Neutering your rodents: what you need to know

Neutering rodents is a fairly new practice, but it can have many benefits.

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Neutering rodents is a fairly new practice, but it can have many benefits.

Previously, it was not considered possible due to their size, but now many rodent-savvy vets are willing to neuter rodents. 

Only male rats, hamsters, degus, gerbils, mice and chinchillas need to be neutered, however in some rare cases females may be neutered due to medical or behavioural emergencies. 

Most of the species can be neutered from 4-6 months. However, it is advised that degus are neutered closer to 1 year of age as it can take longer for them to be fully developed physically and mentally.  

There are many benefits to neutering pet rodents. Some of these include: 

  • Single males who have a history of fighting with other males can be neutered and paired with females 

  • Reduction in odour of male mice 

  • Prevents unwanted babies

Before and after neutering care 

Rodents do not need to be starved prior to neutering, and the procedure is relatively quick. Once your rodent has returned home, it is advisable to house them on soft towels or vet bed material for the first week to avoid loose bedding irritating the castrate wound. Sand baths for chinchillas and degus should also be removed for the first week.  

It is advisable to monitor your rodents closely for the first 1-2 weeks to ensure they do not chew the wound area and that their toileting output and food intake is normal. 

Hamsters 

In most cases, hamsters do not require neutering as they either prefer a solitary life or are most content in same sex groups. However, female Syrian hamsters can be prone to Pyometra. With the support of a rodent savvy-vet, neutering can cure this. 

Need more advice? 

If you have any questions about your pet rodent, please don't hesitate to contact us for free advice and support.