Equine and Camelid Castration

Field anesthesia for equine castration

Review the earlier chapter on equine general anesthesia!

Routine recumbent castration (7.14 min)

Field recovery (3 min)

After reviewing the introductory powerpoints above, watch this videos, focusing on the anesthesia and perioperative steps (3 min)


Now work through these quizzes to review some additional points:

Level A


Key Takeaways

Why – I like injectable anesthesia because the recoveries are smooth. I prefer recumbent castration as I have more control over the situation.

Who – You need an assistant to help with anesthesia, recumbency and helping with any needed supplies during the procedure. The owner is not ideal.

What – Bring drugs, supplies for scrubbing and restraint and a surgery pack (emasculator, scalpel, hemostats, carmalts) and extras. Bring suture material even if you don’t plan to use it. Drugs should include anesthesia, lidocaine, an NSAID, an antibiotic and tetanus toxoid.

When – Anytime typically works as long as everyone is healthy. We don’t routinely hold horses off feed for castration.

Where – Grassy fields are great for anesthesia and recovery. Please stand on the back side of the horse to avoid being injured

How– Drop the horse using a sedative and induction agent(s). Typically we use xylazine followed by midazolam+ketamine. Catheters and  triple drip make life easier. Lidocaine block also prolong your anesthesia time and make the testicle easier to remove since no pain retraction. Protect the facial and radial nerves! Control the head to control the horse. For field recovery, just stay out of the way and make sure your last drug was a sedative, not ketamine.



Equine Drugs Chapter



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.