Sterilisation (otherwise known as desexing or neutering) is recommended for many exotic pets, and it is important in preventing a range of problems that can occur later in your pet’s life.

We recommend that rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and rats should all be routinely desexed to prevent a range of issues. In some cases, sterilising your reptile or bird is also indicated for the prevention of some diseases.

Sterlilisations Service

What Are the Different Types of Sterilisation?

The most common form of sterilisation is when animals undergo surgery to remove part of their reproductive tract, this is generally known castration or spay. There are also medical forms of temporary sterilisation that involve hormonal injections or implants.

  • Castration – Castration is the term used when sterilising a male animal and involves the removal of the testicles.
  • Spay – Spay (or spey) is the term commonly used when sterilising a female animal and generally involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus.

In general, either surgery (castration or spay) is a day procedure where your pet is dropped off at our veterinary clinic in the morning, has surgery during the day and then goes home that afternoon or evening.

At What Age Should Exotic Pets Be Sterilised?

Recommended sterilisation ages vary on the species but can be performed as early as 3 months of age in some cases.

Why Should I Sterilise My Exotic Pet?

There are many health and behavioural benefits from sterilising your exotic pet, including:

  • Eliminating the risk of testicular cancer in males
  • A reduction of unwanted behaviours (such as urine spraying, humping/mounting, biting, aggression)
  • Reducing the smell that ferrets give off
  • Eliminating the risk of uterine cancer in females. This is particularly important in rabbits as up to 80% of rabbits over two years of age will develop uterine cancer.
  • Eliminating the risk of cystic ovary disease (particularly important in guinea pigs as this is very common) and ovarian cancer
  • Reducing the risk of mammary cancer development (particularly important in rats)
  • Preventing female ferrets suffering from life-threatening anaemia (low red blood cells) if they are ‘in season’ too long
  • Decreasing the risk of faecal impaction in male guinea pigs

In addition to the benefits listed above, sterilisation prevents any unwanted (and unexpected) pregnancies.

For more information on sterilisation your exotic pet or to make an appointment, please contact your local Unusual Pet Vets team.

Sterlilisations Service
Wavy bg testimonials


Client – Sunshine Coast

There is a great positive vibe felt when you walk in the door! The staff are friendly, caring, and welcoming. Highly recommended. Thank you, from Pepper Pig.

Brad Symons

Client – Ferntree Gully

Very professional vets there! They have the vaccination available when every other vet clinic I called didn’t. They know rabbits so well that I was feeling very comfortable and confident to let them take care of my rabbit even though its further from home!

Danielle Lam

Client – Ferntree Gully

Love the welcoming receptionist and the vet. They treated my fur babies with care and also follow-up the subsequent day, just to make sure my bunnies are recovering well.

Timmy Toppy

Client – Sunshine Coast

The whole team at UPV Sunshine Coast are friendly, accommodating, professional, passionate, and caring! I have regular contact with the team as one of my parrots requires ongoing medication and they are always prompt with sorting out prescriptions and meds. Highly recommend. 

Lee Stone

Client – Sunshine Coast

Thank you to the team at UPV for taking care of Oscar the Eckie! We had a wonderful first appointment and Dr Pat took good care of my little guy, even though he can be nervous and difficult. I really appreciate you guys for going the extra mile to keep Oscar safe and to give him a positive experience.

Kiah Nash

Client – Sunshine Coast

Dr Alex at Buderim clinic was extremely kind and caring. His knowledge about bearded dragons is incredible. He was successful in helping Kiko our bearded dragon get back to optimal health. I was also impressed that he kept me informed twice a day. Many thanks. 

Penny Thompson

Client – Balcatta

Great staff and wonderful doctors, so helpful and caring about our pets. Really appreciated the respect and care given to our little friends.

Adam Cliff

Client – Balcatta

Thank you to Dr Yang for her attempt to help and care my rabbit, Lola. Even though it wasn’t the result we hoped and prayed for Dr Yang was very caring and professional with Lola even letting my mother and I having our last moments with her. We couldn’t be more grateful for that. Even sending us a condolence card in the mail. Dr Yang and team are highly recommended.

Anthony Koomen

Client – Balcatta

Absolutely amazing staff! They are all so caring, supportive, and professional. I had to provide palliative care for two of my older rabbits and the information & support I received from the staff was incredible. 10/10 would recommend! Plus, my rabbits give them the big tick of approval, so really that’s the main thing.

Sarah Manfredi

Client – Balcatta

I cannot speak highly enough of the care that my bird received at The Unusual Pet Vets in Balcatta. Dr Green was in constant contact with me leading up to Chirpy’s surgery and even gave me a call just prior to him going under. I can highly recommend them for any unusual pet you may have.

Sheree Bennison