Better information makes for healthier horses,
Horseadvice.com is where equine science and horse sense intersect.

Discussion on Help! Itchy Sheath is Driving Him Crazy!

Use the navigation bar above to access articles and more discussions on this topic.
Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 37
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 2:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have read the articles on skin diseases and sheath cleaning. My 7 year old gelding started showing signs of intense itchiness in his sheath about a month ago. His tail swished, he kicked and he would try to reach around and scratch his sheath. I had not cleaned his sheath for about 6 months so I did that using Excalibur. It was quite dirty. He greatly appreciated the sheath cleaning and I could tell by his reactions that the itchiest area was at the sheath entrance and the up along the belly wall.

I talked to my vet and she suggested squirting plain yogurt up his sheath everyday for a week. That did not help. He was so itchy again this morning that I went ahead and cleaned it again using warm water and Excalibur. He again greatly appreciated it but it really wasn't very dirty. I suggested to my vet that we culture but she said they don't recommend doing that as the yogurt and cleaning would disrupt the ability to get a good culture.

Should I just assume this is a yeast infection and go forward with the "azole" type products? Are there any symptoms, other than itching, that would point specifically to a yeast infection? His sheath is normal looking, there is no abnormal discharge, and he has no problem urinating or dropping. I have searched for a bean but have never been able to find one.

Any suggestions on next steps? He is so miserable!!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mandy
Member
Username: bucky

Post Number: 246
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 7:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horse has the same problem, I will be interested in the responses you get!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 248
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wonder if Gold Bond Medicated Powder might help? Have you tried some Bag Balm? It's got antiseptic properties, and the lanolin will give the skin a good coating in case there are gnats that are bothering him.
We've had gnats already on the warm days we've had . . . and they have chewed some of the horse's ears quite a bit, but they leave seepage and scabby residue in the ears.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: amara

Post Number: 508
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 8:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My pony has always had an itchy sheath, but he does have tumours on his penis. they havent gotten any larger in the 13 years i've had him, and we've never had them tested or anything because of that.. he did get a bladder infection about 1 1/2 years ago, dont know why...vet never said anything to me about a yeast infection...he gets cleaned regularly...

my pony doesnt itch himself raw, and because its been a LONG standing issue with him, i actually made a scratching post for him that is about belly height, and he's out there daily, getting a good scritch (he also scritches the rest of his body on trees, poles, etc, but never in a way that causes him harm..)..

sorry couldnt be any help, and i think our cases are very different, because yours just started, but thought i'd share my experience anyways...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jesse Mitchell
Member
Username: mitch316

Post Number: 56
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, this may have changed, but other than symptoms, verifying a diagnosis of yeast can only be completed by looking for a "fungal wall" under a microscope. They may have some blot test or field test, but I have found those to be unreliable. But most vets just rely on symptomatic diagnoses. The yogurt is used to bring the bacteria/yeast that is present in all horses back into balance, whereas antibiotic would allow the yeast to go wild and antifungals would do the same for bacteria. But, this is a long process, using yogurt.

It does indeed sound like a yeast infection, but those have a specific look and smell that I obviously cannot on here. Maybe Dr. O could give a better answer than this, especially on the testing. It would not be unheard of to give antifungals for a short burst to bring the count down, but instead of the expensive "equine and Bovine", I always used Tinactin or Lotrimin with good results, but would probably be told that was wrong by most equine vets because of the low doses of actual medicine. It is important with whatever treatment you use to go the full two weeks of treatment, even though he will probably be symptom free after the third or fourth day, because a resistant fungus is almost impossible to get control of. Sorry so long, but hopefully this helps.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2424
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 8:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would be concerned the Gold Bond Powder may burn...think I used that on myself for some reason, some place, and it made me more uncomfortable. Bag Balm might be better, but I'd vote for the antifungus ointments to try first.

I wonder if washing him with some of the anti itch things we'd use...like the collodial oatmeal, or something we'd soak in for an all over itch?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 249
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Gold Bond burned you, Angie? I think it has eucalyptus in it . . .
I have used it before on sweet itch-type stuff on the underline during "no-see-um" season . . . with good results. Sometimes I put the Gold Bond on, and then coated it with petroleum jelly . . . but it gets messy.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2425
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 - 9:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe burned isn't the right word. I thought it was a menthol like "cooling/burning" I guess depending on how you look at it. So cooling can feel burning on inflammed skin, at least that is what I seem to remember!

