Question for experienced horse people


11 Years
Feb 23, 2008
Alexandria, Louisiana
My daughter's horse had a bit of trouble urinating the other day, he was swollen, so we dug around up there and pulled out a couple of "beans".

This was 5 days ago, and his sheath is still swollen! Any ideas? We are giving him bute to see if that will help, but nothing yet. Anybody experienced this? I have a couple of pics I took on my cell, but I don't know how to send them to an email so I can post them.
Did you clean his sheath or just dig around in it? Sounds to me like he has an infection. This can be from two ways. Either his sheath was cleaned so well that it destroyed the good bacteria and caused an infection or that is has not been cleaned sufficently and has an infection.

I am currently fostering a rescue stallion that when he was taken into custody had his sheath cleaned so well that it created a massive infection that caused his testicles and sheath to swell to and enormous size, he even had underlying edema all the way up his chest.

He was seen by a vet and was given SMZ's for the infection for 10 days and we hosed him 3 times a day and exercised him for 15 minutes twice a day. Excercise was the most important thing but due to his overall condition he couldn't handle strenuous work.

If I were you I'd be speaking with a vet about a possible infection and how to treat it.

Good Luck!
I agree, it sounds like he may have an infection. If it's been 5 days with no improvement, it's definitely worth a call to the vet. Untreated UTIs can cause all kinds of nasty complications.
Three other possibilities, for a swollen sheath: there are various growths (both benign and not) that can start down there; a lymphatic or heart problem can cause swelling of the sheath; and so can an inconveniently-placed insect sting. The first two would require a vet, and you're likely to need a vet to sort it all out, so, time to call. *probably* it is not serious. However you need to make sure and get it sorted out.

Personally, I wouldn't be giving bute unless I had a darn good idea what the problem was or it was very seriously painful.

Good luck,

Yes, I should have elaborated, I was just one tracking an infection. However, hopefully it is not a tumor they can be some nasty things.

I agree bute is going to do very little/nothing for this problem.
Call a vet out. You probably irritated the lining of his penis when you removed the beans. The sheath can swell to the point of injuring itself and requiring a sling, so get a vet out ASAP.
Maybe I should have clarified a little bit, he was swollen before we got the beans out, just hasn't gone down any. We did give him a thorough cleaning with Excalibur.

He still acts fine, eating, drinking, not acting as if he's in pain, but if he's still the same size tomorrow, I'll call the vet (our ONLY large animal vet) out and let her take a looksy.

Thanks, guys! Knew I could count on y'all for some prompt answers!

EDIT: Oh, and he's one of those geldings that don't "drop" when he urinates, so he needs to be cleaned more often than the others...always has ick up there.
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Besides what others have said some geldings will swell if they are not getting exercise. My old boy likes to just stand around and be lazy. He will swell in the winter more than the summer. If I lunge him for 15mins. the swelling goes down almost immediately. Good Luck hope its nothing serious.

Still needs his hooves trimmed, but I'll take care of that today when I get home from work. Such a relief!!!! Think I might still call the vet and get her opinion on the matter.
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