The cause of Bombay's swollen sheath was not what I thought. My theories were that he either kicked his privates so hard trying to get a fly off that he caused swelling, or he had an infection in his sheath. It turned out that we had a new species of fly enter our area this summer and it has been laying eggs under horses' skin. When she pulled the inside of his sheath out, there were bloody sores covered in yellow fly larvae. I said, "That looks so painful."
She said, "Not really. It looks worse than it is. It mainly causes the horses to itch."
His biggest sore was the size of a quarter. She got out her scalpel and scraped away to get all the larvae off and shaved it down to skin level, because it was basically a lump of foreign matter. The good news is that these flies will go away once November gets here. I don't remember the exact name of the fly. I just know it starts with the sound "Hab" or "Hav". I tried looking it up, but didn't get any hits.
The bad news is that I have to somehow put ointment and Aluspray on the sores when he is not sedated. He was kicking out at the vet even under sedation. She said that the sedatives do a good job of putting the front of the horse to sleep, but the back of the horse can still have normal reflexes.
I'm amazed at how quickly veterinary bills have been going up. The ranch call was $70. The general health exam, which consists of basically listening to his insides with a stethoscope was $65.00 for one minute of work. One shot of sedative was $50. And the ointment was $10.50. That came to a total of $195.50. I remember when sedatives were $20 a pop and ranch calls were $30. The general health exam was included in the ranch call fee. I guess I've just been around a long time.
She told me that to prevent the problem in the future, I need to spray the gelding's genitals with fly spray more often, and worm with Ivermectin during the summer. I went to my horse care records to see which type of wormer I last used on the horses. I remember worming them around the time the farrier was last here, but I never recorded it. I suspect I sat down to do it and got distracted. In fact, I was so out of it during the summer that I didn't even record the dates that the horses had their hooves trimmed. So, I'm just going to go to the store and buy some Ivermectin.
What kills me is that I know I've had the thought a dozen times or so to check to see when they were last wormed, yet I never got as far as bringing up the records on my computer, probably because the dogs distracted me by claiming that they had to go outside. That kind of seems to be the theme of my life.
Here's a funny story... About a year ago my son's girlfriend's family took my son on a trip to some tropical island. I don't remember where. Both of my kids are more well traveled than I've ever been. It think it was Aruba. Anyway, I was looking at pictures from their trip on his girlfriend's family members' Facebook pages, and I saw that my son had a tattoo I did not know about on his chest.
So, I asked him about it, and he was embarrassed for not ever telling me he got a tattoo. I guess he thought his parents would be angry with him, but he's an adult now, so he can do what he wants. Anyway, his story was that he got this Asian symbol of a dragon swallowing its own tail as a reminder to himself that he needs to focus. He was having trouble in school because his mind was all over the place, and he couldn't buckle down and study without getting distracted and forgetting what he was doing. Despite all of his worry, he earned a Bachelor's Degree with a minor in three years, which is incredible.
But I definitely can sympathize with his frustration over not being able to focus. Most of the time when something breaks or an animal needs veterinary care, the warning signs were there in my face the whole time, but I couldn't focus long enough to address the problem before it got out of control. I can't even tell you how many times I noticed that the flies were bothering the horses while I was shoveling manure, and I'd tell the horses that when I'm done I'll spray them with fly spray, only to totally forget once I left the barn.