Linda Mefford

Swollen ****** With No Pain

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Have older gelding with swollen ****** that will not retract into sheath. He shows no sign of pain at all. Not off his feed, drinking water and acts as if nothing is wrong. Why is he not feeling any pain? Help please .

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CALL YOUR VET RIGHT NOW. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY AND YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR GELDING SEEN/TREATED IMMEDIATELY.

If allowed to persist in this swollen condition, permanent structural damage can occur and he may *never* be able to sheath himself, which may require surgery to re-route his urinary tract.

Reasons why he could be acting normal:

He could be so swollen that pain signals aren't getting through.

He could be too swollen to retract himself.

Horses can be stoic and perhaps he is uncomfortable but can't do anything about it so he simply continues about his business.

I cannot reiterate enough: VETERINARIAN. NOW.

Best of luck for you and your gelding and I look forward to an update.

heidi

Edited by Heidi n Q

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Didn't see this until today (on call all weekend and worked my butt off....) Hoping the OP was able to get immediate care. This presentation is a true medical emergency, and Heidi is completely correct in her assessment and response.

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Any update?

Heidi & CVM, what are causes for swollen ******? trauma? urinary blockage?

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That would be a question for CVM as I would only be able to guess at the causes. I know it is serious when it happens, based on what I've read about it, as I have never experienced it with a horse or known anyone else who has. I suppose a bean that blocks urinary stream or injury (like you suggested), infection, maybe reactions to meds or bug bites? I just don't know.

However, all those "male" commercials about "...anything lasting longer than 4 hours, seek immediate medical attention or permanent injury could occur..." seem to have the same amount of urgency over the issue of swelling of that particular organ and it causing permanent damage.

Bottom line: It needs to be treated like the emergency it is.

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In every case of paraphimosis where direct trauma was not identified (think stallion getting kicked by a mare for example) that I've seen, emaciation and malnutrition were the most evident cause. Unfortunately, one of the most common presentations I've seen is the horse that's blanketed over the winter, so the owner doesn't notice dropping body condition. They drop to urinate, are so debilitated that the retractor muscles are weakened, the p.e.n.i.s cannot be drawn back up, and gravity happens. Urinary obstruction and beans have no correlation.

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