Guinea pigs are extremely sociable and can not stay on their own for long, if you have one you will need to adopt a new one as soon as possible or your guinea it will die of lonelyness.
Guinea pig sexual urge and sexual desire kick in within 4-10 weeks and if your not interested in them breeding then you should consider neutering the males or both. With a lifespan of 4-8 years, the guinea pigs can make a lot of pups if not neutered.
The question you might be having right now is how much does it cost to Neuter a guinea pig? While this post will give you all the information you need including benefits, risks, and the complete cost of neutering.
Let’s dive in,
Cost of Neutering a Guinea Pig
How much does it cost to neuter a Guinea Pig? You can expect to be charged from as little as $40 to as much as $500 for the process itself; however, there are additional expenses to be incurred before and after the neutering process
The cost greatly varies depending on the clinic of choice, the terms of care offered, the technique for neutering that will be employed, your location, the sex of the Guinea pig, and the aim of neutering.
Understanding what to expect, the reason for neutering and safety precautions gives you a better grasp of how much you may incur during this whole process. This is what is covered in this article.
Understanding Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pigs, unlike rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils, make for great household pets. They have a much longer life span, are less skittish and smarter than other rodents (they can even be trained to act in a certain way). However, the personality of your Guinea pig highly depends on how well it was socialized when young.
Having a Guinea pig as a pet is the most wonderful thing. These little furry babies can give you great joy as you watch how they interact and experience their companionship. But, since they are herd animals, having two or more guinea pigs can raise certain issues from health to behavioral issues that may have you considering neutering as an option.
Reasons for Neutering
Neutering is the process of surgically removing some parts of the reproductive system rendering the animal sterile or barren. In Males (boars), the neutering or castration process involves the surgical removal of the testicles. In females (sows), neutering or spaying involves the process of removing the womb and ovaries (ovariohysterectomy).
There are various reasons this is done, they may include:
To prevent pregnancy
This is the only non-medical reason for neutering your Guinea Pig.
Like Rabbits, Guinea Pigs are prolific breeders. As mentioned earlier, Guinea Pigs reach sexual maturity as early as 4 weeks. If you do not desire to have additional Guinea Pigs, then consider neutering either the male or female to prevent pregnancy.
To prevent overpopulation in a small space
Since Guinea Pigs are herd animals, you may desire two opposite sex Guinea Pigs to share a living space. If this is the case, the thought of having additional pups in a restricted space can be problematic.
Once a Female and Male Guinea Breed, the gestation period for pregnancy is between 52-75 days. The Guinea pig litter is comprised of 1-8 pups with 2-4 being the most common. In a year, a female Guinea Pig can give birth up to five times and this can be problematic when living in a small space.
To prevent overpopulation, you can choose to neuter either your male or female Guinea Pig putting to rest the issue of unwanted pregnancies.
To prevent health complications in male Guinea Pigs
The cost of neutering male Guinea pigs is cheaper. The process is far less invasive and reduces the risk of contracting prostate cancer and mammary tumors.
Male Guinea pigs also develop muscle atrophy of rectal muscles, which leads to fecal impaction; this translates to daily cleaning of the anal sac for the Guinea pig.
Additionally, male guinea pigs often develop a smelly and cheesy secretion, known as smegma, from the sebaceous gland that can be a health concern. Neutering can also prevent the secretion
To prevent health complications in Female Guinea Pigs
The cost of neutering female Guinea Pigs may be slightly higher; however, it does prevent chances of developing obesity, uterine cancer, ovarian cysts, mammary tumors, and other reproductive organ tumors as they age, which can be very costly to correct.
To manage behavioral problems
We have established that Guinea Pigs are herd animals and each can have its own personality. As such, the risk of added conflict is present when two strong personalities are paired or housed together.
Research has shown that when the Guinea pigs are not neutered, there is a higher risk of conflict, especially where two males and one female are housed. However, as Pets Corner notes, neutered female Guinea pigs are often more relaxed when they live with neutered males.
IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE
There is a high possibility when housed together, Male Guinea Pigs will end up fighting and may hurt one another. Many people believe that having them neutered will reduce the rate of conflict.
However, research has proven that there is little change observable when the two males are returned to the same housing. In such instances, it is recommended that the two be separated and housed with female Guinea Pigs.
Do I Neuter the Male or Female Guinea Pig?
The cost of Neutering a Guinea Pig and the reason behind the decision often influence the decision to neuter a male or female Guinea Pig. Consider the following reasons as guidelines as to why you should neuter, and whether the decision is the best:
I want to Neuter to prevent Pregnancy
If your reason is to prevent unwanted pregnancies, then neutering the male is the best option. The cost of neutering the male is cheaper and the process is less invasive compared to that of female Guinea Pigs.
I want to do what is best for my Guinea Pigs
If the reason is to manage any health complications, then neutering both the male and a female Guinea pig is advised. Of course, the cost of neutering The Guinea Pigs, whichever the sex, increases with this decision.
