Sheaths, to clean or not to clean...

greenlivery

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My boy needs a clean really badley, I can't get near him as he was previously used for breeding and kicks when you attempt to get anywhere near! I'm considering having to have him sedated (which I really don't want to do) but its looking very messy and like it might end up getting cut/infected if its not clean soon. Sedation is something I really only want to do as a last resort, but I'm quite worried he might end up with some seriosu damage if its not cleaned soon. Its got quite a build up of very hard, sharp crust (sorry, i know thats horrible!) and I'm worried its going to cut him on the inside soon. Any ideas?...
Hope nobody was eating while reading this! Sorry!
 

CNM

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you can get a proper liquid specially for cleaning sheaths, can't think of the name, you leave it on overnight and it will soften his crusty areas and it will be much more comfortable for him to remove all the nasty stuff. Hope that helps!!
 

Barneykins

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I hate that squeky noise which they make when it needs cleaned so I say clean, although I am a wuss and spray some sheath cleaner on when it is ahmm visible, leave it to soften for a day or two, and then give it clean when it's out again. Luckily he's quite fond of letting it all hang out
smile.gif
 

Judziah

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Do you mean the kinda rubbery squeak?

From what I know, it's caused by air in the sheath (often considered a sign of tension as the penis is being held in a way that the air is trapped) and horses with clean sheaths do it as frequently as those who have never done it!!

It could be a hygeine related irritation that causes the tension, which is why the noise got associated with cleaning!!
 

muffinino

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Unless there's a good reason to fiddle, leave well alone. If you must, just use water and some baby oil, nothing too strong as it will upset the bacteria balance. You wouldn't clean your own bits with strong products, so probably best not to use them on your horse, lol!
 

ester

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depends on the horse,

if black sticky legs it needs cleaning. (frank every 6-12 months I spose)

If not sign of any problems leave it alone.
 

Pedantic

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If it "needs" doing do it, I didn't and he got an infection and had to have antibiotic and then cleaned anyway, so may as well have done it in the first place, if it's not dirty then leave it.
 

Sooty

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I always went with the school of thought that sheaths were naturally lubricated and took care of themselves. This must however depend on how and where a horse is kept, because we are on very wet clay soil and I do have to clean my horse's sheath from time to time simply because it fills with mud! However, I use just warm water. Never use anything else, even if it is a product specifically designed for the job. It will destroy all the natural good bacteria and lubrication.
 

eggs

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[ QUOTE ]
I was always told that once you start cleaning a horses sheath, you need to do it regularly...so unless there is a medical need, leave it alone.

So I leave them alone.

[/ QUOTE ]

I was told and believe the same. Never cleaned a sheath in over 30 years horse ownership and never had a gelding with a problem.
 

rosie_equine

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I was always told that once you start cleaning a horses sheath, you need to do it regularly...so unless there is a medical need, leave it alone.

So I leave them alone.

[/ QUOTE ]

I was told and believe the same. Never cleaned a sheath in over 30 years horse ownership and never had a gelding with a problem.

[/ QUOTE ]

I quite agree, my youngster had black goo down his lehgs and became very smelly so i cleaned it and then have done twice since but as soon as the infection cleared up I have left it. I will only clean again if there is a sign of infection.
 

Firehorse

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interested to read this post as my horse's looks crusty. the previous owner never did it, so its not been done for something like 3 yrs. he is also v sensitive about this area!! i was gonna ask my vet's opinion when he comes in jan for jabs. if he says clean it, i will pay him to do it!!
 

cptrayes

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leave it alone. It wouldn't get cleaned in nature and only a few entires get to breed in a feral herd, the rest live as celibate bachelors. I've never cleaned a gelding's sheath in the thirty years I've been keeping them. You can upset the bacteria balance and cause real problems.
 

Natch

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[ QUOTE ]
leave it alone. It wouldn't get cleaned in nature and only a few entires get to breed in a feral herd, the rest live as celibate bachelors. I've never cleaned a gelding's sheath in the thirty years I've been keeping them. You can upset the bacteria balance and cause real problems.

[/ QUOTE ]

That might be true but I'm sure the batchelors would still be *ahem* getting it out occasionally?

On the basis that most geldings don't, I clean. That and Frankie's legs are regularly covered in black goo. I swear he gets it out when he's laid down in his sleep - its constantly covered in soil as well as goo!
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cptrayes

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Don't your geldings flop theirs out? Mine do and lots of them can even make them stiff and smack them on their bellies.
 

MurphysMinder

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In over 40 years of owning horses I have never cleaned a sheath, and then in October Murphy had loads of black sticky smeg on his hind legs. Wouldn't let me touch his sheath so got vet to sedate him. His sheath actually wasn't too bad but she did find a lump of hair which may have been causing a problem. This last week we have noticed loads of crusty bits stuck in the hair round his sheath, no way will he let us anywhere near him, although we studied him when he was having a wee and sheath looks okay. Daughter and I are totally mystified why this has suddenly started happening (have had him 6 years without a problem), the only thing different this year is that he has a hairy belly, he hasn't been clipped cos not in work. Would this be enough to set up some sort of irritation?
 

Pedantic

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I was always told that once you start cleaning a horses sheath, you need to do it regularly...so unless there is a medical need, leave it alone.

So I leave them alone.

[/ QUOTE ]

I was told and believe the same. Never cleaned a sheath in over 30 years horse ownership and never had a gelding with a problem.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yea, these were the sort comments that I got which cost me a vet bill and my beast an infection.
 

Oldred

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Must be the season for swollen sheaths! I just had the vet to my new horse whose sheath was swollen and she used ACP so he let down his penis. She removed two huge lumps of smeg. The swelling is slowly going down but she did say using a special sheath cleaner is good as it dissolves the fat that is the constituent of the smeg. Yuk. I'm not sure which way to go on this either as the previous owner apparently never cleaned and never had a problem. Could it be because of increased standing around/stabling caused by the snow that's brought the problem on?
 

JanetGeorge

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I clean my geldings sheaths - and the stallion's - as needed. For those whose geldings stay clean, that's fine. But DON'T just hope they do - check it! My vet saw four horses last summer, all called in as 'colic' - they were kicking at their bellies etc. All four had MAGGOTS eating away in there!!
 
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Donkeymad

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Unless there is a problem and cleaning is medically required - no - best to leave well alone.
 

vetmedbabe

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Hi love this post!
just got a new horse 6 weeks ago and i have never( or my dad for that matter and hes been around horses in top yards for nearly 40 years) seen a horse that dirty and he was owned by a vet??!! his bits were cover in large black clumps and the smell - well you had to be there to just imagine the state he was in. Do people not shod their horses , worm, rasp teeth, just because its not naturally done in the wild?? lol just and excuse for laziness if you ask me. not doing this very simple procedure cud have resulted in some very nasty infection as someone said above and he certainly wasnt comfortable urinating. He was cleaned a month ago and wasnt very happy about it, but yesterday i did it again just to check, a few bits still left but was as clean as a whistle and very happy for me to do it!!!! Now i will just do as and when if ever he needs it, so please people make up your own minds and dont be a sheep like some of the old goats on here who follow old wifes tales!!!lol
 

lindsayH

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I was of the 'leave well alone' ilk until this summer. One of my boys was kicking his belly so I had a look. Maggots everywhere, utterly gross. Needless to say, all the boys now get a regular clean.
 
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