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Old 09-24-2019, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Neutering Boy Hedgies?

Hi Everyone,

Please take the time to read the whole post before commenting if possible. I know a lot of people here have strong and passionate opinions, and I firmly believe we all want what is best for our Hedgies. I just ask that you don't answer immediately without reading the full post, please.

My Hedgie Spike is about 12 weeks old; he's still a baby but he's growing very nicely! He was 340 grams today. He's been getting treated for Mites by an Exotic Specialist (one of the absolute best in San Francisco...his specialty is small mammals and he has a further speciality in Hedgehogs).

After his follow-up today, I chatted a bit with his doctor and we discussed various health concerns for Hedgehogs, anything ranging from mites, to teeth, to digestion, and the types of cancers they get. He mentioned that while it's not common, he still thinks neutering and spaying healthy hedgehogs to prevent cancer is still a good idea. I know he's not saying that for the money, believe me. I know him personally. His reputation is stellar. Plus, the surgery is only $500, which is hardly worth ruining one's reputation on Yelp for...but I digress.

I was surprised when he suggested it. He definitely agreed it's not common, but he said with the right practitioner, it's a safe procedure that eliminates a lot of potential problems down the road (especially for female Hedgies). He said Hedgehogs are very caner-prone, and testicular cancer is not uncommon in boys. He said he'd like to see Spike (my Hedgehog) be at least 4 months old before doing the operation and said he'll leave it up to me. He didn't pressure me at all; he was super casual and kind about it.

From my online reading, it seems the primary concern is anesthesia. He assured me that he's done the surgery a lot of times before, and he has a great method; he even offered to connect me with past patients for testimonials. He said he normally doesn't recommend the surgery unless he feels his patients have the disposal income and the right temperament because it's definitely more of an elective surgery for preventative causes as opposed to an absolute necessity.

Here's the deal: I trust him thoroughly, but I also truth you guys too. He maybe an experienced vet, but he's not an experienced owner like all of you. So I wanted to hear from you about your general thoughts and if you have experiences with neutering male Hedgies. Any and all details you can provide would be deeply appreciated! Thanks everyone
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
Ria
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I have a female hedgehog so I asked about spaying for prevention of issues there as I knew I would never breed her. But basically the responses I got is its far too risky

There is a big concern of anesthesia yes, but that goes with any surgery and anything else it may be needed for in a lot of small animals

There are other risks to it - while it could prevent an issue like cancer, by having the surgery you can create more risks, like the first one no vet can 100% say nothing will go wrong no matter how experienced and how many times they do it, (just like doctors with any surgery they do)

The healing process after can also be a problem, some hedgehogs dont always recover well, and theres risks of infections and sometimes these infections dont get sorted even when its tried so you could end up losing the hedgehog still.

The other reason is that vets that can actually remove them, that 100% know what they are looking for are very rare, but obviously thats not an issue for you since you already have a vet that knows!

To be perfectly honest its not common in males, theres more chance they wont get problems than they will. And the live alone so theres no need for it behaviour wise like with other animals.
So for a male I wouldnt even consider it because the risks certainly out weigh the good. But its obviously a choice thing

As I said I have a female hedgehog and theres higher chances of problems happening in that area than with males, after being told all of this I decided its probably not worth it, because I could loose her when It wasnt even needed, and I didnt want to risk that.

Its your choice, I know most people here will advise you to not do it, and they will give reasons, so take them and make up your mind.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As the owner of a female hog also (and rabbits, who are all spayed/neutered for this primary concern), its something i've too looked into. Ultimately i decided against it, and not at all for money reasons either - i am totally pro spay/neuter and when it is in their best interest/health, always fix my pets. From my gatherings as it relates to hedgehogs; it's not worth it as they are prone to all types of cancer in general. so while you may remove the risk of one, there are many other types theyre prone to (and are much more likely to get than testicular cancer) that the risks just dont outweigh the pros of risking the surgery.

^ and thats not even touching on the anaesthetic risk, potential for harsh recovery, etc. Its not a surgery i would consider for a hog (personally) unless medically required.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to say in all the years I've been part of the hedgehog community I have never heard of a hedgehog with testicular cancer. Oral cancer is much more likely.
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