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Gross and unsightly problem.. icky sheaths.

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  • Gross and unsightly problem.. icky sheaths.

    My horse's sheath (well, his penis too) is disgusting but he won't let me clean it! I've tried distraction with food, tried after a long work out.. to no avail. It's all flaky and just looks pretty damn disgusting. I hose up inside there daily, but that doesn't help much. Is there anything else I can try other than having the vet do it? Kind of embarrassing to have to have the vet do your horse's sheath for you

  • #2
    Our vet always does our horses regularly

    Just use the words "cleaned" and "gelding" in the same sentence and they immediately know what you mean.

    If "it" is really icky, he probably has beans too, and I really wouldn't attempt to get those without a sedative (or a vet).
    "The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die!"
    ----> Pre

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    • #3
      Actually, it's not too embarrassing. Tons of people have the vet do their horses' sheath — most commonly it's because the horse needs to be sedated for someone to let them near their junk , but I definitely think it's not uncommon for a vet to do it.

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      • #4
        You can always just get the vet to tranquilize your horse or dispense some tranquilizer, then clean it yourself, too. Or if he's tranqed for clipping or teeth floating or something, take advantage of that.

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        • #5
          Oh, sheath cleaning is fun! All you need is a friend who is good at holding horses, a glove, some patience, and a healthy dose of self-preservation. I've done a couple dozen geldings and only one or two were so badly behaved I wouldn't do them again.
          Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
          Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
          VW sucks.

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          • #6
            Oh the joys of owning geldings, LOL! I have an 18 hand WB x boarder who is so relaxed he falls asleep in the washrack, so cleaning him is a breeze. But, the challenge is my little mini who is my 4 year old mare's companion~ he's so darn little, that trying to clean him is quite the challenge. He tries to be good about it, but I know it can't be very comfortable, and he is notorious for rolling (alot!) so he gets quite a bit of buildup in there.
            When I worked at Dixie Stampede, we used either Excalibur gel on the easy ones, rinsing well. Or, with more difficult ones or ones that were reallllly grungy~ we used a bottle of baby oil. Just insert the tip into the opening and give a good squeeze, then try and work it around in there. We would leave it in overnight to give it a chance to work around and loosen things up, next day tried again and most would kind of slide out (even the beans were easier to pop out) Rinse with mild Ivory & water. Seemed to work pretty well, and can't recall any geldings showing sensitivity to that method.

            Those that are really difficult about it may have to go the sedation route or have a vet do it. Good luck!
            Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
            Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"

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            • #7
              If you can get the hose up there, then you should be able to clean it My gelding hates it but will let me do it. I put the hose up there, then my gloved hand with some excalibur and pull off as much as he will let me (I can usually get the bean too), and then put the hose up there again to rinse it out.
              If it's too cold to use the hose, I'll just use KY (no rinsing needed and water-based). Just be prepared for embarassment when you leave it out one day at the barn
              My guy was hanging out yesterday while I was grooming so I quickly but carefully pulled off as much dead skin as I could and checked for a bean before he sucked it all in. The funny thing was that when I was looking for the bean one popped out at me and landed on the floor

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              • #8
                Call the vet and have them do it for you.

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                • #9
                  Highflyer - we had a "dentist only" DVM that quickly realized sheath cleaning was a lucrative sideline. I'm sure our barn was not the only one that scurried around cleaning sheaths and trimming ears as soon as he completed the floating. He now offers that service too.

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                  • #10
                    A hose won't get the bean... When I got my gelding, his sheath had not been cleaned in so long the vet said he was probably having difficulty urinating. She pulled out multiple, large beans.

                    Just have the vet do it. You can have it done twice a year when he gets his vaccinations. My gelding gets really dirty so he needs it done every three months or so.

                    She also clips his ears for me while he's sedated!

