Study Compares Cost of Castration Methods

Even considering a higher rate of complications, castrations performed in the field are less expensive than sterile procedures performed in a hospital setting, according a United Kingdom study.

The study compared the intial cost and costs from complications in these two methods of castration: Standing with a non-sutured incision (group 1), and recumbent under general anesthesia in sterile conditions with the incision sutured (group 2). The study, published in a recent edition of the Equine Veterinary Journal, was in response to a number of owners electing to use a sterile procedure thinking the long-term cost would to be less, according to researcher Ben Mason, BVSc (Hons), of Rossdale and Partners, Newmarket, Suffolk, United Kingdom.

Group 1 had complications such as scrotal infection (the most common), hemorrhaging, hind limb lameness, fever, and diarrhea in 22% of cases. Group 2 had a 6% complication rate; however, one horse was euthanatized after fracturing his tibia during recovery.

"The study proved that even with these complications, the standing surgery was less expensive (by about half, on average)," said Mason.

Post-castration management is essential to reduce complication frequency, he said. Good communication with the owner and trainer will help achieve a satisfactory outcome. More information: see

About the Author

Chad Mendell

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for .

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