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Guinea pig castration explained

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Abi_nurse

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[*]Guinea pig castration explained - from admit to discharge[/*]

I thought it might be useful for anyone considering having a boar neutered or simply want to know more about the procedure to explain it all as best I can. Hopefully it might put some minds at ease? My little 5 month old Ozzie was castrated today and I sorted his anesthetic and took a few pictures in the process (they aren’t fab tho). I will be posting some surgery pictures, but they will only be available if you click on the link so you don’t have to look if you don’t want to. But there are a couple of my boy asleep and the wound sutured after. Sorry in advance for it being so long.

Admit:
Most vets will want all routine procedures (spays/castrates and dentals) in first thing in the morning, usually between 8-9am. This is so a schedule can be made for the day and there is no waiting around for animals to be brought in and things can run as soothly as possible, although you can never account for the RTA or GDV turning up half way through to ruin your op’s list, so sometimes we ask for owner’s to be patient. Your piggie will be settled into a kennel and given plenty of food and water, and scheduled into the plan of the day. The routine castrates and spays will always be done early in the day.

Pre medication:
All cats and dogs undergoing a general anesthetic (GA) will be given a premed, this is a combination of sedatives and pain relief. It relaxes the patient and ensures pain relief is on board before the procedure. This means less anesthetic agents need to be used to make your pet fall asleep and generally makes the experience much more relaxed. Many piggies don’t receive a premed, however it is good practice from them to at least have an injection of pain relief before the procedure. My Ozzie had a lovely dose of Ketamine (sedative/anesthetic/pain relief), ACP (sedative) and buprenorphine (pain relief) before his induction, making his GA lovely and smooth.

Induction:
Injectation aneasthic’s are rarely used to make guinea pigs fall asleep. However it is sometimes used on rabbits. Guinea pigs should first be placed into a gas chamber and pre oxygenated before falling asleep. This helps get as much oxygen into their system as possible, they are then gassed asleep either in the chamber or a mask his held over their nose. Isoflurane is the standard anesthetic gas used, Sevoflurane is also a great fast acting agent. Once your piggie is asleep I have seen the odd vet place a endotracheal tube (down into the wind pipe) to maintain the patient’s airway. However most are simply left on a mask with the anesthetic gas, which shows to be as safe as.



Prep:
Once asleep your piggie will be clipped and prepped ready for the surgery, usually by the nurse. An area around the surgical site must be clipped of hair and then an antiseptic solution is used to clean the area of dirt and debris and make it as clean as possible. Surgical spirit is also sprayed on at the end to make an aseptic area for the surgeon. The vet will scrub up to become sterile and then place on sterile glove and all instruments and drapes are opened up ready for surgery. The nurse will continually monitor your piggies vitals throughout the procedure.



Surgery: (do not read if you simply don’t want to know)
Guinea pig castration is relatively quick, taking between 5-15mins on average to take. Vets who are confident and do the procedure will do it very quick, others a little slower. No matter how long it takes it is no extra risk to the pig. An incision is made either side of the penis to allow access to the testicles. Each one is then (to put it simply) pulled out of the scrotum and clamped with a forcep. The sperm duct and main vessel running to the testicle is then ligated (tied with a strong suture material) and then the testicle is snipped off. (sounds very horrid for you men -sorry). The skin is then sutured back together. Some vets like to place intra-dermal (under the skin) sutures. These are great because the piggie cant chew at them so well and are unlikely to pull them out. Other vets will place skin sutures, as was done with Ozzie.


Recovery:
Once the surgery is over, the anesthetic will be turned off and then your piggie will be constantly monitored and left on a mask of oxygen until they come around more. Once awake enough they will be taken back to their kennel and made comfortable and kept warm. During the next few hours your piggie will be kept a close eye on by the nurses. He will be encouraged to eat and syringe fed critical if he isnt eating within a hour or so.



Discharge:
Some practices prefer to keep their small furries (rabbits/piggies) in until they are eating. Not all owner’s are willing or able to syringe feed at home if they are making a slow recovery. Other practices send them home. If you are happy to syringe feed at home, make sure you make the vet/nurse aware and there should be no problems to taking your boy home for some TLC. The main things to do once you are home for aftercare are the following:
- Monitor eating, if your boar isnt eating after a few hours syringe some critical care paste, baby food or mashed up pellets. Do this until your pig begins to eat on his own. Offer his favorite foods. Make sure hes peeing and pooing too.
- Keep warm - especially for the first night. After having an aneasthic your piggie will be prone to loosing a lot of body heat. Put them on a snuggle safe, wrap them up with a warm blanket and bubble wrap if need be
- Bed them down on fleece/vetbed or newspaper. This means no/little bedding gets stuck to any wounds. Woodshavings/hay/straw are likely to stick to the surgical site and risk infection
- Make sure he isnt bothering his wounds. Piggies and rabbits are notoriously bad at chewing stitches. This can cause infection and lots of post op complications.
- If any worries at all, always speak to your vet.

