Gelding at 6 mo's

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AJ

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What are pros and cons of gelding 6 month old boys, provided the testes are dropped?
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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Gelding early guarantees no stallion like behaviour that is a result of hormones and no risk of unplanned breedings . It is possible (some studies suggest) that gelding before the growth plates close will result in a taller horse but in minis it is probably a very marginal difference. Also some youngsters are already physically stressed by weaning and the additional stress of surgery is better delayed until they are strong and healthy. I'm sure there are more reasons to or not to geld weanlings but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment.
 

Carolyn R

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I have gelded ones under a year and everything up to a 17 year old. Some say as a general rule of thumb, gelding young before hormones kick in will give you a more refined neck, great in minis, sometimes not so desirable in certain big horse breeds ( drafts). As long as they are well adjusted, not stressed, healthy and fully dropped I would have no issues gelding any breed under a year of age.

My Gypsy vanner colt will have his turn in a few months, in the meantime I just get tired of hearing "why don't you wait and breed him to your mare once" . Nope, no desire to do any more breeding what so ever. Not my mare, nore to anyone elses mare ! LoL, I say if you know your gonna geld, do it while the weather is cool and before next spring when the flies come out.
 

targetsmom

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We are gelding a weanling (6 months) colt next week, as long as his testicles don't decide to hide on us. They were there the last time I checked! He is likely going to outgrow his A papers, but I don't think gelding him now will change that. He was on ulcer meds during weaning and seems happy and well adjusted. This way he can stay with the herd all winter (once he heals) and I won't have to worry about when to separate him. Also, in our case with a 4-H Club, it will make it a lot easier because members are not allowed to work with stallions.
 
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wildoak

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I normally geld at a year or so, once I've made an absolute decision on a colt, but I have 3 colts this year, all about 6 months old, and all 3 are slated for gelding in a couple of weeks. They are all nice colts and will make nicer geldings. They are not weaned yet - I'm gelding first and then weaning after they recover, hoping to minimize stress on them.

Jan
 

disneyhorse

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I find gelding early helps them heal faster with less discomfort. I prefer it.
 

chandab

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My Gypsy vanner colt will have his turn in a few months, in the meantime I just get tired of hearing "why don't you wait and breed him to your mare once" .
I got that with both AQHA colts I had gelded here at home, both as yearlings. Either could have been stallion material, or at the very least better than most AQHA stallions in a tri-county area, but I had no desire to deal with hormones and both were slated for gelding as soon as I got them (one purchased as a weanling, one born here).
 

Knottymare

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This is good to hear because Teddy is going to be gelded as soon as I can harvest those berries.
 

WashingtonCowgirl

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I would prefer to wait until at least a year, 2 years being my personal ideal. At that point the animal has fully matured. I don't like taking those hormones away while they are growing and developing (in any species of animal)
 

wildoak

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Michelle, I'm not arguing with that, but curious as to whether there is any science behind it. I've always waited too but have decided this year to geld early. Is it personal preference on your part, or have you read/seen anything that convinced you?

Jan
 

targetsmom

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Well, I might not be gelding Clyde next week after all. My vet is concerned that his testicles aren't "big enough". I guess I thought as long as they were descended they were good to "go". Anyone ever hear of this argument?? He thinks maybe they will grow in another 2 months and he can do it then. Clyde does not have behavior issues (yet) but he is HUGE so I really don't want to take any chances. He is already at least 2 inches taller than his dad and weighs about the same.
 

kay56649

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I was scared my mare was going to have a colt (I didn't want to pay for it to be gelded because we just bred her once and don't plan to again). I have to pay for my minis myself and I don't have a job and I am under 18, so I am so glad she had a little filly!
 

chandab

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Well, I might not be gelding Clyde next week after all. My vet is concerned that his testicles aren't "big enough". I guess I thought as long as they were descended they were good to "go". Anyone ever hear of this argument?? He thinks maybe they will grow in another 2 months and he can do it then. Clyde does not have behavior issues (yet) but he is HUGE so I really don't want to take any chances. He is already at least 2 inches taller than his dad and weighs about the same.
I have no idea. As a weanling, I imagine his will grow, but... The stallion I gelded last year at 7 years old, had tiny ones and was thus infertile, vet had no problems finding htem both and gelding him. [His were like almond size (in the shell), maybe a tad bigger. He always held them up high]
 

Carolyn R

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The last colt born here was a mini a few years back. He was over six months but well under a year, maybe nine months. His we're small, I always put it in terms of marbles, grapes and walnuts. His were between marbles and grapes, not fully in the sack, but easily detected if you knew what you were looking for. My vet had no problem gelding him, I did ask for the female vet since she had smaller hands. The most difficult part was injecting them. She did joke about him being smaller than some of the male toy breeds of dogs that get neutered at the animal hospital. I really think it comes down to how comfortable the vet feels about doing the procedure on a younger not as well endowed colt.
 
