View Full Version : Freddie is getting neutered

04-23-08, 02:46 pm
As I mentioned in previous post "Piggy Trade" I have a male and female, that I originally thought were both female, and I've been trying to decide how to remedy the situation.

I thought about giving one away and getting the other a same-sex friend, but because they are siblings and seem to really like each other, I've decided to get Freddie neutered. I was told to wait until he was 3-4 months old or 640 grams. He was 643 grams yesterday, so I called today and made the appointment for a week from tomorrow (he gained 40 grams just in the last week!). I'm really nervous about this, but these two are getting really lonely and I think they'll be much happier once they're back together.

The vet said that she uses isoflorene (sp?) gas and will keep him warm with a heating pad during and after the surgery. She'll also give him oxygen afterward to aid in recovery. She said he should be pretty much healed up after a week.

If anybody else has had any experiences with neutering (positive or otherwise) that they'd like to share, I'd like to hear them. And please cross your fingers for Freddie. Thanks!

04-23-08, 03:27 pm
This is an exotics specialty vet you're using, correct? Because dog and cat vets have a tendency to not know the differences in guinea pigs. I'm no expert, but I know guinea pigs need some kind of extra stitching to close a wall inside the testicular sac or something - or maybe it's the other way around, I'm not sure. I know that many guinea pigs have died because a non-specialist didn't know the proper way to neuter a different species. If you bring this up with the vet who's doing the surgery, she should be able to tell you specifically and exactly what I'm talking about, and she should be totally confident in her answer. Otherwise, you might want to consider another vet. Also, 640 grams is still rather small to do surgery. I'd probably wait a little while longer. How old is the pig? I don't think I'd do an elective surgery on any pig under 750-800 grams.

04-23-08, 03:31 pm
She is an exotics vet and says that she has performed this surgery many times before. I will ask her about the extra stitching and consider waiting until he's bigger. Thanks for the advice!

04-24-08, 09:34 am
Well, I just re-checked the link about neutering on cavyspirit.com and it said that the guinea pig should be at least 650 grams before neutering. I mis-read it before, and thought that it said 630 grams. Regardless, if I wait until he's at least 650 grams, is that big enough? I see that CF#5 thinks that he should be at least 750 grams. Does anyone else have an opinion or experience regarding minimum age or weight? I just keep reading/hearing different numbers everywhere I look.

piggly wiggly
04-24-08, 10:08 am
I would go by what is says on the cavy spirit website just to be on the safe side.
Good luck!

04-24-08, 10:39 am
We routinely neuter at 620-650 grams, and have yet to have a problem other than your average common aftercare issues (abscesses, mainly).

04-24-08, 11:12 am
I believe as well they need to be kept apart for a while after the operation too, just to make sure the male is infertile. How long that is I'm not sure but it's worth finding out (we've never had a boy piggie ourselves).

04-24-08, 11:43 am
Thanks guys! Yes, my vet did say that they will have to be apart for a month after the surgery because he could still have viable sperm for that period of time.

04-24-08, 01:41 pm
Flash had no problems at all getting neutered. I did get the pain meds for 4 days after the surgery.

04-24-08, 02:19 pm
Oh, that's good to hear, cavyinhawaii. I will ask about the pain meds.

Percy's Mom
04-24-08, 09:57 pm
The month sounds about right for post-op seperation. Technically, I believe all of the old sperm should be dead at 3 weeks, but you can't be too careful, so the extra week certainly can't hurt.

Make sure you have the cage ready for recovery as well. Bedding on a white towel or white/very light fleece for a few days post-op is a good idea. It will let you see if there is any bleeding or odd discharge from the incision.

04-25-08, 08:59 am
Good idea, Percy's Mom, I will definitely do that.

04-30-08, 01:23 pm
Well, unbeknownst to Freddie, he's going in tomorrow morning for his neutering operation. He's now 702 grams (gained 72 grams in a week!) and the appointment is set. I bought him brand new fresh white towels which I will put in his cage after I clean it tonight. Then right before I go to bed, I've been instructed to take away his food, but leave his water. I'm pretty nervous about this, but also really excited to see brother and sister reunited. So please, everyone cross fingers, toes, and piggy claws for Freddy. Thanks!!

04-30-08, 02:07 pm
:/ I believe most people think pigs should be allowed food through out the night. They aren't cats or dogs, they have no ability to vomit after surgery [the whole point of taking away food.]

Guinea Lynx :: Surgery (http://www.guinealynx.info/surgery.html)
http://www.guinealynx.info/dt.gif How long should the animal fast before surgery?
There are two schools of thought. Some vets find one to two hours sufficient. Others fast for four to eight hours.

