Pros and Cons of nuetering....

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not_ginger
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Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by not_ginger » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:23 pm

I'm not sure whether to post this in Health or Behaviour, so mods please feel free to move if it's in the wrong place!

Ok, short story. I have 4 rats - 2 7month old brothers, and 2 older (approx 18-24mo) boys. They've been living together for about a month now, but recently I've had to separate them as I had one with a huge gash on his belly and another with a bite through his foot. Also, Rolly one of the older ones (who got the gash), was quite intimidated and not venturing out of his bed to eat. Ronan (7mo who had foot bitten) had got a little aggressive. Mostly with Rolly but it could get transferred to other rats if they were around. He gets a bit on edge when I free-range all 4 boys together, but when he's in the cage with Rocky (older boy and alpha) he's usually ok.

I'm worried as he seems so happy when he's with people and away from Rolly. I don't want to keep them as two groups of two as Rocky loves the younger company and both younger boys love cuddling up asleep with him.

We considered having Ronan neutered as it was him that seems most affected by the hormones and I think it's making him a bit unhappy as he's not getting as much interaction with the others. My OH isn't convinced so I'd like some impartial information and advice.

Please can you give me some pros and cons of neutering, and whether it's possible that this is just a stage with Ronan that he'll grow out of in a couple of months and live happily in the group?

Thanks in advance.

:)
*Angela*
And Ronan :smileyrat: ,Riddle :smileyrat: ,Ralph :dumbo: ,Roland :dumbo: ,Boots :teen: ,Bloo :teen: ,tilty Roobarb :teen: and the new babies Baldrick :baby: and runty Gaspode :dumbobaby:
R.I.P rainbow rats :rainbow: Missing Rooney already :(

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RetroLemons
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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:35 pm

Other half, male? Yeah i wonder why :wink:

Honestly, it'll make him happier.

Con - Risks of op, and his pride may be a bit squashed :lol:

Thats all i have :D
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by not_ginger » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:38 pm

RetroLemons wrote:Other half, male? Yeah i wonder why :wink:
I asked that, and I got a look..... :P
*Angela*
And Ronan :smileyrat: ,Riddle :smileyrat: ,Ralph :dumbo: ,Roland :dumbo: ,Boots :teen: ,Bloo :teen: ,tilty Roobarb :teen: and the new babies Baldrick :baby: and runty Gaspode :dumbobaby:
R.I.P rainbow rats :rainbow: Missing Rooney already :(

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:51 pm

not_ginger wrote:
RetroLemons wrote:Other half, male? Yeah i wonder why :wink:
I asked that, and I got a look..... :P
:lol: Makes him cringe i bet!
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
RatPad Hammocks - New hammocks out now! Oh and 20% of pre orders go into the rescue pot ;)
10% of your order going to a rattie rescue every time!

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by AlienRat » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:03 am

It can also help protect against kidney disease as it reduces the production of the protein (alpha 2u globulin) that plays a major role in nephropathy in male rats.
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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by piphil » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:21 am

Ok, as the Male "OH" I'll jump in with my piece here...

No, I'm not objecting to neutering purely out of sympathy for Ronan's nads (the episode of Fraisure where the have to get Eddy the dog neutered comes to mind... :P ).

I feel that yes, Ronan is overly on edge at the moment, but I thoguht I'd read somewhere this can be because some rats go through a "teenage" period where they're more aggressive. The impression I got was that in a month or so he could calm down on his own, and I want to try and wait for this period to pass. If the "teenage" period is something of my own invention then I'm probably wrong. :)

I also feel that Ronan's major problem is with Rolly, himself a lovable and ever-so-slight daft creature but not that great in terms of social ability. Ronan is very wary of him, and I feel bad that because he doesn't get on perfectly with one of the new guys that he's the one for the snip.

I also feel (admittedly with no real experience) there's no guarentee that the neutering will completely "cure" the problems - maybe they just don't get on, or maybe Ronan is more people orientated than rat orientated. Am I anthropomorphizing the subject too much?

