Sheath Cleaning

We noticed a few days ago that Jasper had some sludge on the inside of his legs near his what’s-it.  Michelle suggested it may be time for his first sheath cleaning.

Oh.

So I asked her what it was all about. She mentioned geldings, bla bla, regularly clean, bla bla rubber gloves, something called smegma and a disgusting smell.

You had me at rubber gloves.

So I called in the vet. In this instance I would rather pay someone whatever money to go digging around up there! I don’t know what the average is of horse owners who clean it themselves but I will probably never be one of them!

Still, I was very curious about the whole procedure as I have never seen this act done in person – only heard stories and something about Brownies shouldn’t be nearby when you are doing it. So, fascinated with my new topic of discussion, I brought it up over dinner with my husband that night. By the time he realized what particular organ I was talking about, he lost all of his appetite and had visibly crossed his legs. Perhaps not the best time to bring this up. 

So being that I am a new horse owner and perhaps there is someone else out there who wants to know what it is all about, I observed the whole procedure….and took pictures. (I know, I’m weird.)

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First Jasper was lightly sedated. This allows the horse to
relax and <ahem> let it all hang out.
It also makes it safer for anyone doing work under there!
Yep, Jasper looks contentedly stoned in this picture.
I would like to have what he’s having.

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Oscar the cat decided he would supervise the proceedings from atop the vets truck.

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The vet prepared a bucket of warm water, a lot of cotton batting
and had a bottle liquid soapy stuff of which I forget the name.
My job was to pour the soap onto the cotton batting for her (and take pictures 🙂

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The first thing she did was stick her finger right up in his what’s-it  (oy!) and check for what is
called a ‘bean’ which is basically a buildup of I don’t want to know. Jasper had no bean.
Apparently all horses are different in regards to accumulation.

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This was too much for Oscar and he promptly left.

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She then proceeded to clean up and inside the sheath with the warm soapy
water. He did have some dirt buildup.

I asked the vet if there had been a class for this procedure
in vet school. An exam?

Apparently not. It’s on the job training.

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So there you have it, Jasper’s shiny, clean you know what’s-it. I just had to
take a picture of it. After all, I just paid a lot of money for it to look like this…
and I don’t know when I will see it this clean again!

Kudos to the vet for explaining everything, answering all my
silly questions and sticking her hand in regions I
will never visit.

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