One day I asked my vet about it. He suggested that I try a smegma transplant - basically, take some smegma from another gelding's sheath, mix it up with a bit of Vaseline, and stuff it up into Farly's sheath. The idea is that Farly had something like a yeast infection, and the smegma from the other horse would change the ph balance in there and hopefully get some good flora happening.
|Farly, of the stinky sheath.|
It was simple. And it worked - well, for about 6-8 months at a time. When it started to stink and he'd start rubbing again I'd start asking my fellow boarders for some smegma and do the transplant again.
Fast forward to current days, twenty years later. I have another gelding who has a stinky sheath and seems to rub his tail and sides almost daily. Time to try the Smegma Transplant again.
I've been meaning to do it for a while, but I keep forgetting to bring out the KY Jelly (that I bought specifically for this task!). I've lined up geldings whose owners have volunteered them to be donors, but they're generally outside and I'd have to haul one of them in. So it just hasn't happened.
Last week, I got my ducks in a row. Cisco was tied up in the aisle, and I gloved up.
My first donor was a big senior gelding in a stall. I put a halter on him, said hi, and stuck my hand up his manbits. And found nothing. No smegma. Nada. The cleanest sheath I've ever felt up.
So onto donor #2, who is on stall rest. And I hit the motherlode. I don't know when his sheath was last cleaned, but it was to my benefit that it's been a while.
I added a bit of lube to the smegma to make a lovely, smelly, smegma paste. And shoved it up Cisco's hoo hoo.
|Smegma paste. Ewwww.|
The big question - has it worked?
It's been 4 days since the procedure. Cisco had only a little roughing up at the top of his tail - don't know if it is fresh rubbing, old rubbing, or someone chewing on his tail. Big improvement from the usual rat's nest that his tail is in.
He still has some rub marks behind his stifles. I don't know if they are fresh or not. Next time I'm out I might try to lay the hair down with a brush and water and see if that makes it look better.
Tentative conclusion - the transplant has been a success! He was rubbing his tail daily before the transplant, so to see only a possible rub is an improvement. Time will tell if it is a total cure (or at least a 6 month cure).