Frankly, probably the real reason, and the absolute worst nightmare that kept me up for some of last night, is that we take him to the vets and he doesn't come back. I know it's very, very unlikely, but I feel that operations on small animals are more problematic than those on larger pets, and besides, he's my Daddy's boy and I'm somewhat protective of him. :D

I think what I want is some more time just to see if Ronan can sort himself out before going for a permanent solution. I think this may be enforced anyway - because he's got a chest infection I doubt the vet will allow him to go under anaethesia? So we might in any case have to wait for him to stop doing guinea-pig impressions, as cute as they are. :P

I will just point out as well that Ronan was being ultra-cute yesterday. As I sat with my laptop, he slid down into a comfy position between 2 cushions wedged between me and the chair, stuck so his face was in the flow of warm air from the laptop vent. He then proceeded to randomly brux and boggle until he drifted off to sleep. Thus why I'm being somewhat protective, and am left with the feeling that life for him isn't all bad at the moment. :D

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by papermoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:41 am

Good bits:
boys do calm down,
the coat becomes nice and shiny,
they smell less and are generally happier boys.
Also, due to less stress there is is a chance for a longer life span.
they can come and meet my girls :love:
Bad bits:
it doesn't always work (I still had to separate two brothers even after the castration),
the risk of operation itself, but due to the young age it should be fine,
it takes some time for them to settle down even after the surgery,
other boy rats may take over with the madness so be prepared to castrate his brother too (I would probably have them both done in one go)
I also know that cats get problems with getting blocked after the neutering, don't know if this ever happens to the rats :rollred:
I'm all thumbs up for neutering :wink:
Far from perfect...Slowly working on it

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by Karly » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:45 am

I just wanted to point out that I've had several males neutered. Some I left for a while, to see if it was a personality issue rather than hormonal (as I was the "rat girl" at the petshops I worked at, so lots of my rats were ones that didn't sell, or came from customers who came in for advice on their "vicious" rats, so they'd either had very little handling, or I didn't know how they'd been treated beforehand, and I couldn't be sure whether they were biting because they were scared or down to hormones) and they didn't improve - looking back, I wish I'd neutered them earlier, as their quality of life improved so much post-neuter.
Also, if it reassures you, my vet has done about 5 male rat neuters, 4 male rabbit neuters, 1 female rabbit spay, 1 emergency leg amputation on a chinchilla, 1 lancing of multiple abcesses under GA, 8-9 rabbit dentals under GA (including incisor removal 4 times), surgery to fix a blockage in a herniated intestine of a rat, and at least a dozen lumpectomies on my girl rats (and cyst removal on a male rat) and has yet to lose any under anaesthetic, or to complications afterwards. Just to give an unbias POV, there were a few post-op problems, but none permanent/fatal - one male rabbit went on to have minor bleeding post-neuter (but was fine after a day or two or close monitoring), one girl rat developed a haemotoma where her tumour had been (which drained away within a few days), the chinchilla reacted to his internal sutures and got an abcess (which came to a head, popped and never gave him any problems afterwards - his story was quite an amazing one as he'd trapped and broken the leg some point during the night, and I found him the next morning where he'd attempted to chew his leg off to free himself, so he was in shock and had lost blood but the vet still managed to get him through the op just fine).
If you have a good vet who knows what they're doing, the risk should be no greater than with a cat or dog.

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by not_ginger » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:50 am

Rattycorner has recommended her vets in Rugby as they've done nueters for her before with no problems. I like our vets but as they've never had to do any surgury for us I'd rather go with a recommendation to a vets that have.
*Angela*
And Ronan :smileyrat: ,Riddle :smileyrat: ,Ralph :dumbo: ,Roland :dumbo: ,Boots :teen: ,Bloo :teen: ,tilty Roobarb :teen: and the new babies Baldrick :baby: and runty Gaspode :dumbobaby:
R.I.P rainbow rats :rainbow: Missing Rooney already :(

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by RattyRenton » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 am

It's a tough choice. I've had 2 neutered. Dave was seriously vicious and territorial (with me, not his brother thankfully). Since having him neutered he's the lovliest most laid back squish ever. I got Roger neutered with the intention of putting my 2 youngest in with him and his brother (have had problems since, long story) and to stop him and his brother scuffling. They still fight. every now and again Roger will have a proper go at George, lots of foofing and fluffing up and sidling and chasing, poor George makes a beeline for me when I open the cage. BUT George is the dominant one since Roger was castrated, it's just that Roger has these funny little moments where he gets really wound up, he's really sweet otherwise. Perhaps I just have an odd rat but it's an example that neutering doesn't always solve a problem entirely. Although he IS lovely with the youngest two now, whereas before he'd beat them up (George is now causing the intro problems, he's next to the nad fairy!)