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                    • #11
                      Yep, if you really can't get it done, you'll need a sedative. I haven't had a horse that won't let me clean it's sheath.. not all of them have liked it, but I've gotten it done. If he lets you put the hose up there though I don't see why he wouldn't let you clean it... although it is much easier to clean on horses that drop obviously lol.
                      Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com
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                      • #12
                        On the flipside, Willem thought it was one of the best things in life. He loooooove it, which made it easy but was so embarrassing.

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                        • #13
                          Try asking a friend to hold up a back leg.
                          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                          • #14
                            The one gelding we look after drops very often. Last week, my daughter was ready and cleaned him. Outside, in plain view... she was not embarrassed. It has to be done!!! His head was getting lower and lower.. he seemed to be enjoying it!
                            I went back on Friday to put a sheet on him and here he dropped again as if to show me how clean it still was!! Ok, can you put it away so I can tighten the sheet? and I don't need this in my face... lol

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                            • #15
                              I remember when we got a horse for my husband -- a nice, built-like-a-brick-house Appendix QH gelding. I told my husband "He's your horse, so you'll have to do horsey hygiene a few times a year." My husband was, like, "Um, what? You want me to do what???!!!!" After which he announced, "There's only one I touch, and it ain't his."

                              Needless to say, I'm responsible for horsey hygiene.
                              Why do I like most horses better than most people?

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                              • #16
                                Almost any horse will stand for it if you approach it the "right" way. And that is standing facing forward, with your hip firmly wedged against his gaskin.

                                From this position, you need to do everything by feel, but your arm is at the same angle as his inner anatomy, so it is more comfortable for him. And, with your hip tight against his gaskin, if he starts to lift his leg to kick, you just move in closer so he has no room to be able to kick you.

                                You need to become ambidextrous because it is necessary to use both sides and each hand to get the job done really well.

                                Once the horse trusts that you are not going to hurt him, he will generally relax. But whatever you do, don't be a wussie. If he lifts a leg as soon as you touch him and you pull back, then he is going to think: 1. OK, I got rid of that fly, or 2. Well, I am in control here. I don't have to put up with this indignity.

                                And, approach the task with the mindset that he CANNOT suck it up farther than you can follow. Standing facing forward, it is amazing how far up you can follow~!

                                -- I get the cheap lubricating gel at the dollar store. When buying 5 tubes, I keep my head down and do not look the cashier in the eye.
                                "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

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                                • #17
                                  I find if I stand at my one horse's side and slowly rub the lower flank area, he will begin to drop. Baby wipes also work well for a quick sheath cleaning. When they let down to pee in the stall, I'll grab some wipes and get the worst of it off and do a quick check for beans.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks everyone for the replies! I think I will try *one* more time to do it, but if he is bad.. I'm just going to get the vet. I don't know if I'll be able to get a bean either.

                                    He's been tail rubbing, so I should probably do this soon..

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                                    • #19
                                      When I first got mine as a 3 yr old, I started him right away with training for this. Initially, he kicked out but eventually, he figured out it wasn't an evil act. Now, I can just hose warm water up there and I work stuff loose with my BARE hand. Just easier for me and doesn't even faze me.

                                      "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me

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                                      • #20
                                        Fella has draft sized junk and a penchant for crud so I'm up there on a regular basis. I swear my hand can fit up his darned sheath. Anyway -I find with geldings you have to have a Yoda approach; Do or do not there is no try.

                                        You have to approach sheath cleaning just like you would hoof picking - just do it. And you're right; a hose will not get rid of the smegma or the bean.

                                        It's the price we pay, IMO. Either you get a girl horse and her girl horse crazy, or you get a boy horse and you're giving hand jobs without even getting dinner first.

                                        ETA I don't use any sheath cleaning products. If you don't get it out it will inflame the sheath and then you have different issues. The only thing I'll use to lubricate that stuff out is some mineral oil in warm water and a washcloth. I think lube as one poster pointed out would work too since it's water soluble and kind to mucus membranes.

                                        Paula
                                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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