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Best way to clean sheath when you can't use a hose?

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  • Best way to clean sheath when you can't use a hose?

    My gelding is pushing 25. He used to be able to go once a year getting his sheath cleaned when he had his teeth done. But now in his old age he needs a bit more maintenance in the nether-region due to gunk build-up.

    To make things even more challenging this horse is fearful of a running hose. I want to clean his sheath myself so he can at least make it until the dentist comes in a couple of months. He can abide a bucket with warm water.

    What is the best and safest way to de-gunk the sheath? Warm water/paper towels? KY jelly? Excaliber and a rinse with sponge or paper towels? I cannot aim the hose up the secret chambers around the sheath without horse being tranquilized/vet assistance.

    Thanks for any help! PS - I can call the vet if necessary. Last year the sheath cleaning cost $150.

  • #2
    Holly crap 150 to clean a sheath. My vet charges 26$ to clean a sheath. I can have teeth floated and sheath cleaned for 150.

    Ky jelly works to De gunk a dirty sheath. Also warm water and plenty of cotton can work too.


    • Original Poster

      Yep, by the time I paid for farm call, sedative, and actual cleaning it was like Ka CHING! $$ The full sheath n' teeth runs close to $300. Thanks for the info. I'd heard KY jelly would work, but wanted to be sure.


      • #4
        I recently bought a product from Ecolicious called Smeg-U-Later that is water-soluble. When I got home and read the label, it does mention that no rinsing is required, so you could try slathering it on, giving it some time to soften up the gunk, then using your hand to pull it off.

        I do like to rinse (mine is okay with the hose) so you could also fill a large syringe with warm water from your bucket and squirt it up into the sheath.

        Here's the link to the product: https://ecoliciousequestrian.com/pro...heath-cleaner/
        I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


        • #5
          I agree with above, and use a soft sponge and bucket of warm water to wet, lather it up with a 'no rinse' sheath cleaner, leave it on for 10-15 min, then use sponge to soak up warm water and 'rinse' sheath and surrounding areas of no rinse cleaners. I like the no rinse so in case some is 'left', it isn't irritating, but ideal to rinse it all out.
          "That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works."


          • #6
            If I use any goo, it's KY. And then I just wipe away with gauze. Can't say I've ever used water to clean a sheath at all. Generally I just pick off the smegma! Thankfully my gelding is cool with me poking around in there...and will drop and/or lift a leg for better access


            • #7
              That's a crazy fee for something that requires such little effort. My vet uses Ivory soap and a bucket of warm water and soft paper towels. I've never seen a sheath cleaned with a hose actually! lol


              • #8
                Use a 60 cc syringe (like for dosing oral meds) and squirt the warm water.

                Now I see SF said that also.
                That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...


                • #9
                  Even easier than KY is the mineral oil method. Put some in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle. I keep it in my tack tray and when Mr. Man drops (after exercise or relaxed on the cross-ties while grooming) I squirt his hooha with the oil. When he retracts, his body heat and movement will self-clean and when he lets down later to pee, etc. the smegma with slough off by itself. I'll do this whenever I notice my horse's sheath is kinda dirty, maybe 2-4 times a year. Never have to rinse or get too handsy Good for you and for the horse who doesn't care for it.
                  Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...


                  • #10
                    I've used mineral oil in the past, only squirted it in 3 days in a row. I have heard not to use if your horse is in a stall with shavings.


                    • #11
                      With my gelding, what I did was make a big bucket of warm water, get a cotton roll and tear off pieces (lots) and put them in the water. I also warmed up a bottle of Excalibur in hot water. Then I put on surgical gloves, squirted a handful of Excalibur and worked it around inside his sheath. I let it sit to soften and then started cleaning it out with the wet cotton. Worked great.


                      • #12
                        Squirting the very cold water with the hose up there made me cringe. Oh my that sounds uncomfortable.

                        My vet uses a bucket of warm water and cotton or gauze. Between (annual) vet cleanings I just use my hands and pull off/out any chunks.

                        No thought on the price since pricing for everything is very regional. To me that pricing did not seem that totally crazy.


                        • #13
                          Water based lubricant, glove, small bucket of warm water and small hand towel. I have to clean every 3 months or so as my horse is so dirty and that means in the middle of winter when all the hoses are disconnected. If it's really dirty, apply lubricant, lunge or do a short school, then clean after.


                          • #14
                            I usually use Excalibur and a hose but have used a large dosing syringe instead of a hose in a pinch. I use warm water too, even in summer, because squirting cold water up there is clearly uncomfortable.


                            • #15
                              We use a warm water hose, the boys all behave well for cleaning.

                              You all keep talking about dirt, smegma you get out as the reason for cleaning. Are you ALSO checking and cleaning out any beans in the tip where horse urinates? No one has mentioned doing that!! For us, getting the bean or beans out is the primary reason for cleaning!! A horse with a blocked urethra is a real problem. Horses both young and old need checking for beans. I have not found them to be consIstant or the same each time they are checked. They can be without a bean in a couple checks, then have one large bean or several good size beans on your next check.

                              One customer's horse tried to pee while husband was there, tried several times with just a dribble. He asked customer when horse last had his sheath cleaned? She didn't know, had inherited horse from a family member. Husband couldn't stand watching horse try to pee, so he got out some rubber gloves out and checked horse urethra. Had a big mess in there, had to break it apart to get pieces out. He told customer to have Vet out for a proper sheath cleaning and make sure there were no other problems from being "clogged up".

                              Glad to hear everyone is checking their boys regularly, using NICE WARM water for cleaning and rinsing. Just know that sheath cleaning includes checking for beans EACH time or you are doing an incomplete job in cleanliness. More of a "horse sheath got washed, not truly cleaned".


                              • #16
                                Easy, cheap [generic] and not a problem if you can't rinse.
                                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                                • #17
                                  I have an old gelding with a lot of gunk, too. I don't have water at my barn so my first method was to don a surgical glove and put a lotta KY up in there, wait half an hour, and then rinse with a bucket of warm water, a washcloth & a 60cc syringe. That worked fine, but, I've switched to aloe vera, which works better. It conditions his skin and he has stopped kicking himself in the junk because he's no longer itchy. (Just FYI, he has other health problems that exacerbated the itchiness -- he wasn't being neglected, just was a struggle to manage for awhile there!).


                                  • #18
                                    I've also used baby wipes when it is too cold to use the hose. They work well and you don't have to rinse anything out of the sheath.


                                    • #19
                                      Fill a syringe with baby oil. Squirt it up there and turn him back out. It'll all fall out on it's own. If you need to clean up after, use a baby wipe.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                                        I've also used baby wipes when it is too cold to use the hose. They work well and you don't have to rinse anything out of the sheath.
                                        I do this as well. My horse is high maintenance in this regard with a bean every 2 weeks. Ivory soap up there that frequently might be a bad idea, but baby wipes are gentle.
                                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.