in the sheath than normal? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-12-2020, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Does gelding late lead to more build up in the sheath than normal?

Long story short, I got Archie in June. I cleaned his sheath (as there was much build up and nasty) shortly after he arrived. I noticed he continued to get nasty every few weeks with lots of smegma and it smelled! so I would just use a hose with warm water, a rag as I have never had to do out so often. I chalked it up to stress on his end as well as a hot summer and him being out to pasture in VERY tall grass, maybe it was interfering with his man goods.

This fall he started acting off. Chiro, massage was done. I turned him back out. I was getting fed up. He simply wouldn't go forward and was bucking. but when I would lunge him he was an angel!!

This week I happened to just think of his sheath and how much I cleaned ut this summer, I thought it was due to the heat and grass... so I did what I could *(as he doesn't not like it being messed with) and got SO SO MUCH OUT. I rinsed with warm water after using some Excalibur and could tell he felt better right away. After that I turned him loose in the arena and he moved differently, in terms that he was bucking and kicking at his belly but seemed to be he was seeing it felt better as time went on running around. I decided to get on after and for the first time in months I could ride him. no balking after 3 steps of walk, no head tossing/flipping like he'd ear. he trotted around like it was nothing (something we haven't been able to do at all!) Last night I had an even better ride than the last two days and the only thing that's changed is cleaning his sheath. All the past gelding I have had, clean it 2x a year, 3 max but never have I seen SO much build up!?

Before everyone goes out and just tells me I need a vet, yes that's in the process of getting done as he is coming up on needing vaccinations, so Ill be mentioning it, the behavior and high produce of nasty crap and smells. I also don't want to clean it too much.....ideas?
This summer I found out a lot more about this horse than was told to me when I met him....come to find out he was gelding at almost 4 years old. He is going to be six in April.

My question: does being gelded later like this mean he could get more build up in his sheath?


Arc De Triumphe 5 Yr TB B GMillie 26 YR Morgan/QH B M "

Last edited by Arc_De_Triumphe; 01-12-2020 at 04:07 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-12-2020, 04:10 PM
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Nope. Not in the least. They are all individuals and that includes cleaning requirements.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-12-2020, 04:28 PM
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I've never heard it being related to the age they were gelded but I have heard it could be related to the onset of metabolic issues.......maybe cushings? I don't know for sure, but it would be something to look up, or maybe someone here ( Walkin the Walk?) can chime in. It was on this forum that I heard about the link.

I had a fabulous Mustang gelding who was an absolute saint but he got to where he would take a long time to pee on the trail. He would stop and take the stance, then not go, walk a little bit more, stop and do it again. He would do that several times before he actually went pee. Someone even suggested he was faking my out because I would let him stop.

Then one day I cleaned his sheath and he had huge chunks of hard stuff in prunes! Got that cleaned out and he could miraculously pee on the trail! So ever after, if he started stopping on the trail like he was going to pee but didn't, I took that as a sign he needed his sheath cleaned. And it was frequent, like maybe every couple of months.

Someone on here mentioned it could be metabolic and you know what, he WAS growing an extremely thick winter coat that would eventually shed out, but it seemed like it took longer each spring. Then he passed away, so he was never officially diagnosed with cushings or anything, but in hindsight it made perfect sense.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-12-2020, 05:06 PM
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Interesting. The horse I know of who has the WORST build-up in his sheath was gelded... at NINE!

Although, his previously owner cleaned him WEEKLY, so I think she really threw off the whole natural process in there. Even for a horse who gets a lot of junk in there quickly, that just seems downright obsessive.
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 12:54 AM
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I have 6 geldings and of the 2 that get major buildup one was gelded at 14 years old and one was gelded at 5 months. So far at 20 & 24 years old they don't have metabolic issues (knock on wood). The late gelded one does tend to get beans more often but all my paints with white penises have that tendency but the others don't get a lot of smegma in their sheaths. All of it STINKS even what you clean from between a mare's teats!
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 01:26 AM
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My gelding was gelded late. He always has the filthiest sheath. I feel like just days after cleaning it its dirty again. I only deep clean it once or twice a year, but if I see him dropped I'll peel off the smegma (looks like pine shavings) stuck to him for as long as he will allow it. I'm jealous of all the women at the barn who have clean geldings. Mine looks like he's never been cleaned before in his life whenever he drops.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys!!
I am hoping he will get better with time and if I just keep to warm water rinse every few weeks maybe that will help.
I am just glad he's let me figured this out, not kicked me (HE HATES ME EVEN LOOKING)

Completely different horse who before and after a cleaning.
I like the after much more.
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Arc De Triumphe 5 Yr TB B GMillie 26 YR Morgan/QH B M "
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-15-2020, 11:35 PM
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Interesting. My sensitive guy had the odd belly kicking that would appear un related to anything colic-y. Bright, into treats, etc. just would be kicking his belly. I asked my vet about the relationsip between a dirty sheath and kicking, but he didn't think so.

He'd stop kicking his belly when I did a thorough clean and he'd always have a productive bean harvest. On the infrequent times I'd clean too much or maybe it was sensitive after, he would kick toward his belly - but I would apply diaper rash cream and he'd stop, I guess because it was soothing.

At any rate, I have to clean him once every two or three weeks. I use a gentle commercial product for horses and rinse with warm water.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-16-2020, 12:43 AM
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In my experience, no, late castration has nothing to do with a dirty sheath. I have 3 geldings, two were gelded as yearlings or a little bit earlier, the other guy was a breeding stallion for over 10 years. He stays clean, I might clean him once a year, whether he needs it or not. Same with my other gelding who is his son. Then there is Otis, filthy, it will run down his legs if I don't clean him every 2 months. He pees a lot too, his previous owners were quite worried about this and had him tested for everything under the sun and found nothing wrong with him. They we're told there is nothing wrong that they can find and it's just the way the horse is. I will agree with that, I've had him for the last five years, he's never uncomfortable, but man he gets filthy! I guess that's the way some boys are.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-19-2020, 05:32 AM
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I have had many geldings over the decades, one I gelded after buying at 6yo. Not sure if you count that as old for gelding. I've actually only once had a prob with a 'bean' or... excessive 'nasty'. And aside from online forums, I've never heard of anyone regularly cleaning. I'm sure it's an individual thing too, but I do wonder how much regular cleaning causes more... production. As I've been told by an aurologist when I had ear probs, that I had excessive wax build up because I was so 'diligent' in using cotton buds to clean them out. It took a year of carefully doing it less & less, to get them back to normal. And I know people who don't use shampoo & found that after the first few weeks, their hair is no longer oily...
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