Now if I can only remember where I was cooling & burning!

Heat rash I think.

And maybe is was the GB ointment, not the powder, I have both on hand.

At any rate, not sure if that would be a good idea to put inside a horses sheath, or maybe even on the outside of such a sensitive area!

Just my 2 cents.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22542
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 12:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Heidi,
It is hard to interpret what you mean by intense itchiness (pruritus), I would usually associate this with self mutilation?

Yeast infections are not common in the sheaths of male horses but I cannot rule it out. If your horse is showing intense pruritus that a good cleaning did not resolve, I would suggest a thorough exam including sedation with acepromazine to allow a good inspection. If the veterinarian feels the recent therapy will interfere with the results, waiting 72 hours after the last treatment should be enough to allow the flora to return to where culturing lesions should have significance.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 4627
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 2:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would just add that you need to be really sure to rinse throughly after using Excalibar or any cleansing agent, otherwise the residue could cause a reaction in some horses. KY jelly does a good job and I've never had a horse have a reaction to it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3773
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 6:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Heidi, even here in N. Il. those gnats have been out. My geldings get very itchy where you describe....around the tip of the sheath and the belly line directly above. It would seem different horses have different sensitivities to these gnat bites. One gelding gets beside himself with ichiness, the other not so much.

I put clear swat all over the OUTSIDE of their sheaths and down their belly line, within days there is relief from the ichiness/irritation. every other day they get "swatted".....Just another idea for you
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Kathy Hayden
Member
Username: kshayden

Post Number: 60
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 10:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

War Paint is what I use on the belly line here in N CA. It is the only product I have found that lasts - in the old days, we mixed powdered sulfar with vasaline, but I haven't found the powder for some time. (we also put the powdered sulfar (no vasaline) in our socks to deter the chiggers and ticks in MO.
Hope you can help your guy's itchiness.
Kathy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 250
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 10:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kathy, I had never heard about the powdered sulfur before until moving here to KS. A neighbor told me that it is great for spreading on the lawns and will keep fleas and ticks away. I think we can get it here at the local Farmer's Co-op.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22545
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 1:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We had a house painter working one year who saw a big black rat snake in the yard. Being deathly afraid of snakes he asked if he could put a ring of sulfur around the house to keep the snakes away. Though I chuckled I said go ahead. In the summer sun the smell permeated the house for weeks until finally enough rain fell to wash it away, so consider yourself forewarned.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3775
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 1:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BUT Dr.O. did it keep the snakes away??? I could put up with some "rotten egg" smell if it kept those creatures away...I would even consider powdering myself down
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Shirley Johnson
Member
Username: shirl

Post Number: 669
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My former horse had horrible reaction to bugs, especially on her mid line and my vet recommended using Zinc Oxide. Worked very well for any affected areas.
Shirl
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 38
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O, what I mean by intense itchiness is in an attempt to relieve himself he will swish his tail, kick out, raise his hind leg and try to get head around to his sheath but he can't reach. When I massage his sheath he goes nuts, and the whole time I am cleaning his sheath his head is bobbing up and down and he stretches out. Fortunately no self mutilation.

Thanks everyone for your ideas and suggestions. I am still focused mainly on the possibility it is a yeast infection as this started in Feb, and I live in northern Illinois - we still don't have any bugs out yet.

The good news is I started treating him with generic Lotrimin three days ago and I have not seen him act itchy since. That great, but on the other hand I am not so sure he would get immediate relief from lotrimin - so maybe it's a coincidence. To be safe I plan to treat him for two weeks as per the directions on the label. Dr. O, should I follow that up with yogurt in his sheath in an attempt to help rebalance the correct microflora?

Lotrimin treats athlete's foot and jock itch. It was a tad bit awkward at Walgreens check out counter as I placed a huge pile of jock itch medicine on the counter - I bought every tube they had in stock - there was complete silence in the check out line and nobody wanted to make eye contact!!!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

PattyB
Member
Username: pattyb

Post Number: 149
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"It was a tad bit awkward at Walgreens check out counter as I placed a huge pile of jock itch medicine on the counter - I bought every tube they had in stock - there was complete silence in the check out line and nobody wanted to make eye contact!!!"