I have heard it is a good way to stop behavioral issues between my Guinea Pigs
Sadly, neutering guinea pigs does not translate to a drop in behavioral problems. If the two Guinea Pigs were not getting along, then they will not get along even after being neutered.
They mate all the time, neutering will stop how often they have sex
This is sadly not true. Neutering Guinea Pigs does not stop the rate at which they mate. Based on each of the reasons, you are now equipped with information to decide on whether you will neuter your Guinea Pigs or not.
What to Expect | Risks of Neutering a Guinea Pig
Now that you know which of your Guinea Pigs to neuter, let us discuss what lies in store for both yourself and your Guinea Pig.
As Cavyspirit states, neutering a Guinea Pig inherently carries more risks than other large animals such as cats and dogs. The Guinea Pig is smaller and thus requires a lot of precision and care before, during, and after the operation.
Neutering a Guinea Pig requires a lot more preparation as it is more susceptible to anesthesia reactions, stress, and post-operation infections. Hence, ensure you are adequately prepared for the operation.
When you visit your selected vet, consider providing the following information:
Your Guinea Pigs Age. The recommended age for neutering guinea pigs is as early as 4 months. Guinea Pigs aged 3-4 years may not survive the process; hence it is not recommended.
Your Guinea Pigs Weight – A Guinea Pigs health is often indicated by its weight. The Minimum weight for a Guinea Pig to undergo neutering is 650 grams, so be sure to tell the doctor the weight of your Guinea Pig.
Your Guinea Pigs Health History – for a successful surgery, be sure to volunteer any health information that may be necessary and deemed important. Leaving out some information regarding your pets’ health history may be dangerous for the welfare of the pet during the surgery. The cost of neutering may end up being too expensive.
Preparation for the Operation
When preparing for the procedure, consider the following actions:
1. Read on the Risks Associated with the Operation
Before you place your Guinea Pig in the hands of a vet to be neutered, read up on the risks associated with the operation. It will prepare you mentally in the event a complication arises and your Guinea Pig does not make it.
2. Research and find the Best Vet
Before you place your Guinea Pig’s life at the hands of someone, ensure the person is accredited and knows what to do throughout the surgery and recovery process. Consider asking the following questions before you make your ultimate selection:
3. Are you part of the Association of Exotic Mammal veterinarians?
While it’s not a must, but highly recommended, being part of this association is an added advantage. Exotic vets are those who have a special interest in the medical treatment of exotic animals and they often have additional training and certification in medicine associated with exotic animals.
A Guinea pig is considered an exotic or small animal and therefore, not any cat and Dog Vet will be able to neuter successfully. It may not seem like much, but such accreditation could be the difference between successful and botched surgery.
4. How many Guinea Pigs have you neutered?
Practice makes perfect. A vet who has neutered several Guinea Pigs is better than one who has neutered a few.
5. What are your recommendations for the Guinea Pig?
A vet may have a list of items to be met for the operation to take place. For instance, some vets prefer neutering Guinea Pigs that are below a certain age; hence, they may place a cap on the age of the Guinea Pig they can neuter.
Others may recommend that the Guinea Pig fasts before surgery, although it is not necessary. Ensure to ask for this list prior.
6. Over what period have you neutered these Guinea Pigs?
Experience is the best teacher. This question alludes to how long the vet has been practicing and the situations that they have had to face in that time period.
I would be more confident handing my Guinea Pig to a doctor who has practiced for over 20 years than one who has practiced for less than a year. The difference is in the experience.
7. What is your success rate for Guinea Pig Neutering?
Ensuring the safety of your Guinea Pig is your number one concern. For this reason, asking this question builds your confidence in the Doctor and allows you to worry less about the risk of death and other health complications arising during and after the operation.
8. Who will be monitoring the Guinea Pig after the Operation and, what are their qualifications?
A successful operation is part of the process. Since a Guinea Pig requires a lot more attention to ensure any complications are quickly identified and addressed, asking who will handle your pet is essential.
Knowing whether this person is qualified for such work gives you a sense of relief and confidence in the Clinics ability to take care of your Guinea pig both during and after the operation allowing speedy and efficient recovery for your small friend.
What type of Anaesthesia is used during the Surgery?
What are the side effects? Such details give you a better understanding of what to expect with the use of certain medications. Since Guinea pigs are susceptible to anesthesia reactions, understanding the kind that will be used is crucial and its success rate in past operations is important. Isoflurane gas is recommended.
- What medications are going to be used during, and after the operation? Information on what medications the vet will use is also important as it gives you an idea of what your Guinea Pig will go through and how qualified your vet is when handling the guinea pig. Certain medications have greater side effects that may be more harmful to your Guinea Pig in the end. For instance, if the medication decreases appetite and slows down the gut, the Guinea Pig may not eat or show interest in food leading to GI (Gut) Stasis a condition that can be fatal if not handled well.
- What technique will you employ during the surgery? According to a study conducted by Guilmette et al., the technique used for castrating boars can influence the overall result of the surgery. The study identified that abdominal castration was significantly faster and yielded lower post-operative infection rates than the scrotal technique. Ask your vet what technique they will use.
