(WARNING: Graphic and gross) Swollen Penis and Edema

Joined
26 January 2019
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Hello!
Recently my horse has been suffering from a massively swollen penis. It's been two weeks now with absolutely no changes and now he has pitting edema in his belly!
Horses Name: Rascal
Breed: Quarter Horse
Age: 11
Notes: Has PSSM but is well managed.
Here's how it started:
I have pics from the first day of swelling and most recently today.
I can tell you that there was absolutely no signs of trauma, splinters, scratches etc. Second week of December I noticed he was losing weight. I wormed with Ivermectin (My place was out of Strongid) and upped his feed intake.
First of January I noticed he wasn't moving from where he stood in the paddock. Not even to eat and or drink.
Third week of January when all of the swelling started, he was very dehydrated and I could not get him to eat his feed or drink for several days. This is when the swelling started.
I noticed after he peed he just didnt put his penis back. I looked at it and everything looked normal. I also keep all of my boys VERY clean so there was no bean or anything of the sort that could have been causing this issue.
Next day it was swollen and seeping badly. Vet was called and he told me to clean with soap. Next day swelling had doubled. Vet was called again but he couldnt make it out until next day.
That day (The one before my vet came out) he finally drank four 5gal buckets in one sitting. Swelling again doubled over night. Vet came out and cleaned but found nothing, Shot of banamine and something else but I cant remember. Then twice a day he was to be given 10 SMZs and bute.
Next day it was the size of a football and the 'bubble' was even bigger. Vet came out and drain the fluids in the bubble and took blood. Blood came back with very low White Blood Cell count, low sodium and low chloride. 3 Table spoons of salt was added to his feed twice a day. As well as a mineral block. He drank excessively for about three days after he first started drinking again, then went back to drinking as normal. He still wasn't eating his feed until a couple days after the vet came out the second time. Meds were being given by force through a syringe like wormor. His pee is and has been normal yellow in color throughout this whole process. Swelling as stayed the same since being drained. A yellow/crimson type substance has been dripping and sticking to the area since day one and has not stopped. The entire thing is cold to the touch and has been since day one. Now getting purple patches all over. I am rubbing an antibiotic ointment on twice a day as well as using a belly wrap to try to keep swelling down.
He has full control of his bladder as far as I can tell. It just looks painful and messy when he pees.
He is PSSM positive and currently eats a scoop of Sentinal Senior feed with a cup of corn oil and a scoop of alflafa (Until I can find alfalfa bales to go with his normal hay) twice a day. Just recently with his drop in weight I have been feeding him a scoop and a half of feed twice a day with the vets suggestion of salt. He is exercised daily with the exception of a week before all of this started, he wouldnt move, eat or drink.
As of today:
I took his rug off to measure him for a new one and found that he looked like a pregnant mare! Despite how thin he really was! Pitting edema about 3 or four inches in depth, running from mgirth to groin on his entire under belly. Its like memory foam.
What the heck is going on with my horse?! I have read that Large Strongyles and Redworms could cause this? But my vet doesn't seem to think so. Someone else said EHV, Rabies or EPM but he is showing no neurological issues or any other symptoms! It has been very cold, rainy, muddy and now snowy here. But up until last week, its been nothing but rain and mud and cold temperature but not quite cold enough to freeze.
Yes my vet has been contacted, but he is so busy it's just been a wait game since all of this started. He and other vets I have contacted are stumped. I just need help before this turns into amputation or euthanasia.
I have pictures but I'm not sure if it's something that should be posted. I can post them if needed though.
Thanks!
~Nickel
 

scats

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Where abouts are you?

I think I’d have him in a vet hospital pronto. The fact that your vet appears too busy to come and see what I would consider quite an urgent situation... I would be finding someone else ASAP.
 

Rowreach

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Where abouts are you?

I think I’d have him in a vet hospital pronto. The fact that your vet appears too busy to come and see what I would consider quite an urgent situation... I would be finding someone else ASAP.
I'm assuming not the U.K. if they're considering rabies? Therefore maybe limited access to vets/veterinary hospital?

But I agree, this sounds very serious.
 

Red-1

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Where abouts are you?

I think I’d have him in a vet hospital pronto. The fact that your vet appears too busy to come and see what I would consider quite an urgent situation... I would be finding someone else ASAP.
^^^ This, and I would be travelling him while he is still able to be travelled.
 

Goldenstar

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He needs to be hospitalised arrange it pronto if you wait until he can’t travel hes got no chance
I am amazed he’s had no steroids .
 

Meredith

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Get vet immediately.
I had a horse that presented this type of swelling.
I am afraid it was liver failure.
 

LadySam

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Agree with Meredith, I’d be looking to his liver. Specifically ultrasound, biopsy and blood testing for liver enzymes. Similar symptoms I’ve seen turned out to be hepatitis. If you don’t want this to turn into euthanasia, he really needs to be in hospital.
 
Joined
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^^^ This, and I would be travelling him while he is still able to be travelled.
He needs to be hospitalised arrange it pronto if you wait until he can’t travel hes got no chance
I am amazed he’s had no steroids .
Unfortunately in his current condition he can not travel. With his PSSM and sudden weight loss he has become too weak to load or stand in a trailer.
 
Joined
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Agree with Meredith, I’d be looking to his liver. Specifically ultrasound, biopsy and blood testing for liver enzymes. Similar symptoms I’ve seen turned out to be hepatitis. If you don’t want this to turn into euthanasia, he really needs to be in hospital.
I had no idea a horse could even get hepatitis! Wow!
 