Oh Heidi, thanks for a good laugh this afternoon. Reminded me of a true story involving condoms....oh never mind. And another one equally as embarrassing involving a meat mallet...........

Glad to hear something is working for you. I had a buckskin dunn that loved to straddle bushes and rock back and forth to scratch his underside. Nothing as concerning as yours but he sure did look funny.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mandy
Member
Username: bucky

Post Number: 247
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 - 1:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lol, funny

one word for you guys,

http://www.drugstore.com

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22553
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 - 8:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, I don't think the microorganisms in the yogurt would be the same found in the sheath.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 257
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 - 10:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O., after that comment, I doubt I will ever be able to eat yogurt or think about it the same way again.
****************
Mandy, . . . LOL.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jesse Mitchell
Member
Username: mitch316

Post Number: 59
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 - 12:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O and all, yogurt is one of those "old fashioned" remedies that the old vet I interned with in Alabama used quiet often. He claimed (He was 75 at the time) that it helped regulate the balance between bacteria and yeast. Holly, you really can see yogurt move under a microscope, especially the plain organic kind! But it is good for you, ya know, ha.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 264
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 - 7:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

GULP! . . . we really DO need an "I feel sick" icon.

I like my food STILL . . .as in NOT MOVING! I ate so much yogurt and granola back in the 70s; actually made my own yogurt on a homemade, yogurt maker that a friend manufactured, and my stomach actually starts to turn over when I think of eating yogurt today . . . I thought it was because I OD'd on it . . . but now I know the real reason why my stomach "turns." Yuck . . . blehhhhhhhhhhh!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2430
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 - 7:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,

You can see lots of things move under a microscope, it's just best not to think about 'em! Yogurt is GOOD for You!

That reminds me, I was scratching Tango on the underside of his tail today...think I should clip my fingernails, and scrub good!

DrO,

Geesh, are ya sure it's not the same microorganisms? OOoooo boy....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 846
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, don't forget WE are covered with crawling hatching breeding microorganisms ourselves if you look at our skins under a microscope.

Better just not to go there...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 269
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah . . . I know . . . I started college as a Bio major . . .

but I don't EAT my skin . . . lol . . . and it was just the combination of yogurt, itchy sheaths, and crawly bugs that brought on the nausea.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 847
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 - 4:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mmm, yummy!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 51
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009 - 11:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK, it's been 10 months since my horse first started showing symptoms of an itchy sheath, and his symptoms are now worse than ever. It seemed to get better over the summer - not totally gone but tolerable. But since the weather has gotten colder his symptoms have gotten worse. I thought I saw some level of improvement after treating for 3-4 weeks with Clotrimizole, but it didn't totally go away. He is so itchy that it is difficult to work around him because he swishes his tail, kicks and raises his hind leg trying to get me to scratch his sheath, and keeps trying to reach his sheath with his nose.

My vet took a culture and she said he had normal levels of yeast/bacteria. She didn't know what to do and basically said its something he has to learn to live with. That doesn't seem like a good outcome for my horse, so I have to do something more to help him. I was advised by a different vet who uses holistic practices to remove him from all pelleted feed, and to feed him beet pulp and oats instead. I did that and while it did help reduce an exercise cough that he has always had, it didn't stop the itching. Now I am trying Rhus Tox as a homeopathic remedy, and I have been told that it takes a week or two to work, so no report on that yet. I also taken him off the pine pellet bedding and put him on regular pine shavings, as they seem less dusty, thinking maybe the dust was getting into his sheath when he lies down. That has reduced the dust levels in my barn but has not affected his itchiness.

It appears that his sheath is getting dirty and seems like black greasy type dirt, which can accumulate in a few days. Our pastures are snow covered now and he has no access to dirt, so I don't think that it's dirt getting up into his sheath.

I was told my a nutrition company that I need to "detox" my horse - that he must have a hind gut problem that is disrupting his system and producing an allergic reaction that is causing itchiness.

What in the heck do I do? Do I take him to UW Madison or UW Illinois for indepth testing? Do I do another round of Clotrimizole - maybe the yeast infection never really went away and has reoccured?

