To Neuter, or not to neuter

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Hedra2

Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:35 pm


We have two male guinea pigs, SPooky and Halloween. Just before Christmas Spooky started picking on and pestering Halloween and Halloween was always screaming and crying and trying to get away (the squealing would wake us in the night). Not sure if it was because Halloween starting having some health issues or if SPooky is just a bully. We set up two cages side by side so they could still have each other for company but SPooky couldn't pick on Halloween (they also have floor time together when Halloween has more room to escape). Spooky spends most of his days chewing on the bars trying to get back to Halloween. They need to stay separated though as Halloween has dental issues and is kind of frail (he's still really thin) and we need to be able to monitor his input and output, plus we don't want him to have to deal with SPooky's advances. Spooky is only 2 though and really wants a cage mate so we were THINKING of getting another pig for him. I'm worried though he will bully a new pig and we do not have room for 3 cages. Would it be better to neuter him and get a female pig for him? or keep him intact and try a baby male in the hopes he will be nice to him. Would neutering do anything to lessen his boarish bullying nature?

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:46 pm


Neutering can be risky. I have the same problem with my two boys. A two year old pig is still in adolescence, so he's bound to be aggressive towards another pig, especially a smaller, weaker one. You could keep them the way you have them for awhile and try reintroducing them to a shared habitat once Spooky gets his strength back and Halloween is a few months older and out of adolescence.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:47 pm


It's hard to say. I would probably try to find him another male buddy. Just because he didn't get along with Halloween doesn't mean he can't or won't get along with someone else. That Halloween has health issues could be at least part of the problem. I've never had any of our males neutered, but from what I understand it's usually not a cure for bullying or aggression.

JX4

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:32 pm


Neutering does nothing to curb any personality issues. It is risky, and should only be done by a vet that is *experienced* in *guinea pig* neuterings.

There are some benefits to the procedure, however. If you do it early enough, the pig will not grow as large as an intact male. There also will be no sac to drag the ground, which pretty much eliminates the need to do anal sac cleanings -- "stuff" doesn't get dragged up inside them. A neutered pig can also live with either sex, which expands your options for living conditions.

Neutering does not, however, change personality nor does it curb desire for mating. They can still "do it" -- there just won't be any babies.

You do need to wait about a month after the procedure to place him with any females, as guinea pig sperm is some of the hardiest stuff on the planet and can stay viable inside the "duct work" for that long -- which means a recently neutered pig can still get a female pregnant until about a month has passed.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:29 pm


Given everything I've read about it over the past two years since I got boars, I wouldn't do it. High risk, low reward. Any surgery is risky, particularly on a small animal. I'd only do it as a life saver; like to remove a mass, stones or something along those lines. That's just my humble opinion.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:40 pm


can stay viable inside the "duct work"
Nice turn of phrase. ;-)

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lisam

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:47 pm


I heard from a vet that older boys have more complications, because of the fat that's developed in the area. Don't know if it's true, it's just what I heard.

JJGiebz
Make Good Choices

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:31 pm


Ditto what everyone has said about neutering not having much effect on personality, but as long as you have a cavy saavy vet who has experience with the procedure, I would do it. I have had all of my boars neutered for health reasons - primarily to cut down/out the risk of impaction.

Neutering is not as invasive as spaying a female. I think the biggest risk is usually reaction to the anesthesia. My guys have been up and at em within 24-48 hrs, and been mostly back to normal within 3 days. Again, I would only trust an experienced exotics vet who does the procedure with some frequency, but that goes for any surgery.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:52 pm


Following the post neuter advice on the post op page will help too (flushing the area with an antibiotic solution while healing to prevent infection). There have been some guinea pigs who developed abscesses months later.
www.guinealynx.info/postop.html

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Hedra2

Post   » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:14 pm


Thanks for all the advice guys, much appreciated.

After reading all these comments plus many many posts we decided to try another male and see how it goes. The vet in our area is knowledgeable but not sure if she neutered pigs very often. If it doesn’t go well Spooky will have to be a lone pig in a neighboring cage.

Oddly enough right after I posted here another male kind of fell into our lap. He’s also two, has been vet checked and appears in good health, is it ok to do introductions now or do we still wait?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:30 pm


Where is he coming from? If from a private home or a reputable rescue, you could go ahead and introduce them. If from a shelter or an unknown place, I'd quarantine.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:41 pm


Agree. Even from a reputable source, though, I still give a new pig a couple of days or so to settle in before I do intros.

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Hedra2

Post   » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:02 pm


He was from a reputable source but we’ll give him a few more days just to be safe :)

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:07 pm


Sounds good. Congrats on getting a new family member, and don't forget to post a pic when you get a chance. ;)

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Hedra2

Post   » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:13 pm


Introductions between S’mores and spooky did not go great at all. We penned off a huge section of hallway for them to meet with lots of treats, and they spent hours trying to dominate each other. They would not settle down. They had a few little fights but no blood so we just watched. Finally we had to go to bed so we put them in a cleaned cage with a divider for several days so they could see and smell each other but not fight.

After a few days when they seemed calm and used to each other we took out the divider. They were good for a day and then had a huge fight and blood was drawn from both. Spooky got a cut above and below his eye, S’mores got a cut on his mouth and two on his back. (Both were minor) So we separated them.

We instead introduced S’mores to Halloween. After 5 minutes of mounting and rumble-strutting from S’mores he realized Halloween didn’t care who was boss and they were best buds. They were already in side by side cages so we moved S’mores into Halloween’s cage and no issues at all. I had wanted to keep Halloween separate cuz of his health issues but Spooky is just too much of a bully.

Spooky spends a lot of his day chewing his cage bars on their side trying to get to them, but that’s as close as he gets to be for now.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:36 pm


Some Guinea Pigs just aren't meant to share a habitat with other guinea pigs. My two just cannot be together without a physical barrier to separate them. My suspicion, given their personalities is that Mr. Bubbles, the American is the problem. He's a bit fickle when he's being held and he gets defensive over things a lot easier than Scruffy, especially when I'm holding him and someone or something comes into his space. Scruffy is an Abyssinian and is very easy going about everything.

Mr. Bubbles is substantially larger and heavier than Scruffy and could inflict serious damage if he ever got ahold of him, so it's separate cages for both permanently. As I've said before, their cages are butted together so they can interact on a limited basis, but they can't get at each other. It works well. They eat, drink and play together through the wires all the time and are content with the arrangement.

You can leave your aggressive, unsociable one in his separate cage the same way I have to and as long as he can see, hear, smell and communicate in the guinea pig way with the other two, he shouldn't feel isolated or alone. You can also increase his lap and floor time to offset having to be in a cage by himself if he starts to feel depressed.

Bottom line is that you have to become his cage mate, so to speak.

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Hedra2

Post   » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:29 am


Funny - Your bubbles sounds so much like our Spooky (also an American) He’s the biggest pig I’ve ever had and totally fickle and defensive. S’mores is also an Abyssinian and much more laid back.

Spooky has a house he sits on to watch the other two. Hoping when he’s older he’ll mellow out a little.

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