Sheath cleaning - Help!

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larri

Luso Loopy!
Sep 10, 2001
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Ummm....delicate one I know!
As I'm now the proud owner of my first gelding I have to get to grips with the delightful job of cleaning his sheath.
Previous owners advised Merlin is very mucky down there and needs to be done every week.
Well the day after I've washed it out he's got muck on his back legs already - I'm currently just using warm water, can anyone reccommend a good alternative?

without going into too much detail:eek: I think I've got the technique right because when I'm done there are no flakey bits left in there. But he keeps everything tucked away - is that right??
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Larri:eek:
 

ponyvet

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Oct 15, 2001
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Warm water is fine...remember the warm bit though!! :eek:

You can use a little bit of detergent, I'd recommend something like hibiscrub, which you can get from your vets or a good saddlers. use a very weak solution.

try to use a very gentle sponge or cotton wool, as this area is very sensitive and you don't want to damage the skin.

Also if he is mucky you may find he attracts lots of flies to this area in the summer so you need to find a good fly repellant and start using it as soon as possible in the spring.

Geldings which have very mucky bits are occasionally ( and not very often I stress) prone to a tumour of the end of their penis, so it's a good idea to keep it clean and make sure you talk to your vet if you think there are any odd lumpy bits. Lots of people leave it as it's embarassing (why??? it's on your horse not you!!) but the type of tumour that is most often found can be very nasty and it's easier to treat them before they get too bad.
 

H & Bailey

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Nov 12, 2001
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hive also just got a gelding too.havent tackled his 'bits' yet as he still a bit twitchy with his back legs(hadnt been handled much) I used to work at a riding school and never did the geldings bits.Does it make much difference?what do they do in the wild?some one suggested a good squirt of babyoil if u cant get close?
 

floppy

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Feb 25, 2001
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ig ot a good description on this process in one of my books...it is so good that i have decided to avoid a gelding if possible when i buy my horse.
 

banditbits

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sheath cleaning

I use "sheath Cleaner" when doing this. You can get this at your local feed store most of the time--or check out the Jeffers catalog--1-800-JEFFERS. It is a green gel made specially for cleaning the sheath. It does help to loosen up that crusty stuff. Also, my vet advised me to clean IT, about every 2-3 months. And yes----if your elbow doesn't disappear---you're not done yet! (Unless you have a horse that will drop for you.) Remember to be gentle! And watch the warm water!!! If it is too hot for you to drink--it's too hot for his delicate parts!!
 
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KarlR

New Member
I understand that Yann is the expert on this one! :)

I've never had to do it, but my wife did her cob last week and the only thing she said was *ugh* that was horrible even with latex gloves on!

She used a sheath cleaner which she said worked well - I found from a (non-invasive) trial that it didn't dissolve very well in water,
 

larri

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Merlin ( because he has to have it done so often) stands there with his hind leg up and out to the side so's you can get in underneath him, you don't have to hold it at all - bless him!

I think I'll try and find some sheath cleaner and see if that helps!

Dare I ask why Yann is an expert????:eek:

Larri
 

cvb

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Oct 23, 2001
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wild boys

what do they do in the wild...?

Well there aren't so many "natural" geldings, and the stallions tend to be more active therefore less cruddy :D

By the way you should know there is one golden rule of sheath cleaning.. that just as you are up to your elbow in your horse's nether regions, the whole world decides to meander past, stop for a chat, and so on.

Agree with use of latex (surgical) gloves - for horse's sake if not your own. Watch out if they are the type with powder on as the powder can cause an allergic reaction.

I remember reading an article which suggested it was possible to get the gelding to drop it for you - but I've never found a gelding who is this obliging. So you have to rely on what you can feel rather than being able to see what you are doing.

If we decide to chop their bits off to make life more convenient for us, we have to be prepared to deal with the consequences and make things a bit more comfortable for them. Even if it does earn you some weird stares and comments.
 

lamprellsarah

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my friend asked her vet he said don't worry as they will be ok and they don't do it in the wild!!!
anyway i don't agree with this when i had a gelding it done done every week, although it takes ages, it just never seems to be completely clean, i used sheath cleaner too!!! :(
i am glad i have a mare the stroops aren't great but at least it doesn't take half an hour to sort out and feel disgusting!! :)
although mares shoulds be cleaned around that area regularly because it's more open to dirt and everything, but it doesn't involve sticking your arm anywhere!! :rolleyes:
 

ponyvet

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Oct 15, 2001
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"....it doesn't involve sticking your arm anywhere!!"

It does if you're a vet!! :eek:

No there are no geldings in the wild, male horses in the wild tend to be more active, and also there are other reasons why they don't get wuite so mucky and also they don't live long enough to develop nasty cancers.

