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Discussion on Sheath swelling and large lump in front of it

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Shelly Bower
New Member
Username: Sbower

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 10:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wish I had been a member of this site before now! My horse had two occasions where a hand sized lump suddenly appeared in front of his sheath slightly to left of the midline. Hard lump not warm, resolved itself overnight both times. I figured that he was hitting himself or getting bitten by something.

However the lump reappeared again about a week ago
in conjunction with a very swollen, very warm sheath. Horse was eating and drinking normally, not in obvious discomfort. Was started on bute and SMZ. Over the next three days the swelling decreased. We ran out of SMZ and the vet gave us Uniprim. The next day the horse mildly coliced (due to the new antibiotic?) and was given an IM shot of banamine. He was fine after walking about a half hour and eagerly returned to eating/drinking/voiding normally.

My question is this. The vet is coming out tomorrow to tranq and examine/clean his sheath. Assuming all is normal should I be looking at anything else? I saw references on the Internet to this type of preputial edema and swollen sheaths being linked to hypoproteinemia (due to small strongyles?). He is a new horse to me so I don't know if his past wormings have been adequate. He has been wormed with Ivermectin last month.

What would you suggest?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17384
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 - 6:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Shelly,
Such a focal swelling in an otherwise healthy horse is unlikely to be hypoproteinemia. I do think a complete exam is called for however and the results of this exam drive any extra lab work done. By now your vet has been there, what did he fine?
DrO
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Shelly Bower
New Member
Username: Sbower

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 - 5:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, the vet said that everything looked fine, he was very clean, no bean, a very slight redness at the tip of his penis but so slight that it might be normal for him. Lump is gone so he couldn't comment on that other than to say that it was odd that it was only the left side, in an infection he said it would have been more likely to be on both sides.

He didn't think much about the idea of small stongyles/worming, although he said it wouldn't hurt. So I guess we just wait to see if it re-occurs. If it does than we'll run labs.
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Hally
Member
Username: Hally

Post Number: 123
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, Jan 5, 2007 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shelly,

I owned an appy gelding for 23 yrs and as he got a bit older, would have off and on, the same thing as your horse. Same thing with his sheath and the lump in front of it. I always linked it to the fact that I needed to clean his sheath. He was just one of those horses that need cleaning way more than some of my other horses. I always made sure to rinse really well also, ensuring that the soap wouldnt cause additional irritation. He lived till he was 26 so I dont think it caused him to much grief!
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Diane Edmonds
Member
Username: Scooter

Post Number: 623
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Jan 5, 2007 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know this may be way out there, but is the horse fat? I know a couple horses that have IR and get swollen sheaths from time to time. A change in diet seemed to relieve the problem.
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Shelly Bower
New Member
Username: Sbower

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, Jan 5, 2007 - 2:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He isn't fat, his grain was actually just increased because he was looking a little ribby. He's a reining horse and is ridden quite a bit so he is very fit even in winter.

I think there are lymph nodes in the general area so I'm thinking the lump was due to the sheath infection. Hopefully it won't reoccur. This is my first gelding so I guess I'd better get used to sheath cleaning!
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Hally
Member
Username: Hally

Post Number: 124
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, Jan 5, 2007 - 6:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know this is probably totally crazy but I wonder because my appy was basically white and his skin coloring was like a little piglet (pink and black spots) that he was more prone to skin infections. He also burned his nose from the sun very easily. I always wondered if the skin around his sheath was more sensitive also as he always had a mucky sheath. I am curious Shelly what color your horse is?
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Shelly Bower
Member
Username: Sbower

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jan 6, 2007 - 6:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He's a bay, a quarter horse. I am starting to think he's prone to everything! I've only had him a short while and he's had colic, numerous bumps, bruises, lameness.... That's pretty much why I joined this forum! The other horse I own is HYPP H/N and I always figured she'd be the one with problems but she's as healthy as can be, go figure!
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Shelly Bower
Member
Username: sbower

Post Number: 17
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, Jul 30, 2007 - 11:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Okay,I need to revisit this issue... my gelding is still getting these swellings in front of his sheath. They typically appear during stress and at a show...always resolve relatively quickly ( a day or so) but it continues to be worrisome. No further instances of sheath swelling.


Anyway, the vet had previously said his blood work was normal (except for a vitamin E deficiency) but I had to request hard copy recently because of an insurance issue and when I looked at the results it said his albumin was high 3.3 g/dl (normal was 1.9-3.2) ... is this not statistically significant? Could swelling in this area be due to a problem in his liver. Please tell me I'm just overreacting!!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18949
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007 - 6:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

In combination with other elevations the high albumin could be associated with dehydration but by itself this minor change would not be significant. Liver disease will decrease albumin concentration. A high-normal albumin might even help prevent swelling by increasing the oncotic pressure of the blood.
DrO
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