June 25, 2018
Health & Fitness
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Why To Spay And Neuter Your Exotic Pets

Lacy Gilmer - DVM - Calvert Veterinary Center
Lacy Gilmer - DVM - Calvert Veterinary Center's picture
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February 21, 2018

Everyone knows the old Bob Barker line “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” Most everyone attributes that statement to dogs and cats because of the obvious benefits of reducing the number of pets in shelters and preventing mammary, testicular and prostate cancers, and behavioral issues. However, other species commonly get overlooked in interpreting this wise mantra.

Exotic species such as rabbits, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, ferrets, rats and chinchillas can benefit from spaying and neutering. If you have an exotic pet, talk to your veterinarian to see whether altering your animal is the best choice for you!

Spaying/neutering eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Thousands of healthy animals are euthanized in shelters every year. Determining the sex of exotic animals isn’t always straightforward, and mistakes can lead to unplanned and unwanted litters. Getting pets spayed and neutered prevents overcrowding and euthanasia in shelters.

Spaying reduces the risk of uterine cancer and other reproductive diseases. Adult, intact (or non-spayed) female rabbits and guinea pigs are at high risk for uterine cancer. Depending on the breed, the incidence of uterine cancer can be as high as 60 percent!

Guinea pigs can also develop ovarian cysts that can cause severe symptoms and diminished quality of life.

Unspayed female ferrets will produce excessive amounts of estrogen that cause other serious health problems including life-threatening anemia.

Spaying/neutering improves the bond between you and your pet. When male exotic animals reach sexual maturity, just like other more domestic animals, they can become territorial, aggressive and destructive.

Calvert Veterinary Center offers consultations to determine if spaying and neutering is the right choice for your pet. The center provides advanced surgical techniques including laser surgery and pain control, both before and after surgery, to ensure your pet’s well-being. Call 410-360-PAWS (7297), email staff@calvertvet.com or visit www.calvertvet.com to find more information and schedule your pet’s visit today!

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