• Open Access

Effects of Castration on Peritoneal Fluid in the Horse

Authors


Department of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL 36849.

Abstract

Twenty-four clinically normal horses were castrated by routine methods. Peritoneal fluid was collected prior to castration and at 1, 3, 5, and 7 days postcastration. Peritoneal fluid was collected on days 9 and 11 if nucleated cell (NC) counts were still markedly elevated on day 7. Peritonitis, defined as NC counts > 10,000/μl, was evident in 15 horses following castration. Mean NC counts peaked on day 5 but were <10,000/μl for 74% of the horses by day 7, and 90% of the horses by day 9. One horse had a NC count > 60,000/μl on day 11 when sampling ended. Postcastration peritoneal fluid was obviously blood-tinged in 21 horses. Peak RBC counts occurred on day 3 but markedly decreased by day 5. Elevated peritoneal RBC counts correlated well with elevated NC counts (P < 0.001). Horses with peritonitis tended to have fever (P < 0.05). Other clinical signs of peritonitis were not apparent.

Ancillary