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Sheath tricks

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  • Sheath tricks

    Ok so here's the deal. We had a wonderful streak of warm weather a couple weeks ago so I cleaned the boys' sheaths.

    My questions is....my old gelding (26), whom I've had for forever and a day is already dirty! It's only been 10 days to 2 weeks since he was cleaned! I don't mean to be crude but there is a decent amount of moisture up in his sheath. He doesn't get dry and flakey like the other gelding but there is literally a brown paste up in his sheath. Even a couple weeks after being completely cleaned, he looks like he did before being cleaned.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep him drier and thus cleaner up in there?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I don't think it is realy a big deal. The sheath itself isn't as important to clean as getting the bean. If you get the bean when you clean that is the biggest thing. Some boys just get dirty, very dirty!

    Comment


    • #3
      What did you clean it with? I won't use oils as that attracts more dust/dirt and will get them dirtier. KY jelly works great, because even if you don't rinse all of it out it's non-irritating.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have somehow become the official sheath cleaner at my barn so I am very familiar with what each horse's level of "normal" is. MY gelding is by far the filthiest of the bunch of over 30 horses. Thank God I don't have to pay anyone to do it as it needs done at least once every couple of weeks. I spread it out over the warmer months by sticking the hose up there and flushing it out every time he gets a bath. Store brand KY will make it easier to clean but I don't think it helps keep it clean. Not sure anything does. I do not use sheath cleaner especially on my horse as it is very irritating to many horses and he gets done so frequently.

        In all my years I have found one horse that had a yeast infection up there. It smelled even worse than the normal sheath and was obvious something was wrong. You may want to rule that out just in case.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

        Comment


        • #5
          My welsh cob is dirty and flaky. I try to clean it often. When I do use soap, it is Orvis because Orvis is gentle and i don't worry if there may be residue.

          Comment


          • #6
            So, on this topic...

            ...what do you do if you have a very, ahem, private horse?

            I mean, he tried to kick at my BO (she figured she'd help me out) while he was still sedated from getting his teeth floated one time. He's raised a hoof at me while I've quickly picked a flake or two off when he's relaxed and dropped (but heaven forfend I actually try to see if there's a bean!).
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think you just have to bite the bullet and pay your vet to tranq him to do it if it's been a long time and you can't get it done ? If you do it while they're out for floating or any other procedure - all the better.

              I'm one of those who went for many years being clueless about the need to clean "there", but now try to clean my boys myself (and my husband's because OF Course MEN can't bear to touch it !) They all let me clean, but 2 will not drop for me to check for beans. So when my vet came out to do teeth I asked him to check them while they were sedated. The advantage to that is they don't resist and pull it back while you're trying to look for the bean. I need 2 hands and full view to get that done. . . I think he charged an extra $30, so
              well worth it on a horse that won't "show himself" otherwise.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nlevie,

                The problem is he's still kicking even when sedated. Or at least, he did the one time. Haven't had an opportunity to do it again since then.
                The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's not entirely unusual for a horse to still try to kick even when sedated. For those horses you need to desensitize them just like everything else in training.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Drugs, and/or a twitch. FYI, they do not have to drop to check for and remove a bean. Actually I prefer to "go to the source" because when it's up there I can use one hand and keep the other hand on the tail. When its hanging down you have to use one hand to fish around and the other to steady it.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Laurierace - I have been told that by another "experienced weanie washer", but
                      I can not figure it out !? One of these days I'll have to ask her to give me a demo. . . ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can you get a helper?

                        While horsy is getting de-sensitized to you fishing around, have helper hold up a front leg.

                        Horse cannot kick while standing on 3 legs.
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                          Can you get a helper?

                          While horsy is getting de-sensitized to you fishing around, have helper hold up a front leg.

                          Horse cannot kick while standing on 3 legs.

                          Well, yeah they can, so BE CAREFUL. Usually kick fast and hard, so they don't tip over!

