Neutering pet rats


Mishka and Vodka are first up for The Snip tomorrow! My poor rat-mommy heart feels kinda bad for them, but I’m hoping the advantages of neutering will outweigh the stress of an op.

My boys

Just quickly then, here are the apparent advantages (which I’ve briefly mentioned before):

  • Neutered males tend to be less aggressive and dominant (yesss, Mishka – that one’s for you!)
  • Neutering can sometimes help to keep their coats softer for longer
  • It is also said to reduce ‘buck grease’, the oily coating that male rats produce on their backs as they get older
  • It can apparently help to reduce the risk of some cancers
  • And, as with dogs and other sterilised animals, it can lead to fatter and more laid-back pets – which in the case of ratties is of course exactly what we want 😀

We chose for my two boys to get fixed first because they’re the biggest, acting the most dominant and, well, someone had to go first! It’s also a relatively pricey procedure, so we’re splitting the cost over two months. Hopefully the month’s gap will give Moon and Knight a chance to catch up in size a bit as well before their turn comes around.

But speaking of Teddy and Voddy, check out the photo above. You can clearly see here how Vodka (left) is fading very quickly, with a lot more white hairs flecking his Russian blue back. Mishka (right) on the other hand currently seems to be a slow fader, though his coat is definitely lightening up a bit too. For more on rat coat changes, see this post.

So these guys will be off to the vet bright and early tomorrow morning, and then I’ll spend my whole working day thinking about them until I can fetch them in the afternoon 😛 Will let you know how it goes…

5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Handsome young bucks | Sunshine Scrapbook

  2. Pingback: Voddy and Teddy in recovery | Sunshine Scrapbook

  3. I had one and a half neutered out of 13. Muffin got neutered because of agression issues, and afterwards he was fine. And his name suddenly applied to him….
    Zulu (Black with white spear on belly…) got half-neutered at age 2 due to a testicular tumor.

    To me it wasn’t worth the risk and they were happy and healthy WITH their balls, well, apart from Zulu then.

    • Such cute ratty names! 🙂 Ja, we also debated the neutering for quite a while. Our first boys were intact and they had a LOT of buck grease and a LOT of pee marking (which is why we decided to try girls next after that). But when we heard that neutering can reduce both buck grease and marking (the only two ‘cons’ of male rats, in our opinion), and that it’s a simple op that’s not as invasive as a spay, we decided it was worth trying.

      • Haha, I’ve done a lot in training them. Kind of the Dog Whisperer thing I suppose. My first set pee marked EVERYTHING, especially when they were younger, but the ones that came after that weren’t as bad. I had one named Lancerot (My Afrikaans speaking English teacher mum named him…) who used to insist on pee marking my dad. I told my dad to play-wrestle him, and flip him over, and it solved it. So funny, it’s a dominance thing sometimes.
        I’ve had different levels of buck grease on mine, but nothing a wash with Head and Shoulders wouldn’t solve. They needed to be bathed anyway to reduce my sisters’ allergies. Some loved it, others hated it.

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