Castration of your horse/pony is done for several reasons including making them infertile, for behavioural reasons, management, athletic performance and treatment of a disease.

Before the operation:

Before your horse/pony can be castrated he must be fit and healthy, reasonably well handled and clean underneath (if he is wet or muddy he should be kept in overnight). Horses and ponies are usually castrated before 2 years old but can be older. We usually recommend castration in the spring and autumn when there are less flies (preventing infection) and when it’s not too cold (as the cold weather may slow wound healing).

Ideally a stable or field shelter should be available to keep your horse/pony in after the operation. We will also need to see your horse/pony’s passport before the operation.

The operation:

We will check your horse/pony to see if both testicles are present and normal. If they are not then this may mean that the procedure will be more complicated and we may have to refer the case.

Castrations are usually done with the horse/pony standing under heavy sedation, however some situations may require the horse/pony to be given a general anaesthetic. As well as sedation your horse/pony will be given a local anaesthetic into the testicles. The castration itself involves crushing and then cutting the spermatic cord, the blood vessels and associated structures. At the time of the castration the horse/pony will be given antibiotics, a painkiller/anti-inflammatory and an anti-tetanus injection.

After the operation:

After a routine castration the skin incisions are usually left open. The gelding should be box-rested for 36 hours after the operation and then led out daily until the wounds have healed. You will need to continue giving painkillers and antibiotics for a few days after the operation.

Possible complications to look out for after the castration are bleeding, infection, swelling, protrusion of tissue out of the wounds and signs of colic. We will go through the possible complications and individual post-operative care with you in further detail at the time of the operation. Castration Aftercare Instructions
Please remember that each case is unique so your vet may recommend slightly different guidelines from the ones shown depending on your horse's needs.

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