Castration is the removal of the testicles in male animals to prevent them from breeding. It can also keep some animals more docile and cooperative. Several methods of castration are available. Each method includes some pain and risk of infection. Dogs, cats, sheep, goats, horses and cattle are a few animal species that get castrated.
Scalpel or Castration Knife
A vet uses a scalpel to cut the bottom half of the scrotal sac off and remove the testicles. The wound remains open so it can drain and heal. This requires sterile conditions and a veterinarian is required to give a localized anaesthetic. Veterinarians can also use the scalpel method in the clinic with an animal under sedation. In a clinic, the vet may opt to sew the surgery site closed.
This method is common on horses, cats, dogs and other pets.
An all-in-one tool is available for castrating goats and sheep. The tool has scissors to open the animal's scrotal sac and then the operator uses the tool to grab the testicles and pull them out. Like the scalpel method, this needs sterile conditions because of the open wound.
The emasculator is a tool that crushes the spermatic cord. This causes the blood vessels to be crushed so the testicles don't have a blood supply and die. The operator uses the emasculator on each spermatic cord. It does not damage the skin.
Banding is a traditional way of castrating animals like cattle, sheep and goats. The user wraps an elastrator band around the neck of the scrotum. This cuts off the blood supply to the testicles so they die. The elastrator band is cost-effective and takes little time. This makes it appealing for people with many animals that need castrating. Animals are “banded” within the first week of life.
goats eye image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com
Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.