All castrations are performed under intravenous general anesthetic. The total duration of the procedure from
induction to recovery ranges from 30 to 60 minutes. During the surgery, all blood vessels and significant
structures are ligated with dissolving sutures.
Intra-operative pain control is achieved by the addition of Butorphanol, a synthetic narcotic, at the time
of anesthetic induction and additionally, the surgical site is perfused with long acting local anesthetic.
Oral phenylbutazone (bute) is used twice daily beginning in the evening after surgery. Adequate pain control
during and after surgery is humane and helps to ensure an optimal, comfortable recovery. After surgery, the horse
should remain in a small, enclosed area for the rest of the day and be monitored periodically. The following day he
should be turned out in a clean paddock or pasture. Additionally he should be actively exercised three times daily for
15 minutes at a walk and trot. A longe line or round pen works well. Ponying from another horse also works well, if the
handler is experienced.
The surgical incision is left open to drain and adequate exercise is important to limit swelling
to an acceptable amount. Expect a moderate amount of swelling on the second or third post-surgical day.
This will persist for about one week or so and then begin to subside after about two weeks total. Some minor
thin bloody discharge may be present for a day or two. Any soiling on the legs must be cleaned at least twice daily.
Hosing or bathing from a bucket of warm water is useful.
We should be called if the colt seems overly uncomfortable, goes off feed or has an undue amount
of swelling, bleeding or other discharge. We do not expect complications, but please call with any
questions or concerns.