- What is covered in the issued Cost of Neutering the Guinea Pig? The cost to Neuter a Guinea Pig should be issued with a breakdown of what will be covered at each stage of the process. You do not want to be surprised with additional expenses that you had not budgeted for. Hence, consider asking what is covered in the cost issued before you proceed with the process.
- Can you give me some references? Ask whether you can get references of a few of the client’s the vet has offered the neutering service. This may take a while, but it gives you the opportunity to ask questions concerning the care and expertise of the chosen vet.
- What kind of Complications have you experienced before? What are some of the solutions employed? Asking the vet this question gives you added insight. If you are well versed in this area, this question may help you gauge the doctors’ knowledge and expertise building your confidence in their skills. If you are not conversant, then this question allows the vet to walk you through what is expected, what is to be done, and what you can do to help the Guinea Pig in the event of any complication.
How to select a vet for your guinea pig neutering procedure
- Select a Mid-priced vet office
When selecting the best vet office, ensure the cost of neutering your Guinea Pig is mid-priced compared to other vet offices. If the cost is too cheap, consider other options as cheap is not always quality.
The Cost of Neutering a Guinea Pig can range from $40- $500 and the average would be about $120- $200. However, this largely depends on your location and the consultations you have made with the local vets in the area.
- Look for Online reviews of the Clinic
In addition to asking for references, research on your own. Look up the name of the clinic and search for customer reviews. Read them and make an informed judgment of the kind of services they offer. If the Clinic has many negative reviews, consider selecting another that is recommended. Also, ensure these reviews are recent.
After the operation is complete, expect the following:
- Your Guinea Pig may be a bit drowsy and wobbly. This is from the use of anesthesia administered in the form of gas. It wears off slowly.
- If the Vet used stitches below the skin to hold the wound together, then it is likely that skin glue was also used on top. Both the stitches and glue dissolve within a period of 14 days or so. Do not be alarmed when this happens.
- The operated area is shaved and tends to look very sore. This is normal, and often looks worse than it actually feels!
- Expect some antibiotics to aid in infection prevention. Consider asking for some probiotics that may help to settle tummy issues due to the use of antibiotics.
- Keep your Guinea Pig on their own for at least 6 weeks so that they may properly heal. For the male Guinea Pig, this period also allows the leftover sperm to die, preventing the risk of pregnancy when reintroduced to a female.
- The surgery is terrifying for the Guinea Pig, so do not be shocked if he/she does not eat their food for a day or two after the surgery; but, do monitor and if you feel concerned for their health, be sure to call the vet.
What can I do to help the recovery process?
- Ensure your Guinea Pig is comfortable. Do not place a freshly neutered male on wood shavings or other surfaces that may irritate the wound further. Instead, place them on soft surfaces such as fleece blankets, puppy pee pads, pillows, and such to prevent the risk of added pain, contraction of infections, and discomfort.
- Clean the Wound. Using warm water, preferably boiled in a kettle then cooled, and some cotton wool pads, gently clean the wound once or twice a day until it is completely healed. This reduces the risk of infection and soothes the Guinea Pig in case they are in any pain.
Note: Do Not use Cotton Wool balls as the fibers may get stuck onto the wound and cause additional complications increasing your overall cost of neutering the Guinea Pig.
- Keep your Guinea Pig Company. Remember that Guinea Pigs are herd animals. During the recovery period, since they are not allowed to interact with other Guinea Pigs or animals, ensure you spend a lot of time with your little friend so that they do not become lonely or stressed.
- Provide a Clean Environment. It is recommended that towels be the bedding of choice. Ensure you remove any soiled bedding and replace it daily. Also, ensure your Guinea Pig has clean fresh water and a healthy diet for faster recovery.
- Keep the Guinea Pig Indoors. An indoor environment will reduce the Guinea Pigs’ stress and lower their risk of infection.
- Give them their medication. Any prescribed pro and anti-biotics should be administered as per the vet’s instructions.
- Ensure your Guinea Pig does not sit on its Hay.
- Watch your Guinea Pig More than Normal. To spot any complications, illnesses, or infections, ensure you watch your Guinea Pig more than normal. Constantly weight them to spot any sudden weight changes that may indicate the onset of an illness.
- Call the vet if you feel unsettled about something or just need clarification on a few issues. Do not be afraid to call the vet and ask questions. Better safe than sorry.
The Cost of Neutering a Guinea Pig can range from $40- $500 but the overall cost is not one that can be given definitively. There are various factors taken into consideration. The two main reasons are the prevention of pregnancy and health complications.
In each of these cases, the cost of neutering the Guinea Pig is associated with the process the Guinea Pig endures from pre to post-operation. The expenses incurred, time spent and resources utilized are costs of neutering a Guinea pig that is not similar for everybody. Each Guinea Pig is different and through the neutering process, they may show different symptoms.
Others will health well without any complications, while others may contract infections after the operation. Whichever the case, understanding the journey of neutering gives you a framework of what to expect and how to handle the risks involved with the process, should the ultimate cost of neutering your Guinea Pig be death.