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Discussion Starter #1
Hey , i was wondering if it would be possible to buy a male rat. Neuter it..and put it in with my females ? Also if i did , Are the risks of aneasthesia worth it ? Ive had male rats before the two girls i have now. And prefered them so was wanting to get them again. However i cant really afford to have two different "clans" With space taken up with another large cage And time to let them out seperatly ETC.

I sound like a bad rat owner now...

But anyway would it work out ?
 

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neuters can be risky

I know some people have had great success & I know some people who have lost the rat to the process.

I am dealing with a male that I took in after his previous owner could not keep him anymore (along with 3 females) due to allergies. Initially he had a very hard time recovering from surgery. He began to heal & then things went downhill. The vet ended up taking him to her home for something like 2 weeks to do lots of cleaning & lots of antibiotics. They found a stitch that wasn't being absorbed & this may have been the trouble maker.

Fast forward to my care. He was healed up when he came to me but shortly after arrival, 2 or 3 weeks, he swelled up down there real bad & very rapidly. I was in a panic because I didn't have a way to get in touch with the vet who had cared for him. I contacted a vet I had spoken with before local to me but because he had no case history he was going at it blind. We began treatment with antibiotics assuming this was yet another post operative abscess. (sidenote: I eventually heard from the other vet but I had already contacted the other vet & went with a local source after confirming his history & my suspicions, that particular day was on a weekend & I had an appointment I absolutely could not miss to view a home I wanted to buy & we had to wait 2 weeks for that appt to meet the owner from Toronto)

I had thought it might be a case of yet another stitch inside of him that he was rejecting & to the best of our knowledge this is what it was. (enter the history from previous vet that confirmed suspicions) When that abscess ruptured it was HORRIBLE!!! I don't have a weak stomach but this was nearly more than I could handle & I've handled BAD before.

This was nearly a month ago & he has just been put back with his harem of girlies because it took that long for his wound to close. I am hopeful this will be the last because this is twice he has had a bad infection there on top of the surgery. He doesn't have any spare tissue down there that I could patch up in order to get him through another infection like that again. He is such a sweetheart & I am soooo glad he did so well with this. I pray it is the last.

So, ask around, get opinions & read other stories... make your decision.

Personally, I won't neuter another male because there is no way I could live with the knowledge that I made the choice that put him through that kind of pain. I will keep my boys in a separate area, wake up an hour earlier or go to sleep an hour later in order to get them that extra hour a day of playtime with me. If they getting nasty with their other male cage mates I will just set them up in their own bachelor pad. I will make sure I can give them all the comforts they deserve as they are because I chose to bring them into my life. They shouldn't have to conform to fit in... it is my responsibility to see to their needs first.
 

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I can respect Julia's reply, but I will counter it with: I've know many rats (hundreds) who have been neutered, and only 2 who died. On the flip-side, I've known many rats who have been spayed (again, hundreds), 5 died.

It's a risk, for sure. Any surgery is.

My opinion is: If you want a mixed colony, you must neuter (and/or spay). That's a given. If you have cage aggression, I highly recommend neutering. If you have an aggressive, rat that bites, neutering often (not always, but often) changes the rats (no more hormones can remove the problem completely).

Otherwise, it's your call. Many rat owners sputer all their rats with no problems. More so at other forums, but I know there's quite a few here who do as well.

If you do decide to go with it, make SURE you know your vet. Make sure they've done neuters before (and not just a few, either!). Make sure you find out what they use to put them under. Make sure you find out what they use to close the incision. Make SURE your vet is a good one when it comes to these things. Maybe even talk to all vets in the area and choose one that meets all the "requirements" of a good sputer vet. Even if you have to travel a bit further than you usually would. It's 100% worth the trouble.

All that said - mixed gender mischiefs are awesome. :D There's something about the dynamics that makes for a great group.
 

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please do read that I do know of many people who have done this with both sexes & all has been well & gone well... I am not saying that this is not something that people should do

I was going to neuter a couple of my boys just prior to all of this but because of this experience I have second thoughts & yes, that is a personal choice.

This is why I said, read other stories, ask questions & then come to the decision that is really what's best for the rats.
 

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I neutered my Jake with no problems and my girls took to him very quickly. I love having a mixed groups because I love both the laziness of the boys and the spunky girls who will never sit still.

We, thankfully, didn't run over any snags in Jake's neuter. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ive heard that male rats neuter doesnt work for like 5 weeks or something ? is this true ?

Thanks for all your advice. Not sure if im gettin male or female yet.
 

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Most people suggest a 3 week waiting period post neuter to ensure he's 'clean' so to say. Also allows him to heal up. :)
 

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I have gone thru 9 neuters now and sadly lost one to pneumonia afterwards. He was a new older rescue who became very aggressive towards me and his cagemates. he seemed extremely healthy but after the neuter he developed pneumonia. I wasnt experienced enough at the time to recognize this, and thought he was just in discomfort...rushed him to the vet where he was hospitalized but he didn't make it. :(

The rest did very very well, with a few post-neuter abscesses that were easily taken care of.

I have another boy coming this month and he will be neutered as well. I DO have a great vet, which is extremely important.

Mixed sex colonies are definitely my favourite. :)
 

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lilspaz68 said:
The rest did very very well, with a few post-neuter abscesses that were easily taken care of.
This statement here was the point of my post. How many people actually know that post-operative abscesses occur & how many readers in this forum are prepared to treat the abscess?

Be sure to ask about these things before committing to the surgery & find out how much of this is going to be included as post operative care. If your vet doesn't factor this in you may find yourself with a huge bill for additional office visits, cleanings & care of the infected area as well as all the medications needed in order to treat the abscess.
 

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True, post-neuter abscesses were new to me. I had a group of 4 boys go get neutered at the same time and one by one they developed a neuter abscess. I have no idea if this means anything but these were the 4 I didn't have on baytril afterwards (the rest did and had no problems). The abscesses I took care of at home just like most other abscesses. My vet actually changed her dissolvable stitches when I told her what had happened.
 
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