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Discussion on Weight loss , leading to a balloon sized swelling of the penis

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JAMES ROBERTSON
New Member
Username: Jjrober8

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 - 11:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a Thoroughbred gelding. In the winter he always looses weight! This winter he lost a lot and had swelling in his penis. We called the vet and by the time he came out it was the size of a small balloon. He told me my boy was in his twenties. I was told he was in his early teens. We have changed him to a seniors formula and he is putting weight back on. My vet said the swelling in his penis is do to the weight loss and the only thing he can advise me to do is clean and massage it every day. It has been 3 weeks and he continues to put on weight but the swelling will not go down. My vet says if the swelling does not go down, we have only two choices. One is to surgically remove his penis or to put him down. Has anyone ever come across this before? and any suggestions?
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1294
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 12:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Did your vet say what the connection was between the weight loss and the swelling?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15374
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A horses maintenance energy requirements go up during the winter while the energy available from the grass and even the hay goes down. As a result most horses need extra hay and probably grain in your case to keep from loosing weight.

Yes, there are many reasons why the penis might swell but weight loss is not on my list. First is it the penis or the sheath that is swollen? Next what is it about the weight loss that your vet says causes the swelling? Lastly has any blood work been pulled? Perhaps a picture will help us.
DrO
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JAMES ROBERTSON
New Member
Username: Jjrober8

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 8:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DRO the weight loss was due to me giving him feed for a younger horse instead of a seniors formula. He was simply not getting enough fat or protein. my vet said he spoke with a friend at the university and he said this happens when there is not enough protein in his blood. the swelling is in his penis! about 5 inches from the tip, but he also said he spoke to a stud farm in Kentucky and they have had it happen to some of there stud horses! he did not offer why!i do not know what think ! i will have to check to see if he did do blood work. i have been so upset, thinking i might have to put him down. i can take a picture when i get home from work tonight. thank you, Jim
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15386
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Though hypoproteinemia can certainly result in swelling, the penis is not a common site for this to happen. The sheath, ventral midline, and legs yes, but not the penis.

A common problem in older horses is paralysis of the retractor muscles of the penis, that leads to accumulation of fluid and swelling. Horses in poor condition are predisposed. See Equine Diseases » Urinary System » Penile Prolapse in Horses for more. It gives specific recommendations for treatment.
DrO
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JAMES ROBERTSON
New Member
Username: Jjrober8

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 - 8:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO again thank you for all the info! i clean it everyday and massage the swelled part, i also run cold water on it and i have made a harness to take pressure off of it. I have yet to see any signs of it getting better. my question is? if the swelling will not go down can he live like that or will he have to be put down? i am trying to get some pictures our camera is not working.
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JAMES ROBERTSON
New Member
Username: Jjrober8

Post Number: 4
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 - 9:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dro i wanted to add that my vet had him for a week at his office trying a number of different thing and he has told me if the swelling does not go down with what we are doing now that surgery would be the only other thing to do! and with what he said it would cost we simply can't afford that.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15420
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 - 8:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

To really help you answer that question would require a physical exam James but mostly depends on your goals and resources. Resources are more than just money but include time and emotional resources also.
DrO
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