Perioperative pain management protocols of veterinarians in the United
States for horses undergoing routine orchiectomy (castration)
Background: Analgesic protocols related to orchiectomy or castration of
young horses vary widely depending on geographic location, educational
background of the veterinarian, and other demographic factors. Specific
practices of equine veterinarians in the United States (US) have not
been reported. Objectives: To determine perioperative pain management
practices of equine veterinarians in the US as they relate to castration
of young male horses. Study Design: Cross-sectional survey Methods: An
internet-based questionnaire included items related to analgesic drugs
used in association with castration of healthy yearling colts.
Demographic and educational factors associated with routine
recommendation of analgesic medications after castration were analyzed
using logistic regression. Results: Responses from 146 equine
veterinarians in the US revealed that 112/146 (76.7%) administered a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) at the time of castration.
Routine recommendation of post-castration analgesia was associated with
veterinarians who were employed in a multi-veterinarian practice,
completed their veterinary education after 2000, and provided a higher
pain severity score for horses at 24 hours after a routine castration.
Main Limitations: Possible distribution, self-selection, response, and
recall biases as a result of convenience sampling methodology.
Conclusions: Perioperative pain management practices vary widely among
US veterinarians but the majority of veterinarians, especially more
recent graduates, recommend administration of an NSAID.