THE BEST WAY TO GELD A HORSE

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Celeste

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Being new to the world of horses and having only recently acquired my shetland I really don't know which method is best; is it best with sedation and a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic?

Since you all have so much experience on horses, I would really appreciate your advice.
 

Jill

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My vet's gelded a good number of horses for me. He does sedate them / put them to sleep. It's a fairly quick proceedure and the horses recover fairly fast. I've only had mild complications twice, and that was with more mature stallions. In those cases, one had bleeding and had to be packed and stalled. In the other case, one had swelling and we had to apply warm compresses and give some meds for several days. But, both those horses were better than new soon and got to live happier, more socialized lifes than they did/would have as stallions
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Minimor

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Around here the vets all use general anesthetic to geld horses, be they Minis or full size horses. Some I know would refuse to do the surgery with the horse standing, a few might agree to do it standing if the owner insisted.

I've never had one done standing. For the most part the surgeries have all gone well. We did have a bit of a mess with one horse last year--but that involved the incorrect dosage/combo of drugs in the first attempt, and a botched IV injection (I'm quite sure that is what happened, the vet missed the vein when giving the ketamine, and the horse went hyper from the rompun) on the 2nd attempt later in the year. We took that horse to a different vet this past spring & he had no problems getting the horse done.

One problem with doing the surgery standing is if there happens to be a scrotal hernia--and while it's rare in light horses/ponies it can happen--with the horse standing the intestines will be out and on the ground before the vet can do anything about it. If the horse is down and the same thing happens, it's still not a good scene but there is some opportunity for the vet to save the horse.

With Minis being small & low to the ground I have to think that it's much easier to put the horse out for surgery than to try & do it standing.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Exactly as said- I do not know of a Vet now who will do gelding standing- I have had many done standing with no complications but also have heard of two who had the hernias- which is undetectable until you cut into it, and they were both euthanized- one immediately because- well you do not want to know, and the other one three days later when peritonitis set in.

So I would always advise general anaesthesia.
 

disneyhorse

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My colts have been gelded under general anesthesia... we lay them down on a grassy area. They are then gelded and they hold the clamps on there for a little while to stop some of the bleeding.

By the time everything is done, the horse starts to come to and wake up, and then they get up and start picking at the grass a little bit and it's all over (except for possibly rinsing and lunging and that sort of aftercare as your vet recommends).

Andrea
 

Miniv

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Our vets that have done it all follow the same procedure that Disneyhorse describes....

MA
 

Erica

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My vet is one that does them standing up and I wouldn't have anyone else do them. Have yet to have ANY complications, as with any surgery can't say it won't happen but it hasn't to me yet.
 

ruffian

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I have a 6YO stallion gelded today at 1, and absolutely want them out for it. Vet won't do it any other way. Not only for horse's sake, but for handlers too.
 

DiamondLRanch

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I had a blind mini rescue done a few months ago. He was 8 years old and blind in both eyes. Vet put him out and then gelded lying down. Waking up was a little more traumatic because he is blind, but everything went well. And he is in a loving home. His blindness is from previous trauma. Sweet horse, I couldn't see euthanizing him. The person who I rescued him from was going to shoot "Radar" because he said he was aggressive next to a full size mare. Dumb idiot. Just because a stud is blind.....
 
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susanne

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Same topic, but a slightly different question...

What have your vets recommended for aftercare??

When Mingus was gelded, our vet was adamant that he be lunged at a trot (must be at a trot) for 20 minutes per day. She did not tell me, but I quickly realized that he needed a good warmup before he could trot, and then I walked him afterward to minimize soreness.

She did not recommend hosing him down, but stressed that I call if there was any swelling.

I'm always a bit surprised to hear vets who do not insist oon this or whoh leave aftercare entirely up to the owner. This particular practice asked up front if he was livestock or a pet, and if I had had a horse gelded before, so I'm sure a lot of this was handholding, which I greatly appreciated. Nonetheless, I was a basketcase, LOL...

We'll have a little challenge when Flash is gelded, a heh has a phobia about the lunge whip and drops to the ground when he sees it (I've never touched him with a whip and never struck him in any way) He loves to trot alongside me, so it looks like I'm going to get some exercise!
 
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kaykay

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We have had them gelded standing up and laying down. I prefer laying down. The only gelding we had trouble with was the one we didnt do with the moon phase and it was bad! Poor horse woke up 5 mins into the procedure. I held him down while the vet quickly made another shot and dosed him again. another 5 mins later and he was awake again. Ughh it was a mess. Poor thing was pretty traumatized for about a month. Especially if men came around him. I will never geld again unless it goes by the farmers almanac.

Susanne we were never told to trot them but always told not to stall them and to encourage them to walk around. We were also told hosing wasnt necessary unless they started to swell
 

Reijel's Mom

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When Mingus was gelded, our vet was adamant that he be lunged at a trot (must be at a trot) for 20 minutes per day. She did not tell me, but I quickly realized that he needed a good warmup before he could trot, and then I walked him afterward to minimize soreness.

I wouldn't see the need for trotting, either - I think the key is just to keep them moving. I was able to do that by just keeping my guy turned out. There is so much info out there, and so many vets do stuff just a little differently.
 

SkipsMom

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Having a recently castrated gelding move around will reduce swelling- sometimes hydrotheraphy helps, as someone said aftercare will vary from vet to vet.

Finding the balance between "Moving around" and "overdoing it" is Horsemanship. ;) If a gelding is going to stand around and moan all day on it's own you would have to force the move around time on him. A gelding who has a buddy and gets back to it's regular grazing and hanging out routine probably won't need any nudging from the owner.

I assist in castrations at work and all horses are dropped for castrations regardless of size or temperment. It is done for the safety of the people working on the proceedure. I also think the odds of getting a proud cut gelding are higher if you do a standing castration because it would be much harder to be certain via eyesight & angle to know you removed all the tissue.
 

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