Dr. O, any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

Heidi
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5505
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 - 6:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, I feel for you Hank went through the same thing in Oct. He really was miserable.

Thankfully his resolved! I cleaned his sheath and penis 5 days in a row with warm water and nothing else. I don't know if something was stuck in there I finally got out or what for sure. It also had an "off" smell nothing offensive, but not quite right.

Here's my thread on it...sounds very much like your horse.

http://www.horseadvice.com/cgi-bin/advisor/board-auth.cgi?file=/10/349969.html
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24186
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 - 6:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, I am unaware of a "toxic hind gut reaction" that causes a allergy exhibited by intense pruritis of the sheath.

Was the horse sedated so that the whole penis, down to the fornix, could be thoroughly cleaned and examined? What was found when this was done?
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

L Mendez
New Member
Username: canela

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 - 3:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I use Baby oil in a spray bottle, I spray my stallion 2 times a week to keep him moist and lubricated. I have never had any problems.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 52
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 - 3:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O - yes, my vet inspected his entire penis and cleaned it. Nothing abnormal was found. The interesting thing is his penis is not itchy - it's mainly the ceiling of his sheath up against the belly wall that drives him the most crazy.

I spoke to my vet this morning, and she suggested doing a full panel of allergy testing. She is going to draw blood on Monday. Is it possible that he is allergic to something and it is manifesting itself in an itchy sheath?

Is it significant that it has gotten worse in cold weather?

Heidi
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24193
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 - 7:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

With a winter time exacerbation it suggests insects bites are not the problem. However over time culicoides hypersensitivity can cause pruritus year round and not just while being bit.

And while other allergies are possible there are no dependable blood tests for them. These blood tests for allergens are neither specific (so often identify things the horse is not allergic to as allergens) nor are they sensitive (so often miss true allergens).

With this history and the lack of any clear cause I would consider a referral to an equine dermatologist before blood testing, hopefully the dermatologist will not stoop to this type testing but some do!

Before you go with either expensive testing of questionable value or a referral you could consider two anti-inflammatory treatments since there appears to be no obvious indication of infection. You might try an antihistamine and if that does not work consider dexamethasone / prednisolone therapy. If you like before systemic treatment you could try local treatment with OTC creams but if that fails I would certainly consider oral therapy.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 61
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 - 12:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi All,

I have been surprised by the number of people that have read this post on Horseadvice and are desperate to find a solution to their horse's itchy sheath. I have received so many inquiries that I have written the history in a word document which I email it to them so they can see what worked and didn't work for me. There are a lot of horses out there that have a problem similar to my horse - an itchy sheath focused on the belly wall. It can be so intense it is absolutely miserable for the horse and near impossible to work around them. I thought I would update this post as I have been on a 3 1/2 year journey to find relief for my horse. I have consulted with a multitude of vets from all over the country about this and have tried so many things. I have ended up with a cocktail of supplements, including pure blue/green algae, Traumeel, 600-900 mg/day of hydroxyzine (depending on how intense his symptoms were)and no pelleted food (feed molasses free beet pulp and roasted soybeans, plus vit/min to balance). That protocol made an enormous difference but only treated the symptoms, not the problem. 4 months ago I started working with an equine vet who also practices acupuncture and chinese herbal therapy. She recommended a chinese herb called (get ready, this is a great name....) "Genital Damp Heat". My horse is super picky and will reject anything strange - and I warned her there was no way my horse would eat 4 large scoops of that herb twice per day - it doesnt smell good and it tastes bad too! She said if my horse needs it, he'll eat it - and she was right. After a month on this stuff my horse's sheath environment changed. No longer was it hot, damp, sticky and dirty. Now it feels like a normal horses sheath. It helped him so much I recently took him off hydroxyzine. It's been three weeks and still not a single itchy symptom. If he continues to do so well, I will try taking him off blue/green algae too, as it is very expensive.

I think the most important things that helped my horse was feeding him minimally processed foods and the Chinese herbs.

Dr. O, I tend to base my decisions on science. The use of Chinese herbs was an experiment of desperation. Fortunately I have stumbled onto something that appears to be working very well.

I thought it would be helpful to others to get this update.