                          Hearing this makes me think of the "olden days" and methods of tying up a hind leg for shoeing! No, almost none that will kick with the hind leg tied up. Maybe holding up the hind while doing desensitizing would help. Be prepared for him to take the hind leg away from holder as you work on him and he DOES NOT like being touched. Time and work spent desensitizing may help, or he may stay ugly about it. I see a lot more cooperation when using warm hose water over cold for the cleaning and rinsing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is actually a fair amout of research that says essentially, less is more. If there are no complications and it isn't irritating him, i would let it be..
                            Veni, Vidi, Vici. I Came, I Saw, I Conquered.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nlevie View Post
                              Laurierace - I have been told that by another "experienced weanie washer", but
                              I can not figure it out !? One of these days I'll have to ask her to give me a demo. . . ?
                              Ok here it is in layman's terms. There are essentially two chambers in the sheath. One is empty when the penis is retracted fully. That is where the majority of the mess is. Clean that up as best you can. The penis lives in the chamber behind that. There is a hole with a lip around it making the opening smaller than the opening to the sheath itself. Stick your hand in there and clean around as best you can. This isn't usually anywhere near as nasty as the first chamber but the penis itself may be crusty so get that cleaned up too.

                              Now hunt for the bean. Locate the urethra in the middle of the penis. Do NOT stick your finger in there. That is just your landmark. If you probe a bit with your finger you will find that the urethra sticks out a tiny bit farther than the penis itself. All around the urethra is a cavity for lack of a better word. That is where your beans will be hiding. So put your finger on the urethra to get your bearings then fish gently all AROUND it. Again, do not stick your finger inside it. In the meantime your other hand should be pulling the horse's tail towards you to weight the near foot. Makes it harder yet nowhere near impossible to kick.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks for all the great info on the OP. I guess I was just concerned about his comfort being grungey up in there. He doesn't seem affected by it but then again I tend to be sort of a neat freak about things!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Water is a great desensitizer. Use the pressure from a hose to wash his sheath. If possible, while keeping the metal threads of the hose covered spray the hose in there.

                                  Then continue desensitizing by using a soft brush on his belly, and inside of his legs getting close to his parts. Then try using a soft rag or damp spnge to wipe everything down (externally). Then lube your hand, and let lube warm to your body temp, and rub his belly with your wrist to relax him, and eventually sneak your hand casually back there with the stealth of a 15 yr old boy on a first date with a girl in a movie theater, trying to get a free feel.

                                  Eventually he should put up with it, non tranqued.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My old gelding is 31. He never had issues with his sheath until he turned 25. Now that he is a geezer I swear I could clean his sheath every week! The pea that used to surface once every two years seems to come every three months. My guy loves getting cleaned I am lucky i guess. He will part his legs happily to get relief. And I have to say i think we over worry about cleaning sheaths! Out in farm country it isn't an issue it is only when we bring them into barns that we start to obsess about it! Who cleans mustang sheaths???

                                    I have had geldings for 30 years and have seriously only cleaned sheaths about 20 times. My old guy is the oldest horse I have ever had. Maybe as the horse population ages so does sheath cleaning

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by analise View Post
                                      Nlevie,

                                      The problem is he's still kicking even when sedated. Or at least, he did the one time. Haven't had an opportunity to do it again since then.
                                      Check with your vet to see if they are carrying the oral Dermosedan. My friend works for my equine vet, and she was telling me about it the other day. It comes in a little tube, and is a gel that you place either under the tongue or on the gums (I forget what location she actually mentioned). She said it wears off in about 3 hours, so it would give you plenty of time to get the job done. It might be worth a try

                                      When I first got my OTTB, he would NOT let me near his "parts". Everytime I fed him his grain, I would rub his belly (starting in the girth area) for a minute or so- if he lifted a leg in protest, I kept rubbing. As soon as the foot went back on the ground, I would pet him and tell him "good". I never spent more than 2 minutes a day on it. Over the course of a few weeks, I worked my way back to just in front of the sheath. He soon realized that there was no need to be defensive about it. I can now root around in there as much as necessary. He's one of those ticklish boys, so I just had to practice patience with him and not "surprise" him.
                                      Cindy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by howardh View Post
                                        My old gelding is 31. He never had issues with his sheath until he turned 25. Now that he is a geezer I swear I could clean his sheath every week! The pea that used to surface once every two years seems to come every three months. My guy loves getting cleaned I am lucky i guess. He will part his legs happily to get relief. And I have to say i think we over worry about cleaning sheaths! Out in farm country it isn't an issue it is only when we bring them into barns that we start to obsess about it! Who cleans mustang sheaths???

                                        I have had geldings for 30 years and have seriously only cleaned sheaths about 20 times. My old guy is the oldest horse I have ever had. Maybe as the horse population ages so does sheath cleaning
                                        Most mustangs are intact. They clean their own sheaths through their extracurricular activities for the most part. I am sure they get gunky at times too however.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

                                        Home Away From Home

                                        Comment

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