June 24, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Taking a pair of chinchillas to your home makes a lot of sense if your social furry friends are of the opposite sex as they also need each other’s company. Housing a male & female chinchilla together will result in breeding and babies. You may want to avoid getting baby kits and thinking of neutering the male chinchilla. Veterinary experts don’t recommend going for a neutering procedure as it comes with a variety of serious risks and complications.
Most of the owners generally don’t have any intention of breeding their chinchillas. They do prefer to keep them in pairs without taking any babies. It is possible to neuter a male or spays a female chinchilla, but the problem arises in postoperative complications. You can go for the neutering procedure but as a veterinarian, I don’t recommend this procedure without any serious emergency to do so.
If you’re reading my article, you are probably thinking of petting a male and female chinchilla together. My general advice would be to avoid housing them together at all or keep a pair of the same gender if you’re not into breeding and management of chinchillas. That doesn’t mean you can’t neuter a chinchilla as it is possible with the best practices available.
Chinchilla’s Neutering & Its Significance
As I’ve mentioned that there is no hard and fast rule on whether you should neuter your chinchilla or not. The aim of my research is to tell you about the advantages and disadvantages along with why neutering is not recommended in chinchillas. But first, let’s understand what is neutering.
Neutering is a term used to define the process of making a male sterile. The testes of male chinchillas are surgically removed from the body to stop the production of male sperm and hormones. You may be familiar with another term ‘spaying’ commonly used to describe sterility in females.
Spaying and neutering are always done under anesthesia and under a professional exotic animal veterinarian supervision.
Chinchilla’s Neutering–Pros & Cons
Whether you want to neuter or spay your chinchilla, there are some practices that need to be followed. Neutering your furry friend is rarely advised by most exotic animal veterinarians. Unable to produce further progeny is one of the important benefits of sterilizing your male chinchilla, but that’s not the only thing.
Many owners don’t know, but neutering not only causes cessation of breeding but also helps a lot to control aggressive behavior. The male hormones responsible for breeding are also important in deciding the temperament of your chinchilla. Removing the source of these hormones can also reduce aggression in them and make them amazingly docile.
On the other hand, you may need to understand the basic risks involved in this surgical procedure. One of the most crucial factors is the complications of anesthesia, and this carries the greatest amount of risk to your furry angel. Putting a small animal through stress and anesthesia can lead to shock and death.
Another factor to consider is the pot-op care and management of the chinchilla after neutering surgery. You have to be very cautious about the activity and care of the surgical wound. This must be done to ensure proper and complete healing. Neglecting these points can lead to the development of life-threatening infections and sepsis.
In my opinion, the neutering of your chinchilla must be performed only in case of emergency under a senior veterinary surgeon. But the cons outweigh the pros in deciding why you shouldn’t go for neutering if there is no serious emergency.
Why Neutering isn’t Recommended in Chinchillas?
The basic idea why someone wants neutering of chinchilla is to halt the breeding and getting offspring. It is quite impossible to avoid them from having kits if you’re petting a male and a female together. Most of the owners breed them thinking it will be cute having kits without proper knowledge of how to care for them.
Although neutering provides you a chance of keeping males and females together, there are much more complications to this procedure. The testes of male chinchillas are located in the abdomen and a skillful veterinarian is needed to neuter a chinchilla. In terms of complications, there are far more deaths reported worldwide due to neutering.
Chinchillas are very delicate and sensitive animals and a considerable amount of care must be taken to nurture them. The location of testes in the abdomen makes the neutering procedure hectic and invasive. Unlike other animals, neutering in chinchillas is more like spaying, as the veterinarian has to use an abdominal approach to remove the testes.
Apart from the invasive procedure, post-operative infections are more likely to occur in chinchillas due to the unclean environment and cage. To sum this up, yes you can neuter a chinchilla, but it isn’t a recommended and safe choice for them.
Consult Before Proceeding
If you’re thinking of neutering or spaying your chinchilla, it is always ideal to consult a chinchilla-specific exotic animal veterinarian. The trustworthy advice from these vets helps you to decide if you should go for the surgery or not. Inquire about the necessary precautions to take before and after neutering your beloved pet.
As a veterinarian, I recommend you also seek alternative options in deciding about not getting offspring. The reassuring benefits of a thorough conversation can never be denied to establish a trend of trustworthiness with the veterinarian.
Care for a Neutered Chinchilla
Despite the risks of neutering on the health of your chinchilla, you may decide to go for it based on the situation and emergency. One of the most important things to control after neutering is to keep your social cuties stress-free before and after the neutering procedure. Now you may ask yourself how to care and what you need to do for your chinchilla.
The effect of surgical anesthesia is short and he may get up and move around a little after surgery. My advice is not to take him home immediately after surgery but rather stay at the veterinarian’s office. Your vet has to monitor the activity signs until he is fully back in his senses. Make the recovery and healing process smooth and strictly according to the veterinarian’s instructions.
Your vet may also prescribe some medications for the pain and make the surgical wound as infection-free as possible. Nurturing your chinchilla, the right way is the key to letting him recover back in a playful mood and more innocent behavior.
What is the best age for neutering my chinchilla?
Exotic animal experts recommend going for a neutering procedure when your chinchilla is six to eight months of age. Neutering them early can result in anesthetic complications and a failed approach to removing underdeveloped testes.
Should I take any pre-neutering care for my chinchilla?
Always ensure that your chinchilla is in good health and has a healthy lifestyle and feeding routine before the procedure. You must fix the under & overweight and general illness issues before you step in for plan chinchilla’s neutering.
What are the common complications after a chinchilla’s neutering surgery?
The biggest health risk to these small creatures is posed by anesthesia, especially if your pet isn’t in good shape before neutering. Other complications that make neutering an unsuitable option for chinchillas include infections and hernias at the wound site.
Concluding the article whether you should go for neutering a chinchilla or not, it is a risky procedure and not recommended by most animal experts. There are alternative options, such as getting a pair of chinchillas of the same gender rather than a male and a female. You really don’t need to go for spaying or neutering unless there is a very serious medical emergency.
You can also think of neutering your chinchilla if you don’t want to separate the cute couple at your home. Chinchillas are unique and very beautiful creatures to own as pets. They are delicate and quite sensitive to the stress during the neutering procedures. With that being said, neutering in chinchillas can be done but comes with a considerable risk and complications to take care of.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.