Thursday 4 August 2022

The Attack of the Flies

 Poor Cisco. This summer has been a bit hard on him.

Apparently, the flies have been attacking him. There were enough bug bites on his neck when I took his blanket off that I was initially worried that he had hives, but under the blanket he was fine.

Taking the blanket off revealed something else however - a very swollen sheath.

It looked like his balls were trying to grow back in the wrong spot.

I'm assuming that it's due to the bugs, and maybe not moving around as much as he is still in the individual paddock. There was also some evidence of some edema having been on his chest, with just some saggy skin left over. 

Some weird saggy bits.

None of that was there on Monday when I was out, so it had all just happened in the last couple of days. 

I hadn't planned on riding, but needed to get that swelling down. I dug around in the car and found a pair of fleece-lined leggings that would have to do (it wasn't hot enough that I would die with them on, but it would be warm) and didn't plan to do enough that my lack of a sports bra would be an issue.

I'm pretty sure that I felt a waddle in his step. The footing in the outdoor was a bit damper than ideal so we tried to keep it to a quiet trot in the half of the ring that was usable, and by the end he felt better than he did at the beginning.

He had some bute before the ride, and I think the swelling close to his body came down a bit after exercise. It was still pretty fat though.

Post-ride old man saggy faux balls.

I've got to pick up some Swat today and will apply it liberally to his bottom bits and see if that helps the bug situation. I'm still trying to decide on where he stands regarding his asthma, and if the swelling stays up over the weekend I guess we'll have to see the vet next week for an all-over check-up.. 


  1. Yikes poor Cisco ! The springtime bugs eat Charlie alive, and everything ends up crusted in blood. Swat definitely works well for him tho and manages to stay in place more or less. Tho he’s never had that sort of ventral / midline swelling shown in the pics above …

    1. He only seemed to have swelling on his sheath and the saggy bits on his chest. The rest of his underneath parts were nice and firm - believe me, I checked! I also took his temp, and it was fine, so I'm still leaning towards a bug reaction.

  2. Remus had this before he had a huge reaction to not the flies but the no seeums and gnats under his fly sheet. UGH. Swat is your friend. Also my vet swears by the equispot as well (like Frontline but horse stuff?) GOOD LUCK! (I Do think grays have more issue with the reactions too!)

    1. Last summer there were times when he had lots of tiny, crusty, bloody marks on his sheath and muzzle, but I don't remember his balls growing back!