Castration care and advice, by Val Savage R.H.A.

  • Castration is not a guarantee that boars will not fight.
  • You can have as many females as you can accommodate with one castrated boar.
  • The guinea pig should be on his feet within 10 minutes of surgery.
  • Keep the castrated guinea pig clean and warm for 4 weeks before introducing him to a female
  • We would not recommend castrating animal that is under 8 months old or under 1 kg.

We would recommend a pre-castration healthcheck. It is important to check the heart and respiration as any abnormalities could be a problem where anaesthetic is concerned. We would not have any guinea pig castrated if there is an ongoing heart or respiratory abnormalities as the anaesthetic could prove fatal.

There is always a risk with the use of anaesthetic and a consent form will have to be signed at the surgery. A pre-med should not be used, and a pain killer should be administered 20 minutes before surgery, not at the end. Some favourite veggies will be welcomed following surgery, which you can take to the vets. Eating soon afterwards is part of the recovery process.

Following castration we would recommend the guinea pig is kept warm indoors with lots of soft towels. This should combat any drop in body temperature which is quite common following surgery. You will also find it easier to check that he is pooping and that the poops look “ok” as well as see any signs of bleeding (on white towels).

We would recommend the genital area is kept as clean as possible.  This works well with clean towels or vetbed changed once or twice daily for 3 or 4 days. A wipe over with a mild solution of Povidone Iodine will help to keep any problems at bay. The 50/50 mix is Iodine and water. Wash over the wounds.

The stitches should be Vicryl. Guinea pigs are often intolerant of other types of suturing material. The sutures are normally dissolvable.

Possible post op problems can include a hernia which can be fatal or a PCA (post castration abscess). We have avoided hernias by leaving the fat pads in place. Normally the vet who did the castration will attend to an abscess free of charge, however, it needs to “ripen” prior to lancing and cleaning up. Best avoided as again you will need to keep him scrupulously clean!

Weight loss of up to around 50g following surgery is normal. Eating unlimited amounts of quality hay will help to put weight back on along with a mixed diet of veg and a little fruit and dry feed.

There should be a gap of four weeks before introducing to a female. During this time there could be live, dormant sperm which could create an unwanted litter in the sow you are introducing. The bigger the space, the better for the introduction, with hidey-holes, like boxes or tunnels, dry feed, hay, veg and water.

A male will normally never hurt a female whether he is castrated or not. Some people complain about their boar constantly trying to mount the female, despite being castrated. He is only doing this as she is letting him and is probably in season which is around every 17 days for around 5 hours. She will soon get tired of his advances and tell him in no uncertain terms to “back off”. He will be fine with that arrangement.