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



I had my guinea pig Dasher booked in for castration and microchipping as part of the Hop Start Package and the staff there were very friendly, insightful, professional and helped to calm my nerves about the surgery. All went really really well and Dasher is loving his new food. I highly recommend them.

Neek Dianne Blackburn


Absolutely exceptional, every team member I encountered conducted themselves with absolute professionalism, compassion and care, and should be commended for their awesome work especially with the changed conditions they have had to accommodate for during COVID19.

Couldn’t recommend highly enough.

Thank you for going above and beyond to make the loss of our little man Winnie (ferret) as peaceful and painless as possible.

Angus and Bec


I cannot thank Dr Kelly and her staff enough for taking such great care of my 2-year-old Blackmoor goldfish ‘Pepper-Potts’.

Removing her eye has given her back her quality of life, she is a very happy girl again. Incredible knowledge, experience & great love and care was given, thank you so very much. 

💙Pepper-Potts & I love you all

Megan Michelle


I can’t speak highly enough about the team of vets and vet nurses who saved my baby weiro when he was very close to passing away. The service and care have been exceptional from the very start! Outstanding communication, phone call follow-ups, prompt replies to emails, extremely professional, so caring and empathetic. They really are just AMAZING at The Unusual Pet Vets.

A very special thank you to Dr Luke, who has been so committed to saving my little bird from day one and holding onto hope for him. My family and I are so thankful for you and your team for all you have done for him and for his ongoing care and treatment. You guys are awesome!

Milly Milloy


We are so happy to have now found our bird Buddy a fantastic vet service. The service we received from Dr Kelly and her team from start to finish was so welcoming and friendly. 

Cass C


I have been taking my python to Dr Josh since I got her 5 years ago. He is always very compassionate and goes through everything in great detail. In the beginning, I asked a LOT of questions and he always made time to answer as soon as he could. The new clinic is fantastic, and I know my animals are 100% safe and comfortable whilst there.

Madhra Bradley


Always a pleasure visiting unusual pet vets. They take good care of our birds and answer any of our questions with in-depth responses. I have seen Dr Sam a few times and it’s obvious he loves his job and the animals he treats, and I’m sure all the doctors are the same. 10/10 thanks so much!

Alex Hamilton


Fantastic care as always for our bunny with gut stasis. They called to bring our appointment forward to make sure that he received any necessary care as quickly as possible and gave us great information about the problem and the follow-up care and treatment. So reassuring to know that you are in expert hands.

Jessica Scott


A wonderful clinic that accepted an adorable, yet dazed Eastern Yellow Robin after it flew into my window. It was such a relief this service was available on a Sunday afternoon before a public holiday. Such commitment to preserving the wellness of our beautiful native wildlife must be commended, we’re so fortunate to have these dedicated saints.

Nina Pearman


Absolutely the best vet, they are so caring and dedication to their job. I cannot recommend them enough. Thank you.

Joshua Charles Fowler