We recommend castrations are performed in the spring or autumn months in order to avoid the flies. In the winter wet muddy fields increase the risk of wound infection. Both testicles need to be present in the scrotum and the animal has to be strong enough to withstand the procedure. It is a stressful period for foals so it may be more suitable to castrate prior to weaning.
Castrations are normally done in the standing sedated animal for foals up to two year olds and under general anaesthetic for older animals.
All surgery involves an element of risk including during and after:
At the time of surgery
At the time of surgery the two major complications include bleeding and, very rarely, herniation of abdominal components through the castration wound. These can occur at the time of surgery, and up to approximately 24-36 hours after surgery. A careful check underneath your horse to see if there is any dripping or any tissue protruding from the wounds should reveal any problems.
If your horse is off colour, has a reduced appetite, is unwilling to move around or showing any other concerning symptoms then do not hesitate to contact us.
Some swelling of the sheath is normal after castration and this could last for up to a week. Turnout and hand walking as advised by the attending vet should help this settle quickly. If this swelling is excessive or tracking up over his scrotum then the vet should be contacted.
Discharge from the wounds
Occasionally a small amount of thin discharge will occur from the wound sites however if this persists for longer than a few days or is more than just a drip or two, or if the discharge is smelly or thick then the vet must be contacted.
The wounds should scab over and heal within approximately three weeks.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns at any time.