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Answer to why it is never to hot to cut (geld) a horse!! No one knew!! I was surprised!!

dreherdreher Member Posts: 8,649 ✭✭✭✭

This is just good old country wisdom that makes such total practical sense.

What is the biggest problem when cutting a horse?? Scrotal Swelling. The more the horse moves the less swelling he will have. The more he stands around the worse the swelling will be. Horses are just like us. If it hurts we will try and avoid it. Two long incisions in your scrotum obviously hurts. Walking/moving will hurt. The horse will avoid moving to avoid hurting. Which will result in a VERY swollen scrotum.

The hotter it is, the more flies, gnats and every other kind of bug type critter there will be. The only thing that hurts worse than moving is standing still and having all the bugs feeding on the discharges from the scrotal incisions.

A fresh cut horse will be SO uncomfortable in hot weather! He will be continuously stomping his hind feet, switching his tail, taking off running to get away from all the bugs feeding on his scrotal incision discharges. He is moving every second of everyday until his incisions stop draining. The result of all this movement is very little scrotal swelling.

Cut this same horse in cold weather and since you have no bugs ol' horse is real happy to stand very still, do as little moving as possible. The end result will be additional vet bills due to having MAJOR scrotal swelling.


  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 25,334 ******

    Makes me shiver just to read about it.

  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 12,965 ******

    Thanks for answering this stumper of a question dreher! I've been watching an old BBC TV series from back in the late 70's\early 80's called "All Creatures Great and Small", which has several segments where the lead Veterinarian "Siegfried Farnon" an expert on horses, gelds a horse.

    With assistance, the horse was anesthetized standing and gently laid down on its side. The cutting seemed to take just a short couple of minutes. Never any mention about the swelling issues but it was just an interesting TV show. PBS Masterpiece has recently done a remake of this great show which is still being produced at this time. I have purchased the first 3 seasons on blue ray disc and await season 4 coming 1st of the new year.

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,519 ✭✭✭✭

    Back in my younger (cowboy) days, I participated in several of these 'operations' and none used anesthetic. It gets pretty 'western' in most cases as would be expected. Working on a 2 year old stud(some folks waited so the horse would bulk up more[questionable logic] before castration) was often a 3-4 man job and the possibilities of injury were high. Most old-timers had their own ideas about timing but this was often done during cooler weather due to the almost certain maggot infestation during warm weather.

    You want a real rodeo, try treating a PO'd sore as he!! recently castrated stud with maggots. Now that's a great way to get broken bones or busted head.

  • danielgagedanielgage Member Posts: 10,437 ✭✭✭✭

    the sign needs to be right in the farmers almanac so they won't bleed to death I have always been taught

  • forgemonkeyforgemonkey Member Posts: 946 ✭✭✭✭

    Never had problems with flies/maggots regardless of temperature/season We used a mixture of creosote and kerosene, liberally applied to the incision/wound.

    Had many problems with ‘screw worms’ (different from common maggots, as they feed/live below the surface on live tissue rather than feeding on dead tissue. Fortunately, the specific carrier fly has been mostly eradicated in this country.

  • roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 10,031 ✭✭✭✭

    Everybody hates Scrotal Swelling!

    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
  • dpmuledpmule Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭✭

    I had a good friend who purposely bought 2 year old and up studs with good bloodlines from folks that had aspirations of breeding but didn’t understand what they were in for.

    Anyway, Bob would buy these and cut them and on day two, while they were good and sore, they would saddle and start riding / training , ol colt was too sore to buck, and by the time he healed and no pain, they had a green broke horse without any buck and ready to start learning.

    of course they had to pay attention for bleeders. Can’t say how many green brokes he sold using this method . Some went on to be money winning ponies in calf/team roping, barrel racing and others just cow horses.

    Have roped and stretched several in big pastures with big bunches of horses, like Forge, we used a liquid called Creoline, fowl smelling potion but effective. and I think it burned enough, that they didn’t want to stand still and flies wanted nothing to do with it.


