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Neutering. What are the risks?

Ok, so just got off the phone to my vets. They will charge me a max of ?30 per mouse to neuter the boys but I would like to have a realistic idea of how likely it is that I could lose them under the GA? Do the benefits outweigh the risk? Its been explained to me that as a small mammal with a very fast heart rate the risks of losing them either under the anesthetic or due to shock whilst they are in recovery from the op are much higher. I would hate that, having come this far with them it would be a bitter blow to lose them now. And in terms of how successful the effects of the op are as well, how likely is it that they could continue to live together or would I still have to split them all up? And if I split them up would it be best to get both mice in the pair done or just one out of the two?

So many questions, sorry :(


  • _AnnB_AnnB Legacy
    Posts: 161
    There are always going to be risks with any operation so it does require some careful thought. I've had nine of my own bucks neutered. The first two were about 12-16 weeks old and I'd already split them up as they were squabbling. My main reason for having them neutered was because they were rather feisty little fellas who frequently nipped me and I was hoping the operation would calm them down. It took quite a while for their hormones to settle and I think I made the mistake of trying to reintroduce them to each other too soon because it didn't work but they did stop biting me and one went to live happily with a group of females. I could never get the other one to bond with other mice, he was quite frightened of even female mice and they always picked on him. I finally discovered he had epilepsy (I've no idea if that was as a result of a lack of oxygen during his operation but he didn't develop the epilepsy till some time afterwards). He's still going strong though and has just celebrated his 2nd birthday.

    I had the other seven boys neutered after a surprise litter from a pet shop mouse. I was faced with the dilemma of buying them individual cages if they started fighting or having them neutered and trying to keep them together. They had their op at 5 weeks old and were kept together both before and immediately after their operation to save any awkward reintroductions. I have to say it was the best decision I could have made, I've had no problems with them fighting at all. I split them into two smaller groups but since two have recently died, I've now merged both groups together again.

    So, all nine sailed through the op and by the time they came home from the vet they were running on their wheels as normal. They were all 100% healthy before the op though, none of them had respiratory infections as that would have dissuaded me from putting them through it.
  • _mousequeen!_mousequeen! Legacy
    Posts: 120
    Hello :)
    I was looking into this a little while back and what I found is that neutering seems to be a relitively safe and good option as long as you have a vet that you trust. enquired to 2 in my area. 1 was happy and had done a few before and one was worried it would be risky. you could ask around a few and see who has most experience :)
    good luck
  • _Tilly1712_Tilly1712 Legacy
    Posts: 303
    Hi Alison.

    I can understand your concerns - it's always worrying with them being so small and I fret all day when mine are at the vets. So far I've had 21 boys neutered and apart from one who didn't come out of the anaesthetic everything has gone very well. I was devastated to lose one, but he didn't have particularly healthy parents and with hindsight I should never have put him through it :(

    I'm told the op doesn't actually take that long (we had four done yesterday and I think it took half an hour to 40 mins in total) and ours are often up and about as soon as they're back in their cages.

    If you're happy that your boys are in good health I would say it's worth the risks, in my opinion anyway. I've had older boys before that have been quite withdrawn from living on their own, but after they've been spayed and joined other mice they seem a lot happier and more outgoing.

    If you have them neutered while they're fairly young you have a good chance of them staying together, but even if you have to split them it's possible to re-introduce them later when their hormones have settled down. As for having them in pairs and having just one neutered, we've done that with some of ours but I think it depends on their personalities.

    I hope that helps and I wish you good luck with yours :)
  • _Gilbert_Gilbert Legacy
    Posts: 419
    Thanks everyone. I have decided to go for the pair of boys that are most likely to squabble, thats Cash & Mitch. Its nearly always Cash what starts it and and he does try it on with Alex and Tango too, but to a lesser extent. It is Mitch he seems to have the biggest issue with so I'm going to get them done and then if need be a month later Alex and Tango. I would love to get them all done together but I'm spending out a small fortune on one of my dogs at the moment and I just dont think finances will stretch to all four at once :( They all seem healthy and fit so hopefully they will be fine (fingers crossed, I know I'm going to be a nervous wreck on the day :cry: )
  • _Gilbert_Gilbert Legacy
    Posts: 419
    Well I never did end up getting any of my original boys done. We had 3 attempts between us, the vet & I, lol and we were foiled every time. Something always seemed to crop up, either for me or for the vet. However since the boys have been in the duna fun they've settled down and I don't hear a peep out of them now. Not even when I've had to do a full cage clean, so I've decided, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it!' I have however decided to get Cookie Monster done, my poor little boy is stuck in a cage all by himself and it's not even a big one either :( I don't want him to live his life like that so Cookie is booked in for next Monday to have the snip. Hopefully by the time he is ready to go in with the girls I will have the jenny all kitted out & ready to go. At the moment I have Eric & Ernie in a mini duna, The Little Misses in a ferplast paula, Coco Pops & Hazel Nut in the glass terrarium thingy & Cookie in the ferplast combi. I've also got the six girls in a freddy savic 2 but I didn't want to add to the group there, they're settled and happy so I think they're best left alone to enjoy their life. All the bits I ordered to turn one of the mini dunas into a duna fun have arrived and I will introduce The Little Misses and Coco & Hazel and they can go in there for the time being if all goes well. Then once Cookie is safe to be added to the group I can upgrade them to the jenny and Eric & Ernie can have the duna fun and hopefully everyone will be happy & I can finally stop fussing over them. Less cages for me to sort out and hopefully happy mice into the bargain!

    Sigh! Its like a jigsaw trying to figure all this out :roll:
  • _Gilbert_Gilbert Legacy
    Posts: 419
    Cookie gets neutered tomorrow. Nerves are kicking in now :(
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