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Any helpful tips ref care after castrating a colt?

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  • Any helpful tips ref care after castrating a colt?

    i will be purchasing a yearling colt next week (providing he passes the PPE ) and hopefully bringing him home that day. I don't need a stallion and the plan is that he will be gelded immediately. I've never had to deal with having one castrated before. Most people I've asked have said it's not that big a deal - still, it's new to me.

    Any helpful suggestions or tips for his care etc?
    Last edited by mtngirl; Mar. 12, 2010, 04:14 AM.
    A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.

  • #2
    Just gelded our two yesterday (mine and a client's horse I bred!) Turn them out asap. Movement is very important to make sure they continue good drainage from the surgical area. My vet does them standing up with a longer lasting sedative (turbogesic mixture.) She numbs the scrotum, and the whole process takes about 30 minutes or so. I have been using the same vet for this procedure for about 14 years.



    • #3
      Plenty of turnout and some gentle daily hosing of the scrotal area.

      I've never had one with a problem. My vet also prefers to do them standing, but we did the mini lying down.
      Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


      • #4
        Cold hosing if they'll tolerate it, and keep them moving, as others have said. Keep an eye on things, make sure they're bright and eating normally. A little aspirin can help if they are really uncomfortable and not having any bleeding issues.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          If they decide they just...can't...move... then you'll have to take him for 20-30 minute walks a few times a day. The movement is what helps keep swelling down.

          My vet recommends some quiet time for 12-24 hours at first to allow things time to clot well but after that, free choice exercise, forced walking if you must.

          Drainage is to be expected, excess is not. I'd also try to get a baseline temperature on him in the few days before, maybe one in the morning and one at night so you can monitor changes.

          My vet much prefers to lay them down. You'll want a not-squishy but not-hard surface - she likes a "soft" pasture, and of course you'll want to make sure no nosy bodies can "help" LOL

          Ask your vet about any pain killers. I don't believe mine prescribes them as a matter of course, but individuals vary
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            Agree w/JB - Keep them moving after the first day, watch for swelling, and gentle hosing/cleaning to keep the incision open so it can drain. I also keep track of the temp just in case.


            • #7
              Keep him moving. And whether he likes it or not cold hosing at least once a day, twice is better, for at 10 minutes each time. Be sure to make sure both sides of his incision stay open and heal from the inside out. You may have to get your fingers up in there and do a little debriding of clots and scabs.
              As long as he is healing from the inside out, you shouldn't need antibiotics or bute. If he closes to soon, get him back to your vet, to get the incision reopened. Then you may have a round of antibiotics and bute.
              You can rub vaseline or mineral oil where you see drainage on his hind legs to prevent his skin being irritated from the drainage.


              • #8
                This !

                Originally posted by SBF View Post
                Agree w/JB - Keep them moving after the first day, watch for swelling, and gentle hosing/cleaning to keep the incision open so it can drain. I also keep track of the temp just in case.
                This is my method never had a problem.
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • #9
                  Keep them moving is the best advice. If you turn him out...turn him out alone or with another horse that won't chase him or run him. If you can't manage that then turn out in a round pen or hand walking several times a day...plus cold hosing. If he does swell up get him moving...walk..walk..walk. The swelling should reduce with movement. Watch him for signs of fever or infection though and call your vet immediately if you notice excessive swelling that doesn't relieve with walking, fever, loss of appetite, pus or excessive bleeding. Your vet will give you run-down...if he is like my vet he will have a hand-out ready with everything you need to know and look out for.
                  "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                  • #10
                    You SHOULD have no problems and not much aftercare, doing him at this time. I've got three being done on monday, same age, early yearlings. The vets I use normally give a shot of penicillin, and a shot of bute at the time of the surgery. With a young horse like these guys, that is usually all they need. Expect some slight swelling in the next few days, some slight stiffness, but not a lot. If possible, we keep them inside for the first day, but make sure they get lots of running around after that. Out with other horses is the key to this, other horses who will make them run. Run, not walk. They must be pain free enough to participate. With older colts and mature stallions, there is often a LOT more aftercare, more complications, due to the amount of blood supply to the organs being greater than with younger ones. It might bleed a little afterwards, this is OK. If there is blood let out of vessels, it is better that it come out than clotting inside somewhere, this is where you get infection, and problems if they are going to happen. Extreme swelling, whether or not there is pus noticable, are signs of problems, usually a clot retaining infection. If this happens, take his temp (there will probably be an elevated one) and call your vet back. Experienced owners can clear many clots themselves, but if not experienced, you will need the vet for this. Tranquilization to do this is very helpful, as it can be very painful to re-open one. Once cleared, a course of antibiotics, painkilling and forced exercise is in order. But doing him young will probably relieve you of these problems. Be careful of cold hosing, it can wash infection further up the passageways. Only hose if you have to, if it is already obviously infected. If it remains clean, without infection, don't hose. Good luck, and happy gelding!


                    • Original Poster

                      That's exactly what I was looking for. Good suggestions.

                      This should turn out to be an interesting experience, as this colt has had only minimal handling (barely halter broke). I board, and right now the plan is that he will be going into a sacrifice pasture alone, so I guess it'll be lots of hand walking for him.

                      Best guess is that he's never had water sprayed on him. Guess I'll be spending the couple of day prior to his procedure working on ground manners and getting him more used to being handled. He's a friendly fellow, so I anticipate that he'll pick things up pretty quick.

                      Thanks everyone!
                      A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                      • #12
                        In addition to keeping him moving, you might want to lightly spread some vaseline on the inside of his legs (not near the incision), to keep the fluids from scalding the skin.


