risks of neutering

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Post   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:33 pm

I am wondering, does anyone have an idea what is the death rate for male neutering? Is it a straightforward procedure that almost always works, as with cats and dogs? Or is it a huge risk to a guinea pig?

We just lost our male guinea pig due to complications from neutering. Our plan all along was to adopt at least one male, and we found a female that we liked so we needed to have one of them fixed. The vet presented the procedure as very low risk for the male, but after the procedure the vet said that complications are very common.

I would like to adopt another male, but the process of caring for him and then losing him was quite tough.


Post   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:01 pm

The first question I have is whether your vet truly has a lot of experience neutering guinea pigs. It is NOT a straight-forward procedure just like dogs and cats. It is easy to have complications. A vet with a lot of experience would tell you that, though. Ours did. First, there is a risk any time a guinea pig is put under anesthesia. Second, their systems are constructed in such a way that it is easy to mess things up unless you really know what you are doing. I would never trust a vet to neuter my guinea pig if s/he has not done it successfully lots of times.

That said, we neutered our lone male. Our vet DOES have a lot of experience with guinea pigs, and he was matter-of-fact with us that it is a risky procedure. Since we knew the only way to keep our boy was to have him neutered, we went ahead with the surgery, and I tried to prepare my daughters that he might not survive it. (We had gotten three girl guinea pigs, only one of them was actually a boy. He got the other two pregnant. The only way to keep him was to neuter him.)

He did suffer a minor complication, which the vet went back in and corrected for free. We had him neutered when he was about 5 or 6 months old, and he is 3 and a half years old now, living happily with all the girls (we kept the girl babies, so we now have six piggies total).

So, my two questions for you are:

1) Is your vet actually very experienced with guinea pigs, having done neuterings successfully lots of times before? (If not, find another vet.)

2) Why do you want both a male and female guinea pig to live together? It would be easier just to get another female.

If, however, you have your heart set on a particular male, find a good vet and be prepared for the risks of neutering. I don't have stats on death rates. Neutering can be done, but only by an experienced vet. And by "experienced," I mean a vet with experience neutering GUINEA PIGS and not just other animals.

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Post   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:21 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Do you know what caused his death?

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Post   » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:25 am

I, too, am very sorry for your loss.

As JX4 said, no surgery is straight forward for a guinea pig. I had my 2 boys neutered when one was at least 2 years old (adopted as an adult, no info on birth date) and the other was about 9 months old. That vet said she'd done many neuterings, so I trusted her. She was the closest I could find who said she had experience with guinea pigs. Anyway, one - the older "was a little slow to wake up" and the other did end up with an infection, which the vet went back in and removed (it had walled itself off, thank heavens) and Scatter proceeded to heal up just fine. All that said, I would definitely try to find an exotic vet (this one was not) who had lots of experience treating guinea pigs in all ways.

When one of my little girls developed ovarian cysts, my new vet sent me to a real specialist and Flossie had absolutely no problems, even though spays are so much more dangerous. She healed extraordinarily well and fast, in thanks to the experience of the the vet, I'm sure. She and Scatter were not happy but I kept them separated for a full month afterwards.

Just do some research to find a good, experienced vet. And not just for the neuter.

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