1. Immediately following castration your horse will be groggy for approximately one hour. Keep him separated from other horses during this time. As well, he should be kept quiet for the rest of the day.
2. During this period, check for excessive bleeding. As there are one or two fairly large skin incisions, it is normal for some blood to drip from the site. However, if a steady stream of blood comes from the surgery site the horse should be rechecked.
3. A rare complication that can occur during the immediate postoperative period is herniation of intestine through the incision. If this occurs, keep the horse as quiet as possible and call us immediately.
4. Beginning the morning following surgery, your horse should be exercised at least twice daily for at least 15 minutes at a trot. THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE! This exercise will keep the incision(s) open and draining. The exercise may be in the form of lunging, riding, or chasing him in the field. The fluid which drains from the incision(s) will be clear or blood tinged. This exercise should be continued for at least two weeks. Probably 95% of complications which occur following the immediate postoperative period are due to a lack of exercise.
5. Some swelling of the surgery site and sheath is normal following castration. If the swelling seems excessive (ie. the end of the sheath is larger than a grapefruit) give us a call. Usually this indicates the incision(s) have sealed shut. Hosing the surgery site and vigorous exercise will often decrease the swelling. Occasionally phenylbutazone (bute) and/or antibiotics are required.
6. Other signs to watch for are lethargy, loss of appetite, stiffness, or drainage of pus from the incision(s). Please call if any of these occur.