Sheath cleaning is one of those jobs which divides horse owners and vets alike. Some people swear by regular cleaning while others believe you should only touch it if there’s a problem. Unhelpfully, there is no solid evidence to say one is better than the others.
Do I sheath clean?
I tend to live by the leave it alone but keep an eye on it method. If it looks particularly dirty I might give it a quick rinse with a bucket of warm water with a squirt of baby oil. This seems to do the trick for us and keeps it nice and clean for a while.
When Scottie had sarcoids he did have one on his sheath and did have what looked like one on his penis. The one on his penis would grow to the size of a pea, fall off and then slowly grow back. Because of this, I have always been a bit obsessed with when Scottie goes for a wee.
I like to watch him at least a few times a week. Things I look for are if he gets all of his penis out and if the stream is thick and consistent. Scottie is quite private and prefers for you to be outside the stable while he wees. So it can be tricky to get a good look but you learn what is normal and what isn’t.
As I mentioned in a post the other day, a few weeks ago, while finishing Scottie off for the day, he went for his usual afternoon wee. But a few minute later he went for another one and seemed a bit uncomfortable, not seeming to want to get his penis all the way out. This was enough to make me think I needed to have a look.
So I got my warm water bucket and rubber gloves ready before tying Scottie up on the yard. Now Scottie does not like his penis being touched. So while I managed to catch it out initially, as soon as I let go he sucked it all the way back up!
However, in the brief time I had hold of it, I did think I felt something hard towards the tip. So I did have to reach up in there and have a good feel around. Neither of us were happy about this. But I did manage to locate the bean and very slowly break it down and remove it and Scottie has looked a lot more comfortable since.
How do you feel about sheath cleaning? How often do you do it?
Last Updated on 14/01/2022
I haven’t had a gelding for about 8 years now… had kind of forgotten about the joys of sheath cleaning!
Funny story – when I was a working student at a dressage barn, one of my weekly tasks was to clean all the geldings’ sheaths. One day I set about my duties and toward the end of the day, I noticed my wrist watch was missing. Was petrified that I’d lost it up inside one of the geldings so spent the rest of the evening up in everybody’s business! Turns out I’d just taken it off while cleaning tack, and forgot about out. But boy, was I scared for a while!
That is brilliant!!!! How would you explain that one?