1-2 hours: Those who fast for one to two hours generally feel guinea pigs should not be fasted overnight because their digestive system requires a constant supply of food. It is thought that guinea pigs cannot regurgitate food. Most vets have no problem with short fast times.

4-8 hours: In a few cases, guinea pigs under anesthesia have aspirated food trapped in hidden pocket in the throat. If a longer fast time (four to eight hours) is selected, glucose must be provided. It is usually combined with hydration fluids and given subcue to compensate. Pinta writes, "The longer fasting time is a NEW protocol and vets should be able to get more info on it thru their professional contacts or VIN."

Good luck!

04-30-08, 02:30 pm
Thanks for the info Haley. I'll call the vet and ask her about this. She did mention that they can't throw up the food, but did say something about increased drooling if I remember correctly. So I'll check with her and mention the shorter fast period and/or the glucose. Thanks again!

04-30-08, 04:11 pm
When I had my boys neutered I took them in the night before (because my hospital opens at 7:30am and I worked that morning shift). I made sure they had plenty of timothy hay, pellets and fresh veggies. The doctor usually fasts no more than 4 hours to prevent the gut from stopping, which is a bad thing to happen.

I originally wanted to do pre-surgery bloodwork but my guys were slightly dehydrated so they were only able to do a PCV (packed cell volume count-basically it checks red blood cell counts), I believe a total protein count and some other tests. They were given fluids under the skin (subcutaneous). They were also sent home on Metacam (for pain) and the generic brand of Bactrim as a pre-cautionary measure. I made sure that I brought some Critical Care home, just in case they decided they didn't want to eat.

When I got them home I made sure that they continued to eat and did incision checks twice daily. They healed and recovered perfectly fine.

I hope this helps you some. If you have any more questions please ask. Oh and my boys were a year old when I got them neutered.

04-30-08, 04:19 pm
Wow, Sophistic_chick! Thanks for all the info! I'm going to print out your post and take it with me to the vet's. I'm also going to call, and see if she's ok with me doing a 4 hour fast instead of all night. Sounds like that will be better.

04-30-08, 04:23 pm
You are MORE than welcome Cosmictadpole...I work at a vet hospital (which doesn't normally see exotics) and know the importance of pre-surgical bloodwork. I was honestly bummed when they couldn't do a full 6 panel of chemistries.

With the fasting, I didn't have to do any at home. The Dr. who preformed the surgery did a seminar on rabbits and ferrets on the weekend (which I attended) and he wants all of the patients to come in with food and they fast according to the surgery time scheduled. Also, the second they are awake and walking around the food goes back in.

04-30-08, 04:31 pm
I am wishing the best for your little Freddie! It's my belief too that he should have food through the night, all four of my pigs did when they had surgery. In fact they encouraged that they did eat beforehand.

I've had two pigs neutered. Spencer was a fast healer and was pop corning within a week, ok so maybe that wasn't a good idea when you have a healing incision! Brownie on the other hand didn't do so well, I won't worry you with the details but after a long battle he did survive.

Fingers crossed.

04-30-08, 04:35 pm
Thanks Rachy! I'm glad your pigs did well in the end. I have taken the feeding info to heart, and have left a message with the vet to discuss it with her. I drop him off at the vet's at 8:00 am, so I'm thinking that a good compromise would be to just take his food away when I get up in the morning. Then he should just have a couple of hours without it, and I'll make sure he's got food available to him right when he wakes up.

04-30-08, 04:42 pm
That is what I did too, took his food away in the morning. Both of my pigs went in at about 9am and were home by 6pm. But it all depends on how well the pig is doing after surgery. As I said Spencer was great, he had eaten before I took him home! I would advise you to bring a little bag of his favorite veggies for him to encourage him to eat after surgery, it's very important to keep their gut moving.

Edit: Just realized you already said that.. duh!

05-02-08, 10:15 am
Freddie came home last night, and he was groggy, but up and eating pretty quickly. He seems to be a little mad at me, but otherwise seems to be doing well. I tried to give him his pain medication this morning, and man is that difficult! The first dose ended up on my pants. So I tried again with my boyfriend's help, and I think most of it got in his mouth. Thank you everyone for your support! I know that there could still be complications, but I'm really relieved that nothing happened during his surgery or last night while I slept.

05-02-08, 12:49 pm
I'm glad to hear that everything went smoothly with his surgery. I do have a tip for you regarding the pain medication. When I gave my boys their pain medication I placed the syringe pretty far back in their mouths (as far back as their molars) and waited for them to sort of gnaw on it. If they didn't do it right away I wiggled the syringe and then pushed the plunger.

I wish him happy healing!