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Why should a farrier be concerned about a routine castration?
A post-operation complication from castration, or any other procedure, has the potential to trigger an inflammatory cascade. When the horse’s body activates a protective reaction to an injury or an infection, there’s a significant risk of laminitis and a bacterial disease known as septicemia.
That’s precisely what happened to a 2-year-old Thoroughbred racehorse several days after he was gelded. The owners brought him to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., because he had spiked a fever and was lethargic.
“He walked off the van normally and didn’t present with hoof issues,” Scott Fleming, an equine veterinarian and a certified journeyman farrier at Rood & Riddle, told attendees at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit while speaking during the Friday Lunchtime Panel, presented by Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center. “After anesthetizing him, draining the abscess at the surgical site and treating him medically for the infection, he started to get sore in all four feet.”
Baseline radiographs were taken of all four feet. Then the horse received 48 to 72…