The Equitwister: A Simplified Way to Castrate Working Equids

This tool is simple, affordable, and results in few complications, one equitarian volunteer reported.
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One of the most common (and some might say important) surgical procedures veterinarians perform on working equids is castration. While it’s generally considered a quick, easy, and inexpensive procedure in developed countries, where horse owners have the resources to ensure all goes as well as possible, castration can be cost-prohibitive and/or lead to complications in rural communities.

So Tracy Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, of Turner Wilson Equine Consulting, in Elk River, Minnesota, developed a simple, cheap castration tool for use in equitarian—or volunteer equine veterinary–work: the Equitwister. He described its use during a presentation at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas.

Castration is important in developing countries, said Turner, for improved equine behavior and handler safety; to prevent pregnancies in working mares; and to promote more selective breeding for better animals

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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