As a new guinea pig owner, it is important to note that guinea pigs are social animals and need a companion to keep them happy.
However, most vets recommend that owners should not attempt to breed their guinea pigs at home. This is why many owners neuter their guinea pigs.
Neutering of a guinea pig is removing reproductive organs from a male or female guinea pig. There is also a misconception that guinea pig neutering helps to deal with a male who does not get along with other males.
In this article, we will highlight everything that you need to know about neutering guinea pigs, from what the process entails to risks associated with neutering your guinea pig.
- What Is Neutering Guinea Pig
- Is It Better To Spay A Female or Neuter A Male Guinea Pig?
- How To Care For Your Guinea Pig After Neutering
- How Long Guinea Pig Recovers After Neutering?
- Your Guinea Pigs’ Health After Neutering
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Neutering Guinea Pig
Neutering a guinea pig is the removal of your pet’s reproductive organs. In male guinea pigs, neutering is also called castration and is the removal of male testicles.
However, in females, the process is called spaying and involves the removal of the womb and ovaries.
Owners usually do the neutering of a guinea pig to help prevent their pets from breeding. There is also a myth that neutering guinea pigs will help change their personality and get along with other pigs.
Apart from preventing your guinea pig breeding, neutering helps decrease some health risks.
Is It Necessary To Neuter A Guinea Pig?
No, you don’t need to neuter your guinea pigs if there is no underlying reason to avoid breeding. You can decide to neuter your guinea pig if you want to house a male and female together.
Although neutering other animals can affect their behavior, this is not true when it comes to a guinea pig. Neutering a guinea pig will not change its attitude towards other males or females.
What Age Should You Neuter Your Guinea Pig?
It is best to neuter a guinea pig after it has reached sexual maturity. Generally, male guinea pigs will reach sexual maturity at around three months old, while females can start reproducing from 2 months old.
This is why most vets recommend neutering your cavies once he/she is four months old. Weight is also important when neutering a guinea pig. You need to ensure that your guinea pig is at least 650g before you can neuter it.
Furthermore, most vets don’t usually operate on guinea pigs older than 2 ½ to 3 years old. This is because it is best not to subject adult guinea pigs to additional stress to undergo unnecessary surgery.
Are Risks Involved in Neutering?
There are more risks when neutering a guinea pig than cats, dogs, or other larger animals. The reason for this is that guinea pigs are smaller, which makes the operation complicated, and it is harder to surgically prepare a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs can get infections from the process, and even the stress from the neutering operation may escalate health conditions your guinea pig may be fighting off before, like chest infections, respiratory infection, etc.
The medications used for the process can also decrease the appetite of your guinea pigs.
How Much Can I Neuter My Guinea Pig?
The cost for neutering a guinea pig usually varies based on your location and the vet you go to. However, it can cost around $60 per guinea pig.
You should note that you will need to have one guinea pig undergo this process if you have only a male and a female if you want to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
How Do You Know If Your Guinea Pig Is Neutered?
It is quite easy to determine whether a male guinea pig has been neutered or not. Neutered female guinea pigs are more difficult to identify as it is related to internal change.
You can easily spot an unneutered guinea pig’s testicle, unlike when the testicle will be missing in the castrated pig. Furthermore, you may notice visible scars on a neutered guinea pig.
What Happens If You Don’t Neuter Your Guinea Pig?
As stated before, the main reason why most owners neuter guinea pigs is to avoid pregnancies. An unneutered guinea pig will try to mate when kept together.
Males usually become sexually mature around 2-3 months old, while females will be sexually matured around two months.
This will then lead to overpopulation because guinea pigs are prolific breeders. Furthermore, breeding can reduce the lifespan of female guinea pigs.
Another thing is that handling intact male and female guinea pigs is quite hard.
Many guinea pig owners believe that neutering guinea pigs can make it easier to manage and handle them. It also helps to reduce urine marks at your guinea pig’s enclosure and makes training of litters easy.
Is It Better To Spay A Female or Neuter A Male Guinea Pig?
It is best if you neuter a male guinea pig than spaying the female. This is because spaying a female cavy consists of a riskier surgical procedure than when neutering a male.
The vet will need to make an incision through the female’s abdomen and then remove the internal reproductive organs.
Neutering of the male is quite straightforward and requires less time under anesthesia, and is not invasive like spaying of the female.
However, you may spay a female guinea pig if it develops an ovarian tumor or cysts, and your vet recommends this procedure to help prevent health problems.
Neutering in Male Guinea Pig
Neutering in a male guinea pig is the process of removing the testicles of the male. The vet usually carries out this process by making a small incision on each scrotum and then removing the testicles surgically.
Benefits Of Neutering Male Guinea Pig
Here are some benefits of neutering male guinea pigs.
- Neutering helps to reduce the chance of impaction problems in male guinea pigs as they age.
- It helps in reducing the waxy scent gland buildup on some male guinea pig
- Some male guinea pigs have a reduction of sexual and aggressive behavior over a long period of time.