Yes some geldings may be ok if they are not generally mucky. Some are worse than others, but Squamous cell carcinoma of the peis is linked to excess smegma, so if your horse is particularly mucky he's at a higher risk, and if you get him used to being cleaned regulalry you can a) keep the risk lower by being clean and b) regularly examine his bits to be sure.

I have had to attend horses that are mucky and their owners don't clean them, and I've had to sedate the horse to get him to drop his willy, because the poor thing was freaked out by the whole idea!! (not surprisingly :rolleyes: )

Some geldings do tend to drop it when they are very relaxed, so at the end of a thorough grooming is a good idea.
 

ros

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Jun 9, 2001
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Well, my two do tend to "drop it" during a nice scratch - particularly Frank, who also obliges when he's eating some VERY nice hay, that's how I know the food is good at this restaurant! - so I take advantage when I can.

I must say, neither of them mind having their sheaths cleaned at all. They both appreciate a bit of a scratch down there, and neither of them mind if mum goes a bit further than is decent!
 

KarlR

New Member
Larri - I expect Yann to quickly answer that, but he hasn't! :)

Because...most of us have to fumble around trying to follow the instructions on sheath cleaner packs: when my wife asked how she received the advice "warm water and gloves" and that was all! Yann however tells me that he was trained to do it (must have been very late for a lesson with the chief instructor or something :)) .

Sorry Yann ;)
 

Shazza

New Member
Brilliant Answers for a Delicate Topic

Yes, there are no geldings in the wild, so use your imagination, stallions clean their own sheaths with natures answers -- mares.

With regard to cleaning, my vet has also explained every few months. Yes use sheath cleaner, it is a lubricate and cleaner in one. Yes use warm water, would you like your bits cleaned in freezing cold or boiling hot water.

Use gloves for your own piece of mind, what comes out is not too pleasant and it smells.

Obviously a relaxed horse is better, mine relaxes to his tail end being scratched, that is his hind, and usually when relaxed they will lower said article for your purusal. Cleaning is a necessity not a pleasantry. It is better if you can work from the outside, but if not, just be gentle, there is no rule has to how far it goes in, just think how far it comes out. Men are all different so I have been told - my husband tends to stay clearof this subject. I have found if you are gentle and considerate you do not get kicked, in henry's case I get a slow groan - hopefully this is not personal.

However it is a part of having a gelding and if left - it can be very serious, do not wait until it is totally gundgy, make it part of your normal routine, if done on a regular ( 4-6 week basis) it is just part of the routine and not a dirty dead.

Beleive me, just get on with it - otherwise when the rubber gloves come out in my yard the dirty jokes fly. (But anyone saying anything has had to do it - and we all know it is for the sake of the horse and not for our benefit.)

SO JUST CLEAN AND THINK - - - - - - those laughing are most probably thinking - where are my rubber gloves - and hoping no one is around when they dare.


Good cleaning

Regards Shazzar
 

Cathy Reynolds

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Sep 18, 2000
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There are a couple of old lists on this topic.

PLEASE DO NOT AVOID this messy task.

When we got Benny he'd never had his bits cleaned. He was bad-tempered when we brushed around his belly and we had to have him sedated and a HUGE lump of smegma pulled out from underneath the lip of his penis (will he drop it down, no way!). I clean up regularly with gloves, warm water and a sponge with vegetable-based sheath cleaner on it - no way round it, it's in up to the armpits. I give him hay and lots of grooming to relax him first, he always back off and tries to cow kick, so I just keep talking to him and back him into a corner slowly. Once I'm "in" he's alright.
 

LindaAd

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Feb 20, 2000
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Oh dear... I tend to leave this job for the summer, like bathing (the horse!) and tail-washing. I suppose I'd better get out there with the warm water tomorrow.
 
B

Bel

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My old horse Danny was a gem at having his cleaned, im sure his last owner did it all the time. :D all i eva had to do was give his belly a rub and down it would come and he'd just stand there while i cleaned him. Hoping i can teach me next horse to do the same. :p
 

larri

Luso Loopy!
Sep 10, 2001
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Oh MY GOD!

I've just read the description on that site.....I've only been doing half a job!:eek: and the worst is I've been moaning about the easy bit:eek:

Poor Merlin - please forgive me for what I'm going to do tomorrow night! - I bet he doesn't hold his leg up for me after that - he'll be crossing them when he sees me coming:D

Why oh why didn't I stick with my girlies:rolleyes:

larri
 

Paul C

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Oct 17, 2001
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I'm wearing a black armband tomorrow

Yikes,

Having just read the article I'm sitting here with my legs crossed so tightly I think I've cut off the blood supply to both feet. I really feel for Merlin. Poor chap. It's not like he made a choice to be gelded :(
Larri: I hope you've got small hands.:eek:

Paul
 
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