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Hey all,I'm new here so please school me if this is the wrong place to post this.I'm adopting 3-4 males from an oops litter next month, with the aim to intergrate them in with my existing two (neutered male, intact female, both around 2 years). To do this I'll need to neuter them.I know that it's better to do this while young, but my question is how young is safe? I've seen anything from 6 weeks to 4 months being the youngest acceptable age so am a little confused. Ideally I want to start intros while they're still babies, but not if this is detrimental to the babies health. Thanks
 

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When I recently got my boys neutered the vet said as long as their testicles were completely visible they were old enough. See what your vet thinks. Different vets may do things differently. I know that some years ago 6 months was considered the ideal age to neuter/spay dogs, but now it is done at a much younger age.
 

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I had one vet tell me 6 weeks+ was fine, and a few others tell me the same thing raindear said which is if the testicles are both fully descended and visible they could do it. Some sites say they've done it as young as 5 weeks. Honestly I agree with raindear, speak with the vet that it would be done with and see what they think and feel comfortable with. I think if the rat is over 5 weeks old, the testicles are both fully descended and visible and the vet is comfortable with it then it should be fine.
 

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In a lot of cases, vets may refuse to neuter rats under a certain age, not for safety, but for the rats' long term health. Neutering removes hormones which are needed for the animal to grow and develop properly. If neutered too early, it could stunt growth and cause muscle tone not to develop properly. Six months is the ideal for neutering, as the rat should have done all the growing needed. That said, I have a rat neutered at three months and he is fine. I just had a rat neutered at five months (just last week) so we will see if he develops better than the other or not, since he was neutered later.

As far as for a safe neuter... I'd honestly wait until they are a considerable size. My latest neuter was 400 grams when he was neutered, but lost ten grams afterwards. It made me realize, if I'd gotten him neutered before he was that large, he could have lost a dangerous amount of weight for his size. Personally, I recommend waiting until a rat is around three months old or older (six month being ideal, of course, but sometimes you can't wait that long). Five weeks is just a baby... Give them time to put some weight and heft on.
 

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Thanks for the information in this thread! I'm not sure yet if the babies I'm taking are male or female but I might get them spayed or neutered so knowing when is important. Of course - I still need to find a vet nearby to do it!
 
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