  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 13,860 ✭✭✭✭

    I didn't reply to the first thread (didn't even click on it) for two reasons: I assumed that cold weather makes a horse's scrotum shrink up tight but hot weather allows it to distend; and also because I know nothing about horses and have never even been on one.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • forgemonkeyforgemonkey Member Posts: 946 ✭✭✭✭


    Castration is the most common surgical procedure that we perform – in our practice geldings outnumber stallions somewhere in the region of 100 to 1! It is usually performed at a young age, often less than a year old, as long as both testicles have descended. The procedure is quick and relatively simple, although for those with a queasy disposition it can appear gruesome! There are two methods of performing a castration – either under standing sedation, or under general anaesthesia. In most cases the standing method is used due to the risks of a general anaesthetic. We would recommend castration under general anaesthetic in older animals, donkeys and certain draught breeds. Castrations are ideally performed in the winter months, when there are few flies around.

    “Castrations are ideally performed in the winter months, when there are few flies around.” (From above article),there%20are%20few%20flies%20around.&text=We%20normally%20perform%20castrations%20in,covering%20themselves%20in%20mud%20overnight.

  • mohawk600mohawk600 Member Posts: 5,294 ✭✭✭✭

    My sophomore year in high best friend and I decided to go to a Christian boarding school in Tallequa Oklahoma. The students worked to help pay for tuition. Girls in the kitchen and library......boys on the cattle or pig farm. I worked on the pig farm. It was interesting and fun for a 16 yo kid. We would cut the tusks, tails, and testicles on the young male piglets (testicles are palpable at around 6 months) we would put them on their backs, grab them by the hind legs, swing them up and clamp them between our knees.............feel for and isolate the testicles.......two quick cuts with an x-acto knife. Pop those balls out.......cut them off....a squirt of iodine in each incision and then back in the pen.

    They scooted around for a little bit, rubbing on the floor and then back to normal. We would throw the testicles into the pens and they would be eaten without haste.........I always thought that was pretty funny. Don't remember problems with infection or swelling.

    Tusks and tails cut with dykes. The reason for cutting tusks is obvious..........the tails were cut to keep those boogers from chewing on each other in the pens.

  • dreherdreher Member Posts: 8,649 ✭✭✭✭

    Forgemonkey, this is what is common in Ohio. I have never heard of a fly strike on a horse nut job. I have no idea if this is different in other areas of the country.

    I have seen fly strikes in sheep multiple times. I have seen fly strikes in my rabbits multiple times but always in Mini-Rex never in my Dutch or Hollands. This was one of several reasons why I no longer raise Mini-Rex! These three breeds have three different types of fur so the type of fur Mini-Rex have must be the reason for Mini-Rex fly strikes.

    Fly strikes are very disgusting, even worse if not noticed very early.

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    @dreher, By "Fly Strikes," I am guessing they are what we here (and round abouts) call "Warbles." Like a large maggot embedded in the skin/muscle. I stopped hunting/skinning Squirrels once I saw my 1st one of those. (They looked too much like Rats when skinned anyway.)

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • dreherdreher Member Posts: 8,649 ✭✭✭✭

    KenK, I'm sorry, I knew what I meant by "fly strikes" so I guess I thought everyone else did also.

    A fly strike is when the flies lay eggs on a healthy animal, those eggs hatch into maggots and depending on how quick you see the problem, the problem can be easy or really ugly. With a rabbit, because of the small size it tends to be a hot mess.

    A fly strike is much easier to spot and take care of on a sheep. If you see a very uneasy sheep, acting goosy and wiggling its butt with a patch of wet wool above where the tail would be, if the ewe, ram or lamb hadn't had its tail removed, You got yourself a whole bunch of maggots down on the skin below the wool irritating that poor sheep and about driving it crazy!! The wet spot comes from the maggots chewing on that poor sheep's skin and the wet spot is fluid discharge from the skin.

    You and your Border Collie get that sheep cornered so you can get a hold of it than put the clippers to that wet spot trimming down to the skin. The first time I ever did this I about tossed my cookies and I got a strong stomach. Because the wool is all interwoven and you cut through to the maggots, the maggots roll up out of that wool under pressure like it is a maggot fountain. To say I was grossed out would be an understatement!!

    At this point the problem is over, just finish trimming the wool down to the skin, sweeping the maggots away and putting something like 7% iodine on the area irritated by the maggots. The flies wont re-lay eggs around that iodine smell and the maggots have all been brushed off to die lying on the ground!!

    Once upon a time I was actually a pretty good with sheep.

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