I think Roger's little 'moments' is something neurological, I don't think it's hormonal. As with Dave, there's such a difference in Roger since his neutering. Before he was a pingy nutter, as George is now, and constantly chewed anything made of wood (mostly my oak coffee table and TV unit :angry: ) but now he never chews anything and is happiest snuggled inside my jumper and is such a quiet little guy. (Another reason I'm considering having George neutered as well, if it helps calm him down, he's a complete and utter loony :roll: ).

If it was me I'd have Ronan neutered.
Heather x
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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by piphil » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:07 am

I will point out that Ronan seems to at times be obsessed with either sniffing or licking Rocky's man bits. Rocky appears to have made himself into the dominant male of the 4, which along with his somewhat interesting facial expressions has earned himself the nickname "Don Rat".

What's with the bits-sniffing (which is also indulged with sometimes by Riddle, Ronan's brother) and is it a sign of anything strange that Ronan seems so keen on it?
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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by not_ginger » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:19 pm

Thanks for all the info. :) There's just a couple more things I'd like to know...
piphil wrote:What's with the bits-sniffing (which is also indulged with sometimes by Riddle, Ronan's brother) and is it a sign of anything strange that Ronan seems so keen on it?
And also, will the fact that he's got a little bit of a wheezy chest (it's not laboured breathing, just noisy when he's excited/agitated) mean he can't have anaesthetic? Does it entirely preclude it, or is it down to the vet's judgment?

Thanks again! :)
*Angela*
And Ronan :smileyrat: ,Riddle :smileyrat: ,Ralph :dumbo: ,Roland :dumbo: ,Boots :teen: ,Bloo :teen: ,tilty Roobarb :teen: and the new babies Baldrick :baby: and runty Gaspode :dumbobaby:
R.I.P rainbow rats :rainbow: Missing Rooney already :(

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by Golgotha_tramp » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:45 pm

Hi,

really interesting post for me as my two bucks are still new and are fine and dandy with eachother...now. I have a local vet in mind for if I should ever need any rattycare too (from the recomended list)

A question I would like to ask is; How do people feel about pre-emptive snippage? not that I'm gagging to remove anything from my fluff balls but, it would be good to hear the opinion from more experianced owners? Does the risk outway any potential gain if their behaviour wasn't going to change? What percentage of your bucks have had problems requiring nuetering? On brothers who have been nuetered because of another rats agression did they display behavioural differences despite no negative behavioural traits prior to the op?

Sorry if it sounds like I'm ready to butcher my babies, just trying to be as informed as possible.

thanks

x
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Gone but not forgotten - :halo: Anode :dumbohalo: Fred

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by not_ginger » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:48 am

*bump*

Can any one answer my questions?

Ta! :)
*Angela*
And Ronan :smileyrat: ,Riddle :smileyrat: ,Ralph :dumbo: ,Roland :dumbo: ,Boots :teen: ,Bloo :teen: ,tilty Roobarb :teen: and the new babies Baldrick :baby: and runty Gaspode :dumbobaby:
R.I.P rainbow rats :rainbow: Missing Rooney already :(

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Re: Pros and Cons of nuetering....

Post by Karly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:01 am

not_ginger wrote:*bump*

Can any one answer my questions?

Ta! :)
I think you're best off asking your vet that one - one vet may be willing to operate if it's just a permanent wheeze from lung scarring, some may suggest a dose of antibiotics just to make sure it isn't an active infection, some may not want to operate at all if lung function may be impaired, none of us can really answer on behalf of your vet (unless someone else on here uses the same vet!)

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