FA youngstock processing

How to – Open castration

Indications

Calf, lamb and piglet castration is typically performed on farm by the producer or an employee. However, many goat owners would prefer a veterinarian castrate their pets and more farm animal rescues are in need of assistance.

Relevant anatomy

Preoperative management

Food restrictions: NA

NSAIDs/analgesics: NSAIDs should be given preoperatively. For young calves, meloxicam added to the milk ration 3 hours prior to the procedure provides analgesia.

Antibiotics: NA

Tetanus prophylaxis is recommended. 

Local blocks: Cord block, testicular block or epidural.

Position/preparation: Standing or recumbent. Goats should be sedated for the procedure.

Surgery Supplies: 

  • Scalpel blade or Newbury knife
  • Emasculators (depending on age)
  • Suture 0 absorbable (depending on age)

Surgical procedure

The testicles are pushed toward the body and the distal third of the scrotum removed with a sharp incision. The testicles should drop out of the scrotum. Depending on the age of the animal, the cords can be pulled (creating hemostasis by traumatizing the vessel), emasculated or ligated and transected

Postoperative care

  • NSAIDs should be continued for 1-3 days to optimize recovery
  • Monitor for incisional issues (infection, evisceration) and animals going off feed

Complications

Evisceration (rare)

Infection (rare)

Videos

Youtube video

Adult goat castration youtube video

Resources

Castration of calves

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD; Elaine Norton, DVM PhD; Erica Dobbs, DVM; and Ashley Ezzo, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.