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WashingtonCowgirl

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Michelle, I'm not arguing with that, but curious as to whether there is any science behind it. I've always waited too but have decided this year to geld early. Is it personal preference on your part, or have you read/seen anything that convinced you?

Jan
Not with horses, I haven't read as much into them as dogs, because until I got Spanky (and found out how awesome minis were) I didn't think I would have horses for quite a while. But with dogs spaying/neutering young makes the animal more prone to hip dysplasia. Also in females it increases the odds of incontinence. In my opinion, spay/neutering is done only for the owners convenience (which is fine, I just don't like it done so young). It is not hard to keep 2 closed doors between an intact male and a female in heat. The risks from going under anesthesia alone are not worth the "benefit" if you are willing to do what it takes to prevent unwanted litters. None of my future dogs will be fixed. With other animals, however, it is a bit of a different story. Female cats and ferrets (the only two I can think of at the moment) will both stay in heat till they are bred, which can cause the animal to become dehydrated/anemic and die. It also causes them to be more susceptible to diseases like pyometra. I like to wait till cats are about a year. Ferrets are the only species that I feel comfortable spaying/neutering at a VERY young age, because once they start going downhill it happens very fast because of their size.

I'm very much into natural rearing. I feed my animals the way they were made to eat (I feed my cats and dogs prey model raw), don't vaccinate (I do vaccinate Spanky. I don't like to but until I do more research on it I'm stuck), use zero chemicals on them or in them (no flea meds, heartworm meds, VERY few if any prescriptions, etc). Its a little more work, but the dramatic increase I've seen in the health of my animals makes it more than worth it.

Anyways, sorry for the sightly off topic novel LOL
 
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Carolyn R

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Michelle, thats wonderful that you are able to do that for your animals, but it is not the right choice for many. People have kids, doors get opened, dogs dart between legs, people have irresponsible neighbors whose dogs travel several miles looking for a bitch in heat. Sorry, i have no desire to have their boxers and pitbulls hanging outside my house. heck, i have neighbors that are so bad their mares would escape and camp out here when they were in heat! Breaking down my fence trying to get with my mini stallions when I had them. To them it was a mini, to me it was a prized Buckeroo son that I feared would get his head kicked in.

Horses keep growing mentally and physically mature in most cases beyond four and up to 6+ years old. That's a long time to keep a colt intact, not to mention there are cases when they can't handle there hormones and pose a physical threat to those around them. The horse industry, ESP. The mini horse industry is way to overpopulated with intact boys that go to family homes with the intent of them gelding them. Many times people put it on the back burner and say " oh, he is such a baby doll, I don't see him being any problem as he matures" then seemingly overnight, their baby doll turns into a terror. Until they find a vet and get them out to geld, in many instances, aLot of damage has been done. Their kids are now fearful of the beloved little pony, the little pony has learned how to intimidate the kids and sometimes the adults.... Then it's off to a new home, sometimes prior to being gelded because the owner just couldn't or did not know how to handle them, most could have been avoided if that sweet little colt was gelded early on.

I will whole heartedly encourage each and every new horse or new mini colt owner to geld, geld, geld. In the end, I think it is in the animals best interest and well worth the risks.
 
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Reignmaker Miniatures

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I will whole heartedly encourage each and every new horse or new mini colt owner to geld, geld, geld. In the end, I think it is in the animals best interest and well worth the risks.

I absolutely agree with this. IMO unless it is to be a breeding animal spaying/neuturing/gelding will improve the animals quality of life and the enjoyment of the owners. I respect every ones right to make that choice themselves but I believe any risks are small compared to the many risks associated with being intact. Everything from being isolated because of their 'season' or behaviour to unwanted litters/foals to serious health problems. Intact female dogs for example may get uterine/ovarian cancer and die - this is not a possibility for a spayed dog.
 

disneyhorse

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The risks of altering an animal, no matter the age, far outweigh any benefits of leaving them intact.
 

WashingtonCowgirl

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I will whole heartedly encourage each and every new horse or new mini colt owner to geld, geld, geld. In the end, I think it is in the animals best interest and well worth the risks.
I hear you, trust me. I think the general population should have fixed animals. However, I think at the very least wait until right before they reach sexual maturity. All these stories about dogs and cats fixed at 8 weeks and stallions gelded at weaning makes me cringe.

The risks of altering an animal, no matter the age, far outweigh any benefits of leaving them intact.
I'd like to see some proof of this, because I highly disagree.
 

WashingtonCowgirl

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Also, just some food for thought.

Humans that have their reproductive systems removed have to take hormones to stay healthy. Also, no credible Dr will do a hysterectomy or tubal ligation until you are 25 (at least around here) unless there is medical reasoning.
 

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