Very badly swollen sheath

Nari

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27 September 2005
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When I went to turn out my 8yo gelding Friday morning I found his sheath was very badly swollen, it was huge! The swelling was rock hard, not at all fluidy or soft but wasn't hot & he didn't seem upset by me touching it. I changed his rug & turned him out as normal hoping it would walk down.

When I went to check him a couple of hours later it was no better so I called the vet. She came out to look & decided it was a reaction to a bite (he gets mild sweet-itch so she thought a midge had got into his stable, bitten his sheath & the swelling was an allergic reaction. Gave him an IV anti-inflammatory (much fun, I forgot to tell her not to let im see the needle
), left me with some Danilon, told me to use a barrier cream & not to ride until the swelling has gone.

The swelling has hardly gone down at all & the poor boy is getting distinctly grumpy about having cream on his sheath. I'm not sure if this is because it's now sore or if he's just fed up & cross about it. He's obviously not feeling right because he's being grouchy with his field-mate - charging & biting where he'd normally pull a face & let him move away - but he's eating & drinking normally & is quite happy to move around.

If the swelling hasn't gone down a fair bit by tomorrow morning would it be reasonable to speak to the vet again & ask if I should be seeing more improvement? She left me with 5 days Danilon (2 morning & night for 2 days then one morning & night for 3 days, but reading the packet that's a dose for a 480kg horse while this lad is 700kg!) so surely if it was going to work I should be seeing an effect by then? Has anyone else had this happen & if so how long did it take to return to normal?

I know I'm probably fussing too much but it's what I'm good at
 

brighteyes

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Seen this sort of thing before and it just needs the anti inflammatories and a bit of time. Pity she didn't check to see how clean things were 'up there' while she was at it, though. Mostly likely to have been a fly bite. Thought I had the monopoly on worrying.
 

Nari

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Thanks for the replies


Brighteyes when he lets everything hang out he's pretty clean. I know that doesn't mean everything is clean inside his sheath but unless she sedated him she wouldn't have been able to check inside & he was enough of an idiot about the first injection that I don't think she'd have fancied another unless it was very necessary!

Mairi much as I'd like to ride I don't think it would be fair or a good idea. He's very very swollen - walking like he's wearing a massive nappy
! - & a little short-tempered judging by how he is with his friend. Since he's a big HW that needs diplomatic riding at the best of times I don't think it would be much fun for either of us
. He's walking about the field (and doing a few evil charges) so I figure he's getting enough movement that way!
 
Joined
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my boy is about 700kg and I was giving him 3 danilon morning and night for the first couple of days and then 1 1/2 morning and night afterwards. He does this with normal bute too. Maybe you should ask your vet to check to dosage?

He also gets terrible fly bites like you have described and with the danilon it usually subsides within a week or two!

Good luck
 
Joined
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Argyll
My boy had a similar thing about a year ago, it turned out to be an absess to the back of his sheath, it wasnt until it burst that we realised what it was. Vet came out whilst it was swollen and gave him a jag, which we then had to do for the next few days, but a couple of days later when I got him in and was washing his legs i notice that he was oozing blood and puss. Vet came again and gave me uniprim to give once injections had stopped and I had to wash with a warm water and detol. Never really knew why it happened, could have been a snake bite, we do get adders up here vet thinks he could have rolled on one, or he could have somehow scratched himself and it got infected. Anyway hope alls well.
 
Joined
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My boys sheath left unattended would be the size of a football. He gets severe sweet itch and the midges bites cause a bad reaction.

I used Nettex stop itch on his sheath in the morning and Sudocream / metanium at night.

I also feed brewers yeast which has made a huge difference this season - when people see him they don't believe he has sweet itch (until he starts rubbing on them!)
 

Nari

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27 September 2005
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Thank you all for replying! It does seem to have gone down a bit today although it isn't back to normal by a long way.

Dressagedivaz if I need Danilon again I'll certainly discuss the dosage with the vet, it seems pointless to give too low a dose to be effective. I hope I'm only looking at a week, I don't like giving him too long off because he gets out off the habit of working & starts arguing about everything.

Charlottenthat sounds horrid, I'm glad he was ok & really hope that isn't what's wrong with mine. I'm a bit squeamish & wouldn't fancy coping with that!

CotswoldSJ that sounds very similar. Is the Nettex Stop Itch much good? I normally use their Summer Fly cream but had run out & forgot to take any more up for a couple of days & anyway it doesn't seem to form a barrier for very long. Also how & why does the brewers yeast help? If it works I'll give it a try!
 

pocket

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21 August 2005
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Have seen this many years ago with a friends horse and it turned out to be an allergy to protein. He had problems with passing urine as well due to the swelling. If its still swollen in the morning definitely get the vet down, hope he's better soon
 

MagicMelon

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One of my boys had this happen, however this was after I used one of those special (made for job!) sheath cleansers. He had a reaction to that. Never cleaned it again and hey ho, no problem! Have you put anything on it lately?

Otherwise is he grey? Another of mine has a permanently swollen sheath due to sarcoids inside. They dont do anything and he's happily ridden etc. but they cause the swelling.
 

Nari

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Joined
27 September 2005
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2,436
MagicMelon I haven't put anything different on it, the only possibility is I'd put clean shavings in his bed so I suppose there could have been something in them. He's not grey, after losing my pony to melanomas I'm afraid I'd never have another grey. Also it literally came up overnight so I can quite see that it's a reaction to something.

It has gone down a bit today, though not as much as the vet & I had hoped. However when reading the back of the Danilon packet I noticed they base the dose on a 480kg horse while he's around 700kg - I spoke to the vet & she's sending me some more so I can up the dosage to a more suitable level which should be more effective.
 
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