Heidi
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 6392
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thankfully, I've never had a horse with this problem. However, I've read it all just to learn and see what happened with your guy. I'm glad you seem to have found somethings that help. Interesting about the herbs; imo Chinese medicine has a lot to teach us.

I'm curious, Between your post of Dec. '09 and the current one did you see a dermatologist? Have any other tests done? Anything else you changed in that period of time? Thanks for posting.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25810
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jun 18, 2011 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Heidi,
I remain skeptical of the cause and effect you draw in your post.

Let us consider that you have a nondiagnosed problem of pruritis of two years and 3 months duration. In the last post you bring in other ill defined symptoms. I would note that most of the non-pruritic sheaths in this world are quite dirty. While I check for beans in my horses I do not clean their sheaths regularly just a good rinse following each ride. On a hot day and especially following a ride, I would consider a hot damp sticky sheath normal.

Using the clinical signs and some of the responses to treatment above it suggests that there may be a fungal/yeast component and a allergic component. Following the introduction of a good antihistamine the pruritis was "enormously" improved for. Now following the introduction of Genital Damp Heat [One description I find is: Gentian (Long Dan Cao), Scullcap (Huang Qin), Gardenia (Zhi Zi), Akebia (Mu Tong), Plaintain (Che Qian Cao), Alisma (Ze Xie), Buplerum (Chai Hu), Rehmannia (Di Huang), Angelica (Dang Gui), Licorice (Gan Cao)] and while continuing the antihistamine the sheath is no longer hot, damp, and sticky. So you have discontinued the antihistamine and continued the GDH the sheath remains "not hot, damp, or sticky".

It is a classic case of a temporal relationship where one event follows another but there is no evidence of a causal effect. I am not picking on Chinese herbal medicine. The same principle applies to the use of the antihistamine as to the herbs. In both cases the causal relationship remains conjectural. It is such temporal relationships and the fact that the large majority of disease processes will heal them selves in time that allowed bad practices in medicine to last for hundreds in not a thousand years. However in the case of the antihistamine we have well known scientific principles backed up with many decades of clinical experience that in some types of pruritic conditions they are highly effective. I cannot find such evidence for the herbal treatment.

Then again none of this says it has not had a beneficial effect. What is the monthly cost of the GDP Heidi?
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Heidi Wright
Member
Username: remmi

Post Number: 63
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 - 8:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

All,

I continue to get frequent inquiries from individuals who saw this post and are struggling with a chronic itchy sheath in their geldings. I thought I would update the status of my horse.

Given my horse's symptoms went away after I started using the GDH herb, and that the closest dermatologist was several hours away, I never did take him to get skin tested.

My vet, who also does acupuncture and prescribed the herbs, suggested taking him off the herb periodically to see if the symptoms reappear. Unfortunately after 30-45 days they do reappear. So then I put him back on the GDH and within a week or so they subside again. The product costs $140, which lasts about 60 days, so it's not cheap, but definately worth it from my perspective.

So in the end, I took him off all processed feeds and use Genital Damp Heat herb and I am able to control it. His sheath environment is not as greasy and hot as it was when he was having the problem.

I understand where Dr. O is coming from in terms of jumping to conclusions on various unproven remedies. All I can say is that for whatever reason, the chinese herbs are what has controlled the problem that my horse has - but it certainly doesn't mean it will anyone elses. If I was at the beginning stages of this situation, I would start with a dermatologist. I just happened to stumble onto a solution, but if I had realized in the beginning how difficult it was going to be to solve this, I would have gone to a dermatologist right away.


Heidi
Post a Message to this Discussion
Posting
Instructions:
Full Service Members may post to this discussion and should address the orignial poster's concerns or other information posted here. New questions about your horse should be started in a new discussion. Use the navigation bar at the top of this page to return to the parent article and review the article and existing discussions. If your question remains unanswered "Start a New Discussion", the link is under the list of discussions at the bottom of the article.
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username:
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:
Home Page | Todays Discussions | Search | Top of Page Administration
  http://www.horseadvice.com
is The Horseman's Advisor
Helping Thousands of Equestrians, Farriers, and Veterinarians Every Day
All rights reserved, © 2014
Horseadvice.com is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Horse Training in Stokesdale NC