Meredith

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Were there any other symptoms? Anything I should be looking for?
Sorry, it happened over 20 years ago. I remember the horse stopped eating and the swellings spread from the belly to between front and hind legs. The vet did bloods and said PTS. This started on the Monday and the horse was PTS on the Wednesday.
 
Joined
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Sorry, it happened over 20 years ago. I remember the horse stopped eating and the swellings spread from the belly to between front and hind legs. The vet did bloods and said PTS. This started on the Monday and the horse was PTS on the Wednesday.
No problem. Thank you for the info you could provide. My horses swelling started in his penis and has moved to his belly. I've read it to be Edema and other vets have agreed. The question is from what. My vet is currently researching and trying to get to the bottom of this. He will be out today to run more tests.
 

Meredith

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No problem. Thank you for the info you could provide. My horses swelling started in his penis and has moved to his belly. I've read it to be Edema and other vets have agreed. The question is from what. My vet is currently researching and trying to get to the bottom of this. He will be out today to run more tests.
Liver failure causes water ( urine) retention and hence oedema. The failure can be caused by a few things. One of the causes is hepatitis.
I think your vet needs to act with more urgency.
 
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UPDATE: My vet has responded and he is currently trying to get to the bottom of this! I have several other vets stumped as well... Waiting for another reply but I'm guessing he will be coming out to run some more tests today.
My horse CAN NOT travel in his condition. He can barely stand when I push on him, let alone in a moving trailer.
Hopefully the next tests we run find something and we can start getting him treated.

I do not think its liver failure or Hepatitis as he does not have any other symptoms that they come with. My horse has Edema and penis swelling but no diarrhea, neurological issues, abdominal pain, jaundice, discolored urine or depression. He is his normal happy self other than all the swelling and weight loss. I will definitely still ask my vet about testing to find out definitely though.
 

Meredith

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UPDATE: My vet has responded and he is currently trying to get to the bottom of this! I have several other vets stumped as well... Waiting for another reply but I'm guessing he will be coming out to run some more tests today.
My horse CAN NOT travel in his condition. He can barely stand when I push on him, let alone in a moving trailer.
Hopefully the next tests we run find something and we can start getting him treated.

I do not think its liver failure or Hepatitis as he does not have any other symptoms that they come with. My horse has Edema and penis swelling but no diarrhea, neurological issues, abdominal pain, jaundice, discolored urine or depression. He is his normal happy self other than all the swelling and weight loss. I will definitely still ask my vet about testing to find out definitely though.
I hope you can find out the cause soon and the vet can treat it successfully.
 
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There are a LOT of things I am reading that keep leading to parasites. I really have to wonder if this is all being caused by worms like I had mentioned to several vets, including mine. None of them seem to think it's possible, but could it be??
 

Goldenstar

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You do get a lot of oedema with liver failure and it can cause various things as the horses are immune suppressed .
Your vet needs to get some blood out of him today and get some screening done pronto because it sounds like you getting to the point where his welfare is being severely compromised.
Have to say the vet sounds pretty useless .
 

SEL

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Protein loss can lead to edema which is why I asked about steroids. He should really be in hospital. I wouldn't worry about the PSSM for now (I have 2 horses with type 1) - can the vet set up a saline drip at your barn to see if it gives the horse enough strength to travel? Were lives enzymes ok in the blood tests?
 
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Protein loss can lead to edema which is why I asked about steroids. He should really be in hospital. I wouldn't worry about the PSSM for now (I have 2 horses with type 1) - can the vet set up a saline drip at your barn to see if it gives the horse enough strength to travel? Were lives enzymes ok in the blood tests?
As far as I know my vet tested for Protein, Kidneys and Liver and the only things he found were low white blood cells, low sodium and low chloride. I will talk to him and find out for certain if he looked for anything to do with the liver. I definitely know Protein and Kidneys were checked.
 

SEL

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There are a LOT of things I am reading that keep leading to parasites. I really have to wonder if this is all being caused by worms like I had mentioned to several vets, including mine. None of them seem to think it's possible, but could it be??
The one we lost due to protein loss turned out to have historic gut damage from untreated redworms. Worm counts when he was ill came back clear but the vets think it occured as a youngster.
 
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The one we lost due to protein loss turned out to have historic gut damage from untreated redworms. Worm counts when he was ill came back clear but the vets think it occured as a youngster.
That's exactly what I'm afraid of. I read that Redworms are impossible to find. There are no tests or ways of knowing if your horse has them or not. I could be wrong though, I've read an awful lot in the last 2 weeks. More so in the last 48 hours. My horse has always had a pot belly but I always thought it was due to the PSSM. Perhaps maybe this whole time its been a sort of worm damage? I dunno. Is that even a thing?? I'm running on 2 days of zero sleep here lol sorry if I sound stupid.
 

SEL

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That's exactly what I'm afraid of. I read that Redworms are impossible to find. There are no tests or ways of knowing if your horse has them or not. I could be wrong though, I've read an awful lot in the last 2 weeks. More so in the last 48 hours. My horse has always had a pot belly but I always thought it was due to the PSSM. Perhaps maybe this whole time its been a sort of worm damage? I dunno. Is that even a thing?? I'm running on 2 days of zero sleep here lol sorry if I sound stupid.
Yes - its definitely a thing, but if your vet is running bloods then they would pick up any anomalies.

Are you in the US? There's a facebook site called Horse Vet Corner which is mainly US vets who will advise for free (but not always with a quick response). They may be more aware of issues in your part of the world than here in the UK.
 
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