OBJECTIVE To describe use of a modified open castration technique with a scrotal approach and primary closure in equids.
DESIGN Prospective case series.
ANIMALS 38 client-owned, sexually intact male equids.
PROCEDURES With owner consent, elective castration was performed with a modified open technique on patients (1 pony, 1 miniature horse, and 36 horses of other breeds) under general anesthesia. The procedure included minimal dissection into the scrotal region for removal of testes, with cremaster muscles left intact and the parietal vaginal tunic closed in place. Primary closure of surgical wounds was performed. Patients were monitored for signs of complications. Signalment, surgery-related variables, results of ultrasonographic imaging, postoperative treatments, and outcomes were recorded. Follow-up information was obtained from owners ≥ 6 months after surgery. Medical records were reviewed, and descriptive data were reported.
RESULTS Median anesthesia and surgery times were 113.5 and 60 minutes, respectively. Duration of hospitalization ranged from 1 to 3 days. No intraoperative complications were observed. Postoperative complications (moderate swelling in the scrotal region) developed in 2 of 38 (5%) patients. Mild scrotal swelling (n = 5) and transient pyrexia (typically mild; 9) also occurred; no patients had signs of postoperative bleeding, infection, or colic. All equids gradually returned to exercise beginning 10 days after the procedure. Cosmetic results were considered excellent.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The modified castration technique was considered simple to perform and advantageous because of the low complication rate, excellent cosmetic results, and prompt return to intended use after surgery.