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Histological assessment of testicular residues in lambs and calves after Burdizzo castration
  1. M. H. Stoffel, DrMedVet, Drhabil1,
  2. A. von Rotz, DrMedVet1,
  3. M. Kocher, DrMedVet1,
  4. M. Merkli, DrMedVet2,
  5. D. Boesch, DrMedVet2 and
  6. A. Steiner, DrMedVet, Drhabil, DiplECVS, DiplECBHM2
  1. 1 Division of Veterinary Anatomy, Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health
  2. 2 Clinic for Ruminants, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, PO Box 8466, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
  1. michael.stoffel{at}


To assess the reliability of the Burdizzo procedure for castrating calves and lambs, testicular tissue from 63 bull calves (15 intact and 48 castrated) and 69 male lambs (35 intact and 34 castrated) was collected at slaughter and assessed histologically. The bull calves were castrated at either one, four to five or 12 to 16 weeks of age and the lambs at either one or 10 weeks. There was clear evidence of spermatogenesis in testicular tissue from all the intact animals. In the samples from the calves that had been castrated at 12 to 16 weeks functional testicular tissue was completely lacking. However, there was evidence of spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis in the calves that had been castrated at one week or four to five weeks, respectively. Failure to achieve complete involution of the testicular parenchyma was observed in the majority of lambs, irrespective of the age at which they had been castrated.

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