Note: Although neutering a male guinea pig is straightforward and not invasive. Your male guinea pig is still susceptible to stress and anesthesia reactions and even post-op infections.
Neutering in Female Guinea Pig
Neutering in a female guinea pig is the removal of the womb and ovaries of the female. Spaying of female guinea pigs involves putting your female pig under anesthesia and then making an incision through the abdomen to remove the womb and ovary.
Due to the risk associated with neutering female guinea pigs, some exotic vets recommend ovariectomy with flank incisions to remove the female’s ovaries.
Benefits of Neutering Female Guinea Pigs
- It helps to ensure your female guinea pig does not get ovarian cysts or tumors in the future.
- You can use spaying to treat female guinea pigs that have problems with their reproductive organs.
Note: Performing surgery on a female guinea pig is quite invasive and can result in infections and stress to your pig. Furthermore, they are susceptible to anesthesia reactions, and medications used for your guinea pig can decrease their appetite.
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How To Care For Your Guinea Pig After Neutering
It is crucial to care for your guinea pig properly after neutering to help ensure their body heals and there is no complication. Some of the ways that you can care for a guinea pig after neutering are stated below.
Sterilize Living Environment
A neutered guinea pig needs extra care, supervision, and it is best to isolate it from other pets, children, and even noise. This means you will need to set up a sterilized living environment for it. You can use a clean terry cloth towel as a substrate for their new cage.
However, you will need to change the bedding frequently, like twice a day. You can also use a flat newspaper if you notice that your guinea pig is chewing on the towels.
Another great substrate that you can use is a white towel, as it makes it easy to monitor if your guinea pig is bleeding and easily clean any poop.
Follow Veterinarian’s Advice about Diet
Generally, the guinea pig may lack appetite after they have been neutered. However, they will need to eat to help them recover very well.
Guinea pigs usually start eating 2 hours after surgery. It is important that it remain active, but they can display aggressive behavior because of discomfort from the neutering procedure.
All you need is to ensure that your guinea pig is consuming their normal diet. This means you should make hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets available for your guinea pig once they get home.
You may even have to hand feed or use a syringe to feed your guinea pig to help encourage it to eat.
Guinea pigs may not drink throughout the day after being neutered because they are given fluids after surgery to sustain them for the day. However, you can also provide water for your neutered guinea pigs.
You can give your guinea pig antibiotics for five days and pain medication for three days to help to aid recovery. Although pain medication is optional, it helps to encourage your guinea pig to eat after surgery.
Supply An Extra Supplement of Vitamin C
Apart from food and water, you also need to increase the daily vitamin C supplement that you give your guinea pig to 50-75mg based on their weight.
Vegetables like mustard, spinach, capsicums, and kale have high vitamin C content and can help boost your guinea pig’s natural immune system. You should only use tablets or mineral blocks if your vets recommend them.
It is also best to avoid adding vitamins to your guinea pig’s water because this may put them off from drinking.
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Monitor The Wound and Check on Your Guinea Pig Frequently
Your guinea pig requires 24hours before they can recover from the surgery effects. It is also important that you check their incision site at least once a day for the first few days after surgery.
You should ensure the incision site remains closed if the vet uses surgical glue for the procedure.
Furthermore, you should watch out for any swelling, which can indicate an infection. Once you notice any abnormality, you may need to contact your vet immediately. Always check to ensure your guinea pig is performing well within the recovery time.
How Long Guinea Pig Recovers After Neutering?
It will take a neutered guinea pig 3-6 weeks to fully recover. You will also need to avoid placing a neutered male with a female for around 3-4 weeks to allow live sperm to die or go out of their system.
Your Guinea Pigs’ Health After Neutering
After 3-6 weeks, your guinea pigs should have fully recovered from the surgery. It will return to its normal behavior, and you will find your guinea pigs playing with their tank mates.
The incision can become slightly redder in the first few days after surgery as it heals. There will also be stitches and skin glue on the wound, and some hair around the area will be shaved. However, the hair will grow back as they recover.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does neutering a guinea pig calm it down?
No, neutering of guinea pigs does not affect the behavior of guinea pigs. However, the behavior of a neutered guinea pig can change over time.
Once you notice that your guinea pig becomes aggressive towards each other, the best thing is to just separate them instead of neutering them.
What should a neuter incision look like after a week?
A neuter incision is usually clean, and their edges will be touching each other. Your guinea pig’s skin will also be normal or slightly reddish pink. The incision can even become slightly redder in the first few days as the healing process occurs.
How long does it take for male neutering to heal?
A male neutered guinea pig will take around 3-6 weeks to heal fully. It is best to keep your male neutered guinea pig alone to help ensure the leftover sperm dies or comes off during this period.
Guinea pigs are sociable creatures, and they need a companion to keep them happy and healthy in captivity. However, they are prolific breeders, and many experts recommend that pet owners should not breed them in captivity.
Neutering guinea pigs helps to ensure that your guinea pig does not reproduce with each other.
We hope this article helps to answer everything you need to know about neutering guinea pigs. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave that in the comment section below.