Advice for neuturing

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Branston+pickles
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Advice for neuturing

Post by Branston+pickles » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:53 pm

Hello,

I'm thinking of getting my 2 boys neutered. My main reason is Branston has become super dominant all of a sudden (humping pickles constantly which is causing fights, marking all over pickles so the poor guy stinks, marking everywhere in general).

They are both 6/7 months old, is this a good time to do it? What would aftercare be like? Would they be ok recovering together?

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[cub]
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Re: Advice for neuturing

Post by [cub] » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:31 am

Hormonal aggression often shows up between the ages of 6-12 months in susceptible rats, so the timing and the behaviour both suggest that's what it is, and neutering should help a lot. 6 months is a good age to be doing elective surgeries too: they're old enough that they're mostly grown, but young enough that healing and recovery should be quite fast. I've also heard quite a few people whose opinions I respect comment that neutered bucks seem to have better long-term health on average, so there's that in favour of it too.

Aftercare is mostly focused on 3 things:
- making sure the wound heals well
- making sure they don't pick their stitches
- making sure the wound doesn't get infected

For healing, you want them not to move around too much in the first few days to a week, so putting them in a small hospital cage is often recommended. You want something fairly low so that they can stand up but not climb, and a small footprint isn't a bad idea either so they don't do too much running around. Lots of people use a too-small hamster cage as they can often be got secondhand for not much money. You also want to make sure the substrate in the cage won't get stuck in the wound; something like paper litter pellets or chopped cardboard should be okay, but I wouldn't use shavings or hemp until the wound has knitted together properly.

For avoiding stitch-chewing, good pain relief is important, so make sure your vet sends you home with some meloxicam. Have some cohesive bandage to hand too (you can get it at Boots for wrapping elbows and ankles), so you can wrap the patient if he does start trying to chew the op site. There's a video on wrapping rats here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMKitya5iBA

Having a friend for company can also prevent stitch-chewing as it prevents boredom, and that's usually recommended, but a hormonally aggressive rat may be too aggressive to benefit from company until he's calmed down. If they're currently still living together safely, you could try putting them together after the op, and see how they react; if Branston is showing signs of being aggressive, or even just getting annoyed by Pickles, I'd separate them for the first few days to a week at least. It can take several weeks for the aggression to drop after a neuter, so you may need to play things a bit by ear as to when to reintroduce them.

For wound infection, keep the cage clean, and perhaps ask your vet about the possibility of prophylactic antibiotics: a lot of people put bucks on co-amoxiclav for a neuter as it's broad spectrum, penetrates pus well, and due to the neuter op site being where it is, it's liable to get muck in it.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA28).
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger (Edgeworth) the big lump, Din (NLA28), Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix), Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

Branston+pickles
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:40 pm

Re: Advice for neuturing

Post by Branston+pickles » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:29 am

Great thanks for all the info.
They never fight aggressively (no blood or foul play), so I dont think Branston is necessarily aggressive just extremely boisterous. The humping definitely needs to stop though.
Would you advise getting them both done at the same time?
I also had a recommendation of introducing a new rat to the group to take all the pressure off pickles, would you say that is a good idea?

Ideally I'd like to avoid putting them through surgery if I can. Also Branston hates being handled, he will escape my hands within seconds so unsure how I would bandage well if required.

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Re: Advice for neuturing

Post by [cub] » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:19 pm

Branston+pickles wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:29 am
Would you advise getting them both done at the same time?
I also had a recommendation of introducing a new rat to the group to take all the pressure off pickles, would you say that is a good idea?
I wouldn't say you need to neuter them both for behavioural reasons right now, but it is possible that after Branston is neutered, Pickles's behaviour may change and he may end up needing to be neutered as well. Neutering a member of a colony can change the group dynamics, and that can lead to other group members becoming aggressive. Apparently sometimes people end up having to have a whole chain of neuters before the group finally settles down. That doesn't always happen though, so if you're neutering purely for behavioural reasons, then I'd just neuter the rat causing the problems and see how you go.

If you're interested in neutering for preventative health benefits, then obviously neutering them both while they're young and healthy is the way to go, provided neither of them has health problems that would make surgery particularly risky, and also provided your vets are experienced with rat castrations. Veterinary experience makes a big difference in surgical outcomes.

As for bandaging, post-op rats are generally a lot more docile than usual so that does help. :P
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA28).
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger (Edgeworth) the big lump, Din (NLA28), Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix), Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

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