Urogenital Surgery

  • Cesarean Section
  • Rectovaginal Fistula Repair
  • Cervical Repair
  • Perineal Laceration Repair/Reconstruction

Primary Closure and Cryptorchid Castration (this description will appear if they double click the words “ primary closure and cryptorchid castration”) Castration is the most common urogenital surgery performed in horses.

Routine castration, in which both testicles are descended into the scrotum, is usually performed on the farm, and the surgical incisions are left open to heal on their own. Routine castration may also be performed in a surgical suite under sterile conditions, which allows the skin to be sutured closed after removal of the testicles. The advantage to a castration with primary (sutured) closure of the skin is that the aftercare is greatly simplified and the lay-up period is much shorter. As the incisions have been closed under sterile conditions, there is no need for enforced exercise, hosing, and monitoring of the incisions to keep them open, as with a routine castration performed on the farm. Horses that have had their castration incisions closed primarily may return to work within 48 hours of the procedure. In addition, castration with primary skin closure can be performed at any time of the year, since there are no open incisions to be concerned about in warm weather. The disadvantage to this method of castration is that, because general anesthesia and strict sterile conditions are required, the cost is greater than a routine castration.

Unlike a routine castration in which both testicles are descended into the scrotum, castration in which a horse has one or both testicles retained in the abdomen or inguinal canal is a surgical procedure which must be performed in the hospital. These horses are referred to as cryptorchids, and a horse can be a unilateral (one testicle retained) or bilateral (both testicles retained) cryptorchid. The location of the retained testicle (the abdomen or inguinal canal) is usually established before surgery, so that the surgeon can decide on an appropriate surgical approach to locate and remove the testicle. The incisions to remove retained testicles are located very close to the normal castration incisions, and are closed with dissolvable suture material which does not require removal. If there is one testicle which has descended normally into the scrotum, it is removed in the same manner as a routine castration. Post-operatively, horses are treated with oral antibiotics
and phenylbutazone, and stall-rested for a variable length of time, depending on the size and location of the incisions necessary to remove the retained testicle. The following link provides and excellent overview of the condition of cryptorchidism in horses:


  • Genital Neoplasia
  • Cystorrhaphy (Bladder Repair) / Ruptured bladder
  • Bladder Stones

Urogenital surgery in horses includes routine elective procedures, such as castration in the male horse, corrective procedures in the breeding stallion or broodmare, emergency Cesarean section for mares with dystocia, as well as urogenital tumor removal in mares, stallions, and geldings. Surgical procedures to repair damage in the reproductive tract post-foaling are also commonly performed.