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Neutering/Spaying Spay or Not to Spay?

Ithilgil

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Messages
287
I was wondering if I should spay my two 2-month-old cavies. (I'm not sure if they're spayed or not; I've just sent their former owner an email a few minutes ago.) I've heard that neutering is good for males, but I'm not sure about spaying and females.

Does spaying have any positive or negative health affects for guinea pigs? And at what age should they be spayed?
 
Spaying is a very invasive and serious procedure for female cavies, much more so than for other small mammals because of their anatomy. So the surgery is expensive, and some pigs just don't make it.

On the other hand, many adult sows develop ovarian cysts, which either require repeated hormone treatments which are eventually ineffective, or spaying to remove the cysts. The pig's health may be compromised by the time surgery takes place, so the mortality rate may be even higher than for pigs without cysts.

So, you pays your money and you takes your chances. I've elected not to have my two spayed, and they're approaching three years old. I wonder occasionally if that's a wise decision, and I may wind up one day wishing I'd gone ahead and done it.

That said, two months is probably way too young to spay them, although I don't know what the ideal age would be. I've heard two years mentioned, but don't know if that's based on any scientific evidence or not.

Let us know what you decide.
 
I would not spay them if they are both females living together. The only reason I would spay would be for health reasons (ovarian cysts). Usually spaying cavies is risky and can be expensive.
 
What is ovarian cysts? What does it do to the sows?
 
Only do it for medical reasons, or if you have a boar and sow by themselves and would like to house them together, but then only get the boar done. It doesn't make a difference in their attitude like some other animals.

Any operation with piggies is risky and obviously unpleasant for them, so should only be done to save or improve their lives.
 
I'm curious about why you are considering spaying your females. They are not living with males so there's no risk of pregnancy. It doesn't change their personality (calm them down) so that's not a reason. You didn't know about ovarian cysts until this thread so that wasn't why you were thinking about it.

Why put them through the risk?

You heard that neutering was good for males? Where did you hear that? The only reason to put the males through that risk is to 1. prevent him from impregnating a female. 2. potentially ease impaction.

Like females, neutering will not calm a boar down or change their personality.
 
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I am a complete newbie on guinea pig care. I had gotten my first guinea pigs just last Sunday (5 days ago) on the day I joined this forum. All I had heard (I forgot where, but it was a random guinea pig info website) was that spaying and neutering had good health effects for guinea pigs, though I wasn't sure about the details. Hence, posting the question on the forum to get other people's opinions on the matter.

Now that I know the risks and expense for spaying sows, I'm not going to be spaying them unless it is absolutely neccessary to do so.
 
Congrats on your new piggies! Awesome to get them from someone that was giving theirs up. This site and guinealynx are both great when it comes to pig care.
 
Thank you.

Yeah, I know. I'm pretty much getting all my guinea pig care info from these two sites. I am really hoping that my Rhode and Robin would be able to live out a healthy life and live to the maximum, or above average, lifespan of their species.
 
We would love to see pics of your lovely piggy ladies :) We are piggy pic crazy here on this forum. Please indulge us :)
 
Yay. I finally figured out why my camera phone photos were of lower quality than before. The image size was set too large. I think I fixed it. I'm not 100% sure.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Spay or Not to Spay?
This one was before fixing it. I personally think it's more blurry than the other ones.
That one is Robin.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Spay or Not to Spay?
See the slight different in quality compared to the first picture.
The one at the front is Robin. The one hiding at the back is skittish Rhode. They're Abyssisian sisters.
That white bowl is their veggie bowl. My girls emptied it within minutes of filling it up. They really love their veggies.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Spay or Not to Spay?
This is Rhode. It's a bit blurry because she moved.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Spay or Not to Spay?
This is Robin.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Spay or Not to Spay?
The one on the left is Robin, and the one of the right is Rhode. Right above their head is their hay rack. That's why there's a lot of hay on the fleece. You can see a tiny part of the hay rack in the picture with only Robin and their pellet bowl.

They're really cute! :D (I wanted to put the pink lovestruck smilely with hearts here, but I've maxed out the image allowance for one post.)
 
They're such cuties!

It's been awhile since I've seen 2 month olds, and my memory is shocking. Other members - is it normal for 2 month olds to look that skinny?

At any rate I'm sure you'll fatten them up in no time with hay, pellets and veggies! I think this may have been covered in another thread - but remember to feed them unlimited grass hay and unlimited high quality alfalfa based pellets e.g. Oxbow or KMs.

And they are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!
 
Thank you. I think they're really beautiful too.

I'm currently feeding them Oxbow orchard hay and Living World pellets which has alfafla meal and timothy hay as its main two ingredients. As for veggies, they have romaine lettuce, 1-2 baby carrots, and occassionally, 1-2 sprigs of parsley a day. I'm going to go grocery shopping on Tuesday (student discounts) and buy them some bell pepper.

And tomorrow, I'd be receiving some free lemon balm plants from a lady who has too many in her backyard. I've heard that lemon balms are okay for guinea pigs and hamsters. If they don't like the taste, I'll have the plant all to myself for tea and herbs.
 
You might want to add more variety to their diet. Lettuce and carrots is not enough for a daily diet. Green peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C. I would trade the romaine for green or red leaf lettuce. Cilantro is also a really good daily vege. Occasional slice of cucumber. For an occasional treat, a chunk of watermelon or slice of strawberry.

I do believe that lemons are too acidic for pigs and too tart for their taste anyway.

Have you seen this chart? https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/22156/

I refer to it all the time when shopping for produce for the pigs.

Is the cage in the photos a temporary cage? Have you seen the photos on here of the C&C cages people have made for their pigs? We have a very creative bunch here. People have made cages in ways I would never even have thought about. Check it out.
 
You might want to add more variety to their diet. Lettuce and carrots is not enough for a daily diet. Green peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C. I would trade the romaine for green or red leaf lettuce. Cilantro is also a really good daily vege. Occasional slice of cucumber. For an occasional treat, a chunk of watermelon or slice of strawberry.

Yeah. I know. But my grocery shopping day is on Tuesday, and today is Friday. I don't go grocery shopping on any other days, because there's a 10% student discount at a nearby grocery store on Tuesdays only.

I do believe that lemons are too acidic for pigs and too tart for their taste anyway.

Lemon balm, not lemon. I'll never feed them something as tart as lemons. Lemon balms are from the mint family. There are other threads regarding guinea pigs and lemon balms in this forum.

Some said that their cavies loved them.

Is the cage in the photos a temporary cage? Have you seen the photos on here of the C&C cages people have made for their pigs? We have a very creative bunch here. People have made cages in ways I would never even have thought about. Check it out.

No. It isn't a temporary cage. It's a 2x4 grids C&C cage with fleece bedding. PLease see https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/73826/ for more info on my cage.
 
Okay, I see the bigger picture (literally LOL) now. Interesting setup.

Yes, the kits from here can be expensive but buying the kits aren't the only way to get a C&C cage. Coroplast is generally pretty cheap. Just call around to some local sign stores, give them the dimensions of the sheet you want and they will likely be able to sell you one.
 
They're adorable! I love that they have plenty of room too.

Off the top of my head for variety in veggies, I suggest radicchio, escarole, turnip greens and Belgian endive. Oh yeah and kale sparingly. Mine right now loves this stuff.

One more suggestion that I don't see very often around here is step stools make good houses. They allow the pigs to escape without a scuffle, if they ever have a tiff. And they're just a good size. Hmm but if they're young, make sure any house is kept away from an edge, since they tend to have the energy to actually jump on top.
 
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