Minnesota Castration Clinic a Success

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) held its third Free Castration Clinic on April 16 in Cold Spring, Minn. Twenty-five veterinary students from the University of Minnesota's Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners successfully gelded 22 horses and a miniature donkey under the close supervision of 11 veterinarians who volunteered their time and expertise. The veterinarians included Tracy Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS; Julia Wilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; Nicole Eller-Medina, DVM; Victor Medina, MVZ; Stacie Seymour, DVM; Ken Larson, DVM, PhD; Ann Goplen, DVM, Hillary McCullough, DVM; Gloria Verrecchio, DVM; Megan Swaab, DVM; and Lindsey Mathews, DVM.

The veterinary students worked in teams and rotated through the roles of surgeon, anesthetist, restrainer, and medical record recorder. The clinic was further supported by three veterinary technicians and 12 veterinary technician students who welcomed the opportunity to learn more about working with horses.

To be eligible for the free castration clinic, the horse owner needed to be referred by a humane agent, certified rescue, or veterinarian. Each horse or donkey had to be halter broken, in good health, and have two descended testicles. Despite cold weather and snow that moved the clinic indoors, a festive spirit pervaded the clinic, as everyone appreciated the opportunity to provide community service and owner education to reduce the number of unwanted horses as well as the chance to enhance veterinary student learning.

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition's Gelding Project Committee is comprised of representatives of the Minnesota Association of Equine Practitioners, Minnesota Horse Council, University of Minnesota Extension Service, Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation, Sundown Horse Farm and Shelter, and the Animal Humane Society.

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