Castrating your horse
- Castrating or Gelding a horse is an act of Veterinary Science and therefore can only be carried out by a Registered Veterinarian.
- It is illegal for anyone other than a veterinarian to administer intra-venous drugs to your horse or any scheduled drugs used in sedating, pain relief or medicating.
- If your horse was to have a reaction to the sedation only your veterinarian would know what to do and would have the means to attend to it.
The recommended age for gelding a horse varies quite a lot, however here at Vet Cross we find that 6-9 months is a good age, as it means the colt is old enough to cope with the anaesthetic, but smaller than a fully grown horse and therefore the anaesthetic risk is lower.
To perform the procedure the horse must first be anaesthetised and although horse anaesthetics carry a variety of risks these can be limited by taking a few simple precautions.
- A full veterinary check prior to sedation to ensure the horse is in good health to go ahead with the procedure.
- Selection of a suitable safe area to perform the surgery and for the patient to recover post anaesthetic.
- Use of soft towels to cover eyes during the procedure
- Removal of any encumbrances such as headstalls or rugs whilst horse is anaesthetised
- Allowing the horse to recover and wake up quietly and on it’s own without being forced or rushed.
The surgery takes approximately 10-20 minutes. The blood vessels are clamped to reduce bleeding and the area is left open to allow drainage and will generally heal within a few weeks.
After the horse has recovered from its anaesthetic he should be kept in his normal paddock, movement helps to prevent post-operative swelling, hosing the area once or twice a day can also help and spraying the area with an antiseptic spray such as Chloromide will keep the flies away.
Tetanus vaccinations should be kept up to date however a quick acting tetanus injection can be given at the time of gelding if necessary. Horses ideally should have a tetanus vaccination from about 3 months of age and a booster one month later and booster vaccinations every 12 months.
If you have any queries regarding gelding your horse please call your Vet Cross Clinic where they will gladly answer your questions.