                        • #13
                          With the cold hosing, I do not put anything on the legs. Especially sticky things that can hold dirt near the hole. The hosing should remove any dried fluids, or pick them off after softening, when almost finished cold hosing. Cold hosing should be a gentle flow of water running down, not full blast with all the pressure you can.

                          We don't give pain killers, most young animals will sell exercise according to how they feel. I SURE don't want one pain free after gelding, running like a maniac!

                          Doing your pre-gelding work, he should be turned out in the field you plan to use before you geld. SEE how he does alone in a new field, BEFORE he goes in there after gelding. Is he easy to catch? TEACH him to come for grain, LIKE YOU, before you MUST be able to catch him. A familiar place will be better than a new strange one for turnout, when he is already upset from the gelding process.

                          Totally agree with as much exercise as possible, someplace in the field or pen to lay down and be dry. We just planned on forced exercise as part of the routine. That way you INSURE that he gets enough, with self-exercise as a bonus. 20-30 minutes each session is good if horse is marching along, walking mostly, some trot. We do three sessions a day, but other folks may not have that much time. Ours have always been fine, no problems.

                          We do now geld them later, 2yr olds. This seems to stop the outrageous height they attain if gelded young! So far, it seems to be working for us.
                          17H finish height is ENOUGH!! Being older, larger, our drainage lasts longer because the holes are much bigger, so holes are much slower to finally close. That is something to consider if your young horse is large, he will need longer healing time. A spot of drainage even a month or so later, is not a danger sign. I know I called the old Vet with our first older colt spotting, he reassured me that it was not a problem because of the hole size. He often gelds old stallions, sees the same issue, very long healing time, often a couple months. Not a problems if horse is kept exercised and clean with just hosing. He recommended cold hosing if I was worried about any spotting. The man has been a Vet for over 50 years, done literally thousands of horses, VERY expensive stallions and colts, so has plenty of experience to back up his recommendations. He stays up on the latest stuff, but practical knowledge counts for a lot too. He only sees problems if horses are not exercised enough after gelding, whatever their age.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks! I feel better now.

                            The information is much appreciated.

                            I have a couple of options I can take as far as turnout. The colt I'm buying just turned a year old in Feb. so he's not too big yet. He'll be in a square "dry lot" (although things haven't been "dry" here since October!) when he first comes to our barn. This is so that I can work with him about catching and getting him used to me. He's used to being out in a huge field with 8 other siblings and a stallion. The breeder has them all trained to come to a fence line to be fed each day, so I don't think it will take him long to associate me with his food.

                            I don't think he'll like being alone (there will be another horse next to him in another dry lot though), but it's something he's going to have to adapt to, at least for the moment. If/when a spot comes open in the larger pasture, I hope I can place him there with a couple of older mares, but that's not an option at this time.

                            After a few days of getting used to being handled more, he will go out into a hilly pasture by himself (it's the only one available at this time). There will be a horse in the lot next to him, but not in with him.

                            Another option I have is to keep him in the dry/square lot or there's another 20 m round pen that will be available. He'll have more room to be able to run and play in the 20m round pen. The square lot is about 40'x25'? Large enough to where the horse can walk and move around, but not really big enough for them get to running etc.

                            Maybe I'm rushing the castration, but timing wise it works out so that it will fall on my week off and I will have more time to watch him closely. If the weather cooperates, there's a possibilty he can be turned out temporarily in a smaller grass paddock, but I'm not counting on that. We've had nothing but wet weather for months now and the grass lots we have are currently a disaster.

                            Thanks for the suggestions. It makes me feel more informed and a little easier about the whole procedure.
                            A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                            • #15
                              Hey mtngirl,
                              I just went through it for the first time with my 10 month old colt. (ex-colt, whatever) My vet did it lying down. I was pretty nervous - worried that if he would go down awkwardly and crunch a leg, and worried that it would be too much "blood n guts" for my wimpy self - but it wasn't bad at all. (Although I admit to not watching most of the time.) He didn't even seem to have much discomfort in the few days following the procedure. He has had a fair amount of swelling (I think I have a sensitive chestnut on my hands!), so I've been giving half a gm of bute 2x day and chasing him around the indoor to get him moving. (He doesn't tend to play much on turnout.) This has kept the swelling from getting worse.
                              Good luck to you! How about some pics & info on your new little guy???
                              "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


                              • Original Poster

                                retrofit: Thanks! I'll post a picture after I get him home. Right now all I have of him is video. As for more information, the colt is a half brother to the filly I lost to colic New Year's Day, by the same sire.

                                Rapport is a yearling Hanoverian colt by Razmataz (son of Royal Prince) out of a mare by Graf Genius. Solid chestnut, with about a dozen white hairs on his forehead - well - depending on the day. They seem to appear and then disappear.

                                Like I said before, this is pending his PPE, but we're not expecting anything out of the ordinary. I'll post some pictures after I get him home Friday.
                                A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                                • #17
                                  If you have trouble hosing him -- be reassured that (with my vet's OK) I NEVER cold-hose a recently-gelded colt.

                                  My vet says hosing is OK for local edema or to get blood or drainage (which should be minimal) off his upper legs. I have had neither situation. She (my vet) does not want the hose "chasing" any dirt or manure or germs into the opening. So I just watch carefully and if it proceeds normally* I skip the hose.

                                  *Normally=swelling in the scrotal area only, while at rest or in a stall, which goes down when moving around. I too have to chase or -- best thing -- let the colt out in the arena with a buddy to get him to move strongly enough to really have an effect. Just meandering around isn't enough. Longeing would be great but I don't like to longe a baby.
                                  Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.