Castration in Horses: The Important Matters

For horses to have a better castrating process, you need to educate yourself. With this, you can identify all the possible decisions for the horses’ betterment. For centuries, castration controls the aggressiveness behavior of male horses. Castration also came with different terms such as emasculating, cutting, and gelding. Also, orchidectomy is the methodical name of castration. Orchid means testicles and ectomy means to resect or remove. Thus, orchidectomy means the removing of testicles through surgery.

Why horses need Castration?

Castration in every animal comes in removing both or one of their testicles. Along with this is the removal of some associated structures like epididymis. Also, removing some part of spermatic cord. A tube-like form containing the supply of blood such as artery and vein is the spermatic cord. It also consists of testicles’ supply nerve and ductus. Horses owners performed castration in horses that has low breeding stock. Also, castration is good in cryptorchidism cases and hard to manage stallions.

Testicles are well-known for testosterone production. It is the hormone that enables horses to have stallion-like behavior. It also helps them to have physical features. In general, removing both testicles prevents the horse from inappropriate stallion-like actions. These behaviors are screaming and competing with other animal, and mounting other horses. Also, it includes erection of horses, masturbation, and the violent actions towards humans. 

Castration is not effective in eliminating aggressive behaviors when done late. It also hard to remove such behavior after horses used in breeding the mares. Even if horses cannot reproduce, the aggressive and mounting behavior might not vanish. They might always repeat this behavior for attempt of breeding. 

Reasonable Time to Castrate Horses

The majority of veterinarians would accept that it is ideal to castrate horses at an early age. The best age in castrating horses is a year below. At that age, male horses have small testicles that are simpler to remove. It has less risk of serious post-operative bleeding. The testicles have a significant growth in size during puberty. Also, the horses’ blood flow increases. For post-pubescent horses, it is harder to manage the bleeding form. The cause of this is the larger spermatic artery.

Many individuals castrate horses around 2 to 3 years old when they become a major concern. This may root for horses’ need to establish an even more masculine look. This includes heavier build and thicker neck.

The colt needs to be healthy and mature enough to survive the surgery. But this is not that much of a concern as it was before with modern anesthetics. Stallions are often castrated in their twenties. But if they have gone through puberty, they learned much of the stallion-like actions. Also, they can get some certain forms of violence and mounting behavior. With this, the effectivity of castration may lose. 

It is a great idea that the colt to have an extensive checking before taking another step. Both testicles should be present and evident. If one is hard to find, colts’ testicles need to check again after a month or more. They might have cryptorchidism if it is still unavailable. Thus, they should have castration every now and then. Also, doing the process in a clinic would be better under general anesthetic.

The Field and Clinic Castration

In various ways, a castration may do. Also, every veterinarian may have a unique preference. The variations are dependable to many variables. It includes the farms’ amenities, handling of the farm. Also, it includes the horses’ age, and the time for lay-up after the castration process. Other significant considerations are if both testicles have fallen into the horses’ scrotum. Knowing the capacity of veterinarian to conduct the procedure is also important.

he most essential factor for a healthy castration is in the horses’ scrotum. The two testicles should descend into horses’ scrotum. The veterinarian should pay attention to this before surgery begins. Also, horses could have cryptorchidism if both or one testicle is absent. For horses that have this kind of condition, it requires an extensive surgery. So, the surgery may take place in a clinic rather than in a field.

About the place, it depends upon the facilities and policy of your practice. In the clinic, several practices now provide castration. But most people still opt to perform the operation at home. The benefit of getting it performed in the clinic is it will be cleaner for the operation. Also, veterinarian can ensure the availability of apparatus and equipment. Moreover, for going to the field, several practices have a call-out fee. But that is offset because you will need to bring your colts to the veterinarian.

Castration: The When and How – The Horse

General Anesthetic and Sedation

There are lots of controversy about this decision. Some have ridiculous remarks from people who have poor information about it. For the operation itself, the two key options that you would need to think about. These options are whether to do the operation under general anesthetic or sedation.

For small Shetlands and miniature horses should not conform for standing. Since they are too small, the veterinarians cannot control the site and have a good access in them. Draft breeds have a greater eventration risk. With this, they may need a particular surgical procedure. For a full-grown stallion, they tend to bleed more and need to have great surgery. With this, using general anesthetic makes it easier. Furthermore, most of the colts can have either way. So, it is you and the vet to choose your preferred procedure.

  • Standing Sedation – Under this process, colts will have injectable sedatives and they become very dopey. They are going to continue to stand up and his head is going to drop. With this, they will follow to the broad-based stance. But colts are still aware of what is going on, you remind yourself with this. So, vet will inject local anesthetic to the testicles or in the spermatic cord in numbing the area. About 20ml of local anesthetic is the recommended dosage for each testicle. 

With the veterinarian operating from standing next to the horse, castration is then done. This strategy reduces the possibility of general anesthetic. It also ensures that the horse recovers easier from sedative. The amount of sedation obtained is unpredictable. Some colts seem to be more conscious of the treatment even though they have a high dosage of sedative.

There is a greater chance of harm to the veterinarian when colts realize what they are doing. Furthermore, if the surgical access is worse, then it is more difficult to control the complication.

  • General Anesthetic – With this approach, the veterinarian sedated the colt. Then he will inject the general anesthetic. He will get tired, so he will lay down. An assistant raises the legs up once he is down, allowing the surgeon to have an access. The downside is that most veterinarians will only undergo GA on horses. They will do this if there is another veterinarian that monitors the anesthetic. As a result, this may cost much for you. 

Furthermore, GA is a risk. A study shows that the GA’s mortality average rate is 1% in horses. This involves colic and immediate operations. But the harm is lower to healthy and young colts. Also, the risk for veterinarians to get injury and surgical complications is lower. 

Is the other one approach better than the other one? No, it is a matter of choice. You need to consider a lot of factors for you to decide. Also, you need to consider the opinion of the veterinarian since they are the experts in this kind of work.

For you to have more idea about the castration in horses, watch this video:

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