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Does anyone just not clean sheaths?

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  • 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
    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.

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    • #3
      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.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        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!

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        • #5
          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!
          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            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

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            • #7
              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!
              My Equestrian Art Photography page

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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!
                  Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                  Starman

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                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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...)
                        Leap, and the net will appear

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                        • #13
                          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.
                          exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

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                              • #16
                                Mine isn't to fond of the concept so vet does it two or three times a year that seems okay for him.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.

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                                  • #18
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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!!!

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                                      • #20
                                        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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