Age for gelding?

Hello all,
I’ve recently bought an adorable Welsh pony, born 4/24/20.

I own and run a small boarding barn, so gelding him will make it easier to manage all of the environmental variables.
What’s the average age of gelding for you-all? He’s easy to handle, so there’s no huge rush, but I’d rather do it sooner than later.
Photo of the handsome little manimage

1 Like

I’ve always done it in the spring when they’re acclimated to the new pasture so you can lay them down out there on clean grass and leave them out for the movement to help reduce he swelling.

Just DON’T do it mid-afternoon when the school buses are running! I had to call our neighborly bus driver and apologize after she drove up the country subdivision that runs alongside the pasture, with a full load of grade school kids, and the vet and I had the yearling on his back, legs up in the air and the vet in working position. :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

p.s. Nice pony! My welsh was my driving partner. He’s 30 now and has Cushings so that’s history now.

3 Likes

I’ve gelded them anywhere from 8 months (one month before weaning) to 5 years old (and older for other breeds) regarding my welsh. I found it to be easier the younger they are and had less complications which was the only influence on ‘at what age’ that I based my decision if I knew I wasn’t going to keep them intact. The only other parameter I used in the timing was that I avoided fly season at all costs. Here that means I did it in the ‘warm’ winter months or late fall.

1 Like

I gelded my boy the winter before he turned two. He was born on April 1st.

1 Like

The younger they are, the easier it is on them. As long as testicles are available and ring is closed, they are good to go. 5 or 6 months old is the youngest I have had done. The older they are, the more blood supply is involved, and the more likely for “issues”, infections, clots. If his future is as a gelding, make it so. You may get an inch or so more growth in height with an early gelding, and less early maturity. Testosterone helps closing growth plates.

4 Likes

We will often geld in the spring of their yearling year (before it’s too warm and flies start). The only ones we generally keep intact longer are colts we are considering as stallion prospects.

1 Like

I do it between six and nine months in the winter when I do not have to worry about flies. The younger they are the easier it is on them.

1 Like

I just had two gelded in April. One was 11 mos and some change; the other 18 mos. My vet says she prefers not to geld them under a year of age or thereabouts. I know some people who have done it as foals still on the mare and she does not approve and believes they need a chance for more development physically, so recommends on or about one year of age or after.

Can your vet cite some studies/research that supports her theory? Sounds like she’s been drinking the kool aid spread around small animal land…I have my flame suit fully zipped :wink:

2 Likes

I’m sure she probably could but it’s not something I am all that interested in pursuing. I also don’t have a strong opinion either way; your horse - suit yourself. Was just reporting what was recently told to me. She is an Auburn graduate and has been employed with the largest and busiest equine practice in our area for some years now. No, I do not agree with everything she says or buy into all the treatments she has on offer. But I do think she is a good vet or wouldn’t be having her out.

I have done the pediatric spays/neuters on cats without issue. I have been told by a couple of vets that they prefer dogs to be at least six months old. I have not questioned the methodology as it has never been an issue for me. I think the earliest I’ve castrated is maybe 6 mos but more often at 8mos to a year as that is usually when colts begin to become obnoxious in my experience. YMMV

1 Like

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am always willing to read or look into studies or new research that may shed a more informative/compelling light on my decisions. I just haven’t seen any that proves this claim. I also don’t measure or judge a vet by such opinions to be honest. Many of my colleagues are on the current band wagon to wait (at least with small animals). Most I hold in high regard. I have some personal insight on the papers/research that were published fueling this claim/recent trend and with only a few exceptions of specific breeds I think some of the claims regarding the most current trends are misleading. I typically share my educated opinion when owners ask and then let them decided and perform surgery when they choose - as you say to each his own and I also don’t believe there is only one correct answer. If you do find out where her theories come from I would appreciate the information so that I may take a look into it further. I’m retired from breeding now but one just never knows :wink:

2 Likes

So there has been a huge 180 in the vet world on spaying/neutering (I know not gelding but I would imagine the affects are fairly similar). It used to be that juvenile spay/neuter was a great thing, many still do them at 8 weeks BUT there has been alot of research about the benefits of leaving them later and allowing hormones to have some affect on them.

Yes, I am a vet and for over a decade was a high volume high quality spay neuter vet and still think it has it’s place. I am also very familiar with the research performed in the dogs and cats regarding the timing of spay and neuter. One of the main authors of the main body of research I am personally familiar with and have written research papers with him on an unrelated subject (cognitive dysfunction) a couple of decades ago. I will only say that there has been quite a few holes put into the research that this gentleman has put out on this issue. Notwithstanding the statistics used aren’t wholeheartedly agreed upon as the appropriate ones used to highlight the data. I do believe there are some valid pieces to consider on some very specific breeds; but, there is a whole lot of ‘unmentioned influencers’ that likely inflated the results he and his cohorts used to help their angle and agenda. As with every situation the best answer is for the owner to obtain as much accurate information as possible and make a decision based on which risks they feel they can manage/control vs. the benefits they hope to gain.

I would not say that the issues raised regarding dogs and cats and the timing of spay/neuter have a linear bearing on horses especially when you consider that we do not spay horses as a routine. We do not see large numbers of unbred intact female horses (mares) developing pyometra or mammary tumors. We do not see early geldings being linked to catastrophic stifle injuries or increased risk of cancers…at least I have not seen any such research; but if it exists, I would like to review it.

7 Likes

I have always gelded around 8-12 months or so. Usually it is coordinated so that there are zero bugs out and temps are consistently cool . That really makes it easier on the healing process.

The youngest was 2/12 months and a yearling was the oldest. They all did well.