two donkeys  

Routine surgery


We are happy to perform routine surgery such as castrations out at your yard. Prior to booking a castration we advise an examination to ensure both testicles have descended, the colt is of suitable age and there are no heart problems that may make the sedation or anaesthetic more risky. Castrations can either be done under standing sedation (the colt is heavily sedated and remains standing throughout the surgery) or via general anaesthetic (where the horse will be anaesthetised and will lie down). If you wish, we are able to bring specialist anaesthetists out to anaesthetise your colt so he is in the best possible hands and has the least traumatic experience possible.

The choice regarding whether to perform the surgery standing or under general anaesthetic depends on multiple factors; for example, a Miniature Shetland pony would need to be done under general anaesthetic because he would be too small for the vet to see anything with him under standing sedation. We also require all donkeys to be done under general anaesthetic.

After the surgery, your vet will provide you with verbal aftercare instructions. Written aftercare instructions are available Castration Aftercare Instructions.

Prices for castrations vary depending on the size of the horse and whether he can be done under standing sedation or requires a general anaesthetic. Please call the office for more information on 0151 794 6199.

Cryptorchidism ("Rigs")

Cryptorchidism is when one or both testicles do not descend fully into the scrotum. Colloquially, horses with only one testicle descended are known as "Rigs". Castrating a rig requires admission to the hospital as the retained testicle may be within the abdominal cavity and may necessitate laproscopic (keyhole) or full abdominal surgery. It is not recommended to remove the descended testicle and leave the undescended one behind as the horse will still show stallion-like behaviour, may still be fertile and future owners may be unaware of the cryptorchid status. 

Minor Operations

We are able to perform minor surgical procedures on yard, including suturing wounds, lump removals and enucleations. However, in certain situations we may advise that your horse be brought into the Equine Hospital at Leahurst to see one of our specialist surgeons.