Preventative Spay?

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Post   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:43 am

We have two female guinea pigs who turn 5 this month. We chose not to spay them because we have read so many horror stories about the procedure in guinea pigs. However, when they were 3, the vet felt a lump in one guinea pig's abdomen so we spayed her. Everything went smoothly and she recovered well. The vet did not think it was necessary to spay our other guinea pig unless she developed an issue.

Due to ease of scheduling, we did their most recent checkup with another vet at the same practice (The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in NYC, though we have never seen Dr. Pilny and he doesn't appear to be listed on the website anymore?) and she thinks it would be smart to spay her while she is healthy. She says in her experience the spayed guinea pigs don't necessarily live longer, but they have a better quality of life. Though she prefers to do it when they are younger, she didn't seem worried about performing the surgery on a healthy 5 year old.

We're torn about what to do. This guinea pig gets stressed out in new situations more easily than the one who is already spayed, but this medical center is high quality and would focus on the appropriate after care.


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Post   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:17 pm

Dr. Pilny is likely a skilled and experienced vet. You can also ask about outcomes of spay surgeries. I understand your reluctance. A spay does mean your guinea pig should not suffer from any reproductive issues in the future.

Avoidance of routine spays has the most to do with the quality of care available for the procedure and rate of success. But there are still risks to any surgery. Find out what techniques this vet uses for a spay.

p.s. your guinea pig could still live another 5 years!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:29 pm

It's a hard choice to make. There are always risks to surgery, even in a healthy guinea pig. There's no guarantee that she'll ever have reproductive system problems, and no guarantee that she won't. If it were my pig, I'd probably vote no on the surgery. But there's certainly plenty of good arguments to have it.

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2018

Post   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:05 pm

Yes, I would be cautious on doing a spay on an older guinea pig to prevent problems she may never have anyway. I’m not aware of spays giving guinea pigs a better quality of life other than preventing them from developing uterine and ovarian tumors and cysts. You could ask the vet how may spays she has done and what the outcome was and how many spays she has done on older guinea pigs.


Post   » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:33 pm

I had one pig spayed as the result of an ovarian tumor. She survived the surgery without complications, but they left one ovary behind because they thought it was best for hormonal reasons. That ovary ended up turning cystic and we treated it with HcG. She died of non-reproductive related illness. I had another with ovarian cysts and we treated her with Lupron. She also died of non-reproductive related illness. I would never do a preventative spay on a guinea pig. To me, there is no point in risking my animals life on the chance something will happen. Especially, when if something like ovarian cysts happen there are alternatives to surgery to try first.

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