Castration Clinic 2015
Dear intact, neutered, and spayed followers,
This past Saturday I supervised our annual castration clinic, and it was a huge success! 12 former stallions left here as happy geldings (well, the happy part is subjective, but I know their owners will thank us later). The vet students did an awesome job, and hopefully gained a lot of useful experience for their future careers.
I’m not clear on all the scienc-ey details, but here’s the Springhill Equine castration protocol as I could tell from my distant vantage point:
Step 1- catheter placement: Wary vet student attempts to hold untrained weanling still, while other vet student stabs a 2-inch needle in weanling’s neck with trembling hands.
Step 2- inducing anesthesia: 90lb vet student attempts to guide 800lb horse to the ground gracefully. It usually isn’t all that pretty. Students tie lots of knots around horse’s legs because they don’t remember exactly how to do that neat rope trick that Dr. Lacher or Dr. Vurgason taught them.
Step 3- surgical prep: senior vet student suddenly forgets how to don sterile gloves, and how to put a scalpel blade on a handle. Junior vet student scrubs surgical site way more thoroughly than necessary. Meanwhile, half of anesthesia time has passed, and horse already needs another dose.
Step 4- castration: All I heard was Dr. Vurgason and Dr. Lacher saying over and over, “cut deeper, push harder, make your incision longer…” Bless their hearts, they are just learning. I tried chanting “Be aggressive! B-E-aggressive!” to help them along.
Step 5- power tools: Tomcats, you may not want to read this part. Basically they attach a scary-looking clamp, it makes a sickening crunching noise, and an excited vet student runs a DRILL which more or less twists the testicle off. Job done!
After watching one or two of these, I thought it best to take a nap in Dr. Vurgason’s truck for the rest of the day. Of course the best part was all the pets and treats I received from 30 eager vet students! Made all the blood and gore worthwhile.
If you have a stallion who yearns to become a gelding, be sure to keep an eye out for next year’s castration clinic! It’s always a good time (don’t ask the horses).