Sunday, December 4, 2011

Neutering Guinea Pigs

Hi humans. As you may know, the new male guinea pig, Broccoli, underwent surgery recently. The humans decided to neuter him so that he will one day be able to live in the same cage as us. As it stands now, Broccoli is all alone his his own cage. When the humans let him out, he wanders over to our cage and tries to chat with us through the bars. The humans saw how badly he wanted to join us, so they decided to have him neutered.

A few notes about neutering: always be sure of your vet's credentials. The fact is, it's risky to neuter and spay guinea pigs, so it's best to see a vet that specializes in small or exotic animals exclusively. Unlike vets that also treat cats and dogs, small animal specialists have likely performed hundreds of spays/neuters on small animals, and you want your vet to have a lot of experience.

The reason why neutering a guinea pig is risky is because guinea pigs tend to fare worse than other types of pets when it comes to anesthesia. While the risk that a guinea pig will die under anesthesia is low, it's still a risk, and you'll want to be sure that you're doing the best you can to help your pig survive it.

Make sure your guinea pig is a good candidate for neutering. Your vet can help you discern whether your boar is a good candidate or not. Broccoli is young and healthy, and so he was a perfect candidate for the surgery. He first saw his vet to determine if he would be a good candidate, and then saw the vet a second time for the surgery. Then, they kept him overnight for observation and then the humans took him home. The total cost of the process was the vet visit ($77) plus the neutering ($320) plus the Oxbow Critical Care ($14). The vet threw in the cost for the Meloxicam pain killer for free (would have been $20). You should be aware humans- it's a big commitment.

Male guinea pigs don't need to be neutered unless you want them to be able to live in the same cage with a female guinea pig. Even if you think you wouldn't mind having baby guinea pigs, I would strongly advice you not to get your females pregnant- in the United States, there are already too many unwanted guinea pigs who need homes, so it's better to adopt one than breed more. The second reason to avoid pregnancy is because if your female guinea pig hasn't been pregnant and given birth by age 8 months, she may die. Something having to do with the pelvic bones fusing in nulliparous guinea pigs. Anyway, it's a bad idea all around to get your sows pregnant.

Broccoli underwent his surgery this past surgery, and it went fine. He's recovering well. The humans have to check the scar on his abdomen daily to make sure it's healing right. 

He has to take pain medication by mouth once daily and the humans have had to supplement his diet with Oxbow Critical Care for a few days until he's eating more. He absolutely hates the Critical Care, but at least the humans reward him with timothy treat rings when it's done.

It'll be two more months until he can join us in our cage. We can't wait to finally meet him!


  1. Honestly, I don't have guinea pig at home, after I read this blog I am now interested with it. Thank you for this one.

  2. Glad to hear broccoli is doing fine. What a cutie! I can't wait until he can join Lola and Buffy as well.