Hope this was helpful. Sorry if its a bit long.
 
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Wiebke

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Thanks a lot - that is very informative. I will subscribe to it, so I can refer to this thread whenever necessary!
 

miss_piggy

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Thanks for that. I've had a boar neutered and a sow who was recently spayed so it's fascinating to see (with pictures) the whole process.

I've heard a few people mention about the use of injectable anaesthetics and my vet (post spay) said they had used this method (they have previously always used gas).

Hope your little boy is recovering well. It's always an anxious wait waiting to see the anaesthetic wear off but I did chuckle with my 2 because they looked drunk!
 

Runningfree

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Wow, always wonder what happened. Wont be getting my Winston done though! He'd be in a constant mood with me!
 

BossHogg

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I wont have to worry about this with my Barty, he was already done when I got him. ;)
 

Rilenceny

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ThanksQ for the neat information! It's certainly good to know what they does in the operation, since we'd never be able to look at, anyway! :red
 

CiaraPatricia

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Thanks, this is a really good thread :) Can somebody make it a sticky?
 

Briony_S

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that was really interesting i had both my boys done after they fell out with each other so they could have some lovely girlfriends and they have been happy couples ever since so it was best thing i did for them! i did feel bad at the time for them but it was for the best as after they fell out they were all lonely in a partitioned cage arguing at the divider with each other!
 

SweetsPig11

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What a great thread! I have been thinking about getting Sweets snipped because I want a little girl and let them be married lol and I think it would be easier then trying to bond him to another male. I am so nervous about it thought because I don't want it to take a turn for the worse or have him constantly pulling his stitches out etc. It just worries me. I think eventually the pros will out list the cons on this one though. Hopefully I can' find a vet who does a good job here in Idaho.
 

Caviesgalore (EPGPR)

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Fantastic thread, thanks for sharing - hope Mr Ozzie got some form of fee for his services!:))
 

Suzygpr

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Thank you for this very informative and interesting thread - even the most experienced members/rescues rarely get to go into the operating theatre, so to see it in action is great.

Suzy x
 

HairlessWillow7

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Even though I don't have any castrated boars, I found this very interesting and informative as well.

Can this please be made a sticky? It's a very useful thread to have around
 

Amanda1801

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This should be stickied! Also, a post castration info thread would be good if anyone feels knowledgable enough to write one - identifying complications etc.?

I'm very pro castrate/spay, so all my guys have been in for the chop at some point, and I've not been concerned, as I know exactly what happens etc - so hopefully this will put others minds at rest!

Very informative - well done!
 

SweetsPig11

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This should be stickied! Also, a post castration info thread would be good if anyone feels knowledgable enough to write one - identifying complications etc.?

I'm very pro castrate/spay, so all my guys have been in for the chop at some point, and I've not been concerned, as I know exactly what happens etc - so hopefully this will put others minds at rest!

Very informative - well done!

I agree because I am SUPER NERVOUS and worried about getting my little man done. I don't want something horrible to happen to him.
 

Amanda1801

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I agree because I am SUPER NERVOUS and worried about getting my little man done. I don't want something horrible to happen to him.
There's a risk with all anaesthetics, whether it's a small rodent or a horse - the vet wouldn't anaesthetise (unless it was absolutely necessary -like in an emergency situation where the risk of death is higher if they DONT anesthetise and operate) unless the animal was healthy and could handle it. The castration itself is a very quick, minimally invasive procedure, and as the OP says, only takes between 5-15 mins depending on the surgeon.

The potential post op complications are more dangerous than the operation itself, so if you do decide to get your guy done, make sure you're aware of things to look out for, potential complications etc. There's lots of threads about it here, I imagine if you do a search for "complications" you'll get lots come up.

Also, if it helps put your mind at rest, most veterinary surgeries will be happy to show you around etc. before hand, show you the theatre, the area your pet will be recovering etc. just call them and ask!
 
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