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  1. #1

    Default Does anyone just not clean sheaths?

    I hate to admit it but I have a gelding I've owned for 5 years and have never actually cleaned his sheath. The vet has gotten the bean out for him, but he doesn't seem to develop any smegma buildup in the sheath or on the actual penis, like I've seen on other geldings. I check it occasionally, and when he drops down I always sneak a peek, but it has just never seemed to need it. I figure, why get all up in there if it doesn't really need doing? Am I a bad horse owner for this, or is it normal for some gelding to just stay pretty clean on their own?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
    Posts
    3,599

    Default

    I've got a gelding that I haven't had to clean his sheath in 8 years, he doesn't even get a bean. I'm glad I don't have to clean him because he's seriously argumentative about it.

    The other guy however I have to clean every 3 weeks, ((luckily he enjoys the process )).

    It seems to depend hugely from gelding to gelding.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    I'll trade you. I think I have one of the dirtiest geldings ever. I pick out his sheath and penis regularly and get a small bean out about once a month. He's really needs a "deep cleaning" but I've been putting that chore off.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,494

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dacasodivine View Post
    I'll trade you. I think I have one of the dirtiest geldings ever. I pick out his sheath and penis regularly and get a small bean out about once a month. He's really needs a "deep cleaning" but I've been putting that chore off.
    Oh, I have one of that kind as well. He's so grossssss. I don't know where all that junk even comes from!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,781

    Default

    If it's not dirty then I wouldn't mess with it. Obviously, still check for a bean. Maybe give a good spray up there when you bathe him, but otherwise I'd just be thankful!
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,128

    Default

    It was a really bad choice for me to open this thread while eating lunch

    But to answer your question; its normal. And if your horse lived in the wild it would be called natural selection
    Barn rat for life

    The Big Horse



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    My ancient pony, whom I've had for 26 years, is exceptionally clean. I check him every once in a while, which he seems to enjoy, but there's never anything there. I leave him alone, for the most part. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,361

    Default

    There was an article in Equus a few years ago indicating that recent studies show cleaning sheaths is bad -- sheaths are actually "self-cleaning" devices. People who clean regularly cause more irritation, which causes them to build up smegma faster, etc. etc. etc. I looked into it a bit more and stopped cleaning sheaths. So far, so good.

    If I were entering a conformation class I might spruce 'em up, but my boys are as clean as they ever were except maybe day of the event before.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    6,355

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    I have my vet check the boys when they are having their teeth done. Usually they don't need anything. I'm very lucky. My sister had a piggy horse who also objected to cleaning.

    I have a MARE that develops so much udder smegma I'd hate to see what she'd be like if she had a sheath. Luckily she absolutely loves to have that area cleaned. That leg she's picking up? Oh don't think for a moment she's thinking about kicking -- she is getting it out of the way, spreading her legs to make it easier for me!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Location
    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    3,081

    Default

    I used to own a gelding who was a real S.O.B about having his sheath cleaned. There was no way I could clean his sheath, and even drugged silly he'd still try to kick the vet. We agreed that it was best to just let him go, and if he ever developed a problem, we'd just knock him flat out as if we were gelding him. He never had a problem.

    Other geldings were done on an "as needed" basis.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    2,190

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    I never clean any of mine. Just watch them " going" to make sure they have a good steady flow. If not, then I will clean, but it's been years since I had to do that.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Eventing Heaven, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
    I used to own a gelding who was a real S.O.B about having his sheath cleaned. There was no way I could clean his sheath, and even drugged silly he'd still try to kick the vet. We agreed that it was best to just let him go, and if he ever developed a problem, we'd just knock him flat out as if we were gelding him. He never had a problem.
    My guy is like this. Last time he got done (don't ask), the vet she had never had to give a horse so much drugs for a simple sheath cleaning. The only thing keeping him on his feet was the cross ties. I figure if those had broken, he would have gone straight down, he was so heavily drugged.

    I've kept an eye on things down there, and try to get big bits as I see them. So far he has been happy and things are normal down there, if not exactly shiny polished. (Almost typed spit-shined, but that just didn't look right upon reading...)
    Failure is always an option*
    -Mythbusters

    *As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2007
    Posts
    3,928

    Default

    I don't clean sheaths as a matter of course. I'm with my horses enough that I see if there is a problem developing, and I fix it. However I did recently get in a gelding who doesn't appear to do any self-cleaning. I had a scare where he was colicking and I was afraid of kidney failure because of his actions, but it turned out to be a dirty sheath. He's a feedlot horse so I don't know if it's just been that he's been cleaned every month until he was dropped off or whatever, though. Right now I check him once a month and actually have to clean about every other month.

    I do check all my horses occasionally (as much because I think it's important that they let me handle any part of their body as anything else) and don't usually find much buildup. I take it on an individual basis, though--if they need more cleaning I do so, but if I check them every year and there's no real buildup to speak of then I don't clean it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCS View Post
    Oh, I have one of that kind as well. He's so grossssss. I don't know where all that junk even comes from!
    Mine actually enjoys everything but getting the bean so maybe he gets dirty on purpose? I always worry the neighbors will look over at just the wrong moment.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    As needed only. Whenever they "drop" I check them out. (Yeah . . . that sounds creepy) If it appears nasty, I will clean. If the horse is rubbing his tail or "stinky", I will clean. If he is sedated big time for some other reason, I will check for a bean and give things a little scrub.

    I also pay a little closer attention to the appy since they are more prone to squamous cell cancers, IIRC. He goes to the vet to have procedures often enough, and is enough of a manly exhibitionist, that his anatomy is fairly well known to most bystanders and his team of vets.
    Click here before you buy.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2006
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    Mine isn't to fond of the concept so vet does it two or three times a year that seems okay for him.



  17. #17
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    Jun. 14, 2007
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    TX
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    Hmmm, maybe I should just leave it alone and see what happens. He drops when I groom him so I'll be able to make sure he doesn't get too nasty.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
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    in uk its not a thing of the normal, as we only do it if it requires medical attention
    , as geldings are self cleaning and one can cause more hamr than good to keep cleaning it be that by your own hand as dirt and old skin and bateria can come of it and go directly into the hrose and or that if any kin of gloves used then again hoorse may be allergic to it, so unless its for a medical reeason its not done how ever if one feels the need to help the horse then add ky jelly round the rim of the sheath as ky jelly has no addtives in it ata ll and also remeber what ever you use like soap is unnatural to the horse like wise many other products
    so again cna cause the horse harm and making matters far worse to such an extend that it might be hard to treat to put right



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2010
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    1,486

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    Quote Originally Posted by goeslikestink View Post
    in uk its not a thing of the normal, as we only do it if it requires medical attention
    , as geldings are self cleaning and one can cause more hamr than good to keep cleaning it be that by your own hand as dirt and old skin and bateria can come of it and go directly into the hrose and or that if any kin of gloves used then again hoorse may be allergic to it, so unless its for a medical reeason its not done how ever if one feels the need to help the horse then add ky jelly round the rim of the sheath as ky jelly has no addtives in it ata ll and also remeber what ever you use like soap is unnatural to the horse like wise many other products
    so again cna cause the horse harm and making matters far worse to such an extend that it might be hard to treat to put right
    Can cause problems if you don't do it!!!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2011
    Location
    In Washington with my little quackers
    Posts
    501

    Default

    I dont clean my gelding's sheath. If I am near him when he drops down I take a look at it, pick off some of the large flakes until he gets irritated, and then we both go on our merry ways. He doesn't seem to be having any troubles with this routine.



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