Results and complications of a novel technique for primary castration with an inguinal approach in horses


Equine Department Vetsuisse - Faculty Zurich, Section Surgery, Winterthurerstrasse 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland


Reasons for performing study: Complications associated with equine castration can have medical and financial consequences. This retrospective study investigated a novel method of castration via an inguinal approach in mature stallions and compared the incidence of complications with other methods.

Hypothesis: Castration via an inguinal approach has a low complication rate at the site of surgery compared with other castration techniques.

Methods: Mature stallions (n = 238) were castrated under general anaesthesia in dorsal recumbency using an inguinal approach. The vaginal process was incised, the spermatic cord ligated twice and the testis removed. After suturing, the vaginal process and one or 2 layers of fascia, the subcutis and cutis were closed in a simple continuous pattern.

Results: Five of 238 (2.1%) horses had post operative haemorrhage and a haematoma in the scrotal region, which required additional treatment. All horses made a full recovery. Five of 238 (2.1%) of the horses had a post operative respiratory infection, which resolved with antibiotic therapy. Sixteen of 238 (8.8%) had transient signs of colic shortly after surgery.

Conclusion: This technique of castration with an inguinal approach had a low incidence of complications at the site of surgery compared with other methods. An inguinal approach and leaving the vaginal tunic in situ may cause less soft tissue trauma than a scrotal approach.