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Why to Spay and Neuter Your Exotic Pets

Author: Dr. Lacy Gilmer

Everyone knows the old Bob Barker line “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” Most everyone attributes that to dogs and cats due to the obvious benefits of reducing pets in shelters, preventing mammary, testicular, and prostate cancers, and behavioral issues. However, other species commonly get overlooked in interpreting this wise mantra.

Exotic species such as rabbits, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, ferrets, rats, and chinchillas are all species that can benefit from spaying and neutering. Here is why you should talk to your veterinarian if you have an exotic pet to see if altering your animal is the best choice for you!

  • Spaying/neutering eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy. There are thousands of healthy animals that are euthanized in shelters every year. Sometimes determining the sex of exotic animals isn’t straightforward, and mistakes can lead to unplanned and unwanted litters. Getting pets spayed and neutered prevents overcrowding and euthanasia in shelters.
     
  •  Spaying reduces the risk of uterine cancer and other reproductive diseases. Adult, intact (or non-spayed) female rabbits and guinea pigs are at high risk for uterine cancer. Depending on the breed, the incidence of uterine cancer can be as high as 60%!
     
  • Guinea pigs can also develop ovarian cysts that can cause severe symptoms and diminished quality of life.
     
  • Unspayed female ferrets will produce excessive amounts of estrogen that cause other serious health problems including life threatening anemia.
     
  •  Spaying/neutering improves the bond between you and your pet. When male exotic animals reach sexual maturity, just like other more domestic animals, they can become territorial, aggressive, and destructive.
     

Calvert Veterinary Center offers consultations to determine if spaying and neutering is the right choice for your pet. We provide advanced surgical techniques including laser surgery and pain control before and after surgery to ensure your pet’s wellbeing. Call us at 410-360-PAWS (7297), email us at staff@calvertvet.com, or visit our website at www.calvertvet.com to find more information and schedule your pet’s visit today!

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