Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Swelling of Scrotum in Stallion

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If you feel the problem is severe or has come on suddenly.
  • If you notice signs of colic, along with this sign.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If the problem is subtle or slowly changing.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.
  • If the condition does not seem to be causing pain or other problem.

There is normal seasonal variation of scrotal size in stallions. During the breeding season, a stallion’s testicles may naturally enlarge.

However, swelling of the scrotum (often worse on one side) can also be caused by a variety of health conditions. Scrotal trauma is common in breeding stallions and is the most common cause of scrotal swelling. Viral diseases such as EVA, as well as scrotal hernias and testicular torsion can cause a testicle to swell. Bacterial infection (orchitis) is another uncommon cause.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) and share your findings and concerns with your vet. For many of these conditions, time is of the essence. Do not breed the stallion again until a full evaluation has been performed.

WHAT YOUR HORSE DOES

Vets use clinical exam, and palpation of the scrotum to determine the cause of the swelling. In some cases, ultrasound and/or laboratory work may be helpful.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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