Spaying guinea pigs?

Puddles1999

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Hey so I’ve had a little girl guinea pig, she had ovarian cysts and I know females can have a lot of health problems. I was wondering if spaying piggies is a bad idea? We recently just got another piggy, she’s about three months and I was thinking about getting her spayed later in life to avoid health issues. Once they get those ovarian cysts it’s so hard cause it’s usually when they’re older and surgery is dangerous and there’s not really a cure unless surgery :(.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I will tag in members. will have better advice than me. I have had a sow spayed. But not for ovarian problems. A different problem. She is 3 and came through just fine. But with a very good vet operating.

@furryfriends (TEAS)
@Wiebke
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Sorry if i missed anyone with knowledge about this subject.
 

Jesse's pigs

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Hey so I’ve had a little girl guinea pig, she had ovarian cysts and I know females can have a lot of health problems. I was wondering if spaying piggies is a bad idea? We recently just got another piggy, she’s about three months and I was thinking about getting her spayed later in life to avoid health issues. Once they get those ovarian cysts it’s so hard cause it’s usually when they’re older and surgery is dangerous and there’s not really a cure unless surgery :(.
Oh a very tricky topic. Ovarian cysts is the only scary reason I'd be pushed for spaying a female piggy but surgery as you know comes with great risk also. Really depends on the vet, quality of life of the piggy etc. It is probably better to do such a surgery when a piggy is younger and more likely to bounce back, but then again also invasive and comes still with the usual risk of anesthesia- the risk that has stopped me having my board neutered (but I'm a wuss lol). Personally it's a move that I wouldn't likely take unless they absolutely needed it because you can't be sure they'll ever develop cysts and the risk with the anesthesia for me is too scary.
 

Puddles1999

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Definitely! If we were to spay her I would want to do it before any problems popped up. Mostly in her younger years to try to prevent any of those health problems happening later. Don’t worry lol, I am too. I’m terrified of putting my piggies under stuff like that too! You’re not the only one haha. The thing is with me, I don’t want to not do it and then her get them and then nothing for them to be able to do about it. I’d hate to put her under after she has the ovarian cysts cause she isn’t in 100% perfect health you feel? But then at the same time would hate to have her spayed when she would’ve never gotten the cysts anyways. Such a hard decision
 

Wiebke

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Hey so I’ve had a little girl guinea pig, she had ovarian cysts and I know females can have a lot of health problems. I was wondering if spaying piggies is a bad idea? We recently just got another piggy, she’s about three months and I was thinking about getting her spayed later in life to avoid health issues. Once they get those ovarian cysts it’s so hard cause it’s usually when they’re older and surgery is dangerous and there’s not really a cure unless surgery :(.
Hi!

Unless you have got a very good operating vet, it is worth researching more the now available other avenues to treat ovarian cysts in sows before you make any decisions. The operative/post complication risks of a full spaying op at any age (it is an invasive major surgery after all) and the necessity of needing a spaying op for an older sow with much rarer non-hormonal potentially cancerous, hard ovarian cysts are about in the balance as things stand. In most cases, you are however faced with fluid-filled hormonal cysts in older sows that do not cause any major symptoms. It all very much depends on good your operating vet and nursing team is.

Be aware that when researching online you are inevitably faced with all the horror stories and complications but not with the majority of problem-free outcomes as they are not considered worth writing about.
You always have to correct for that. In my own experience, only a minority of my older sows have actually needed an intervention for ovarian cysts even though many of my older sows had them.

You may find this link here helpful: Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I just read your original post properly. I would not spay a sow without good reason. But if signs of problems did come up, i would be straight on it. Neutering though, i would get it done if i have another boar in the future. Only because i 100% trust my vet. Once my local good vet retires. I will no longer keep having guinea pigs atall. Unless another good vet opens up or replaces
 

Puddles1999

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I found a vet in our new area and he sees exotics and reptiles, everybody says he’s amazing but I guess it’s just hard to tell until we go. I know when our other piggy had them, they honeslty didnt really know what it was. We took her to numerous vets but they all said it was probably ovarian cysts (even with xrays) and the only option was exploratory surgery and if they found something bad, say cancer they’d euthanize her there on the spot. I just really do not want to ever go through that again. I know owning piggies, it’s gonna come with health risks but I’d love to do everything I could to prevent it from happening. Thank you all so much though! I’ve only ever heard of some shots to treat the cysts and surgery.
 

5StarPigs

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You may find that spayed sows are quite rare, as spaying a sow is a risky surgery. It is alot more difficult than neutering a boar. Sows typically only get spayed if they have overian problems and spaying is the only way to help. If you want to spay to prevent your sow from being pregnant, (if you are putting her with a boar) you would be better off getting the boar neauterd instead.
 

Lady Kelly

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Spaying is a risky op but it might be worth discussing with this new local vet for their opinion. Of all the sows I've had (7) two have had cysts and only one needed an emergency spay. The vet I was seeing at the time was awesome and even though my bumble was around 5 years old she sailed through it with no problems. It's not something I would personally opt for
 

Swissgreys

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I think this is an interesting question.
We routinely spay rabbits - in part to prevent health complications later in life - but it isn't so common with guinea pigs.

My exotics vet recently had a specialist exotics vet visiting, and her entire dissertation was on keyhole ovariectemies in young female guinea pigs to reduce the possibility of reproductive organ complications later in life.
It was quite interesting to hear her views, and also see pictures of her post surgery guinea pigs. The whole operation was keyhole, and left 2 very small incisions on the back of the guinea pigs (so an easier location to keep clean after surgery than a more traditional abdominal scar).
The work was fairly recent so there aren't any compelling long term results so far, but my females are both over 3 years old now and the cost of the surgery meant it wasn't a feasible option for us anyway (around 66 Swiss Francs per pig). She did offer me a discount, but I would want more evidence of the long term benefits before putting my guinea pigs through invasive surgery for a complication they may or may not develop at some point in their lives.
She did have some interesting research from Poland showing a high rate of ovarian problems in older female guinea pigs, as appreantly guinea pigs are very well cared for there and regulary taken to the vet. She actually worked full time seeing only rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets when she was in Poland, and was deeply shocked at how few specialist guinea pig vets there are in most other European countries!
 
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