Neutered glider males are essentially the same as female gliders, appearance wise & hormonal wise. Male sugar gliders have 2 scent glands: 1 on their head and 1 on their chest. Intact males will rub these scent glands and this is why they lack of hair on the top of the head and have a greasy looking chest. When you neuter a male you’re removing the hormones, so the hairs grow back and the glands stop producing oils, practically "disappearing".
There are many benefits for neutering a male including:
-Less aggression (they are typically more docile than an intact male)
-Less noticeable odor (since you are removing the hormones)
-No hormones means they don't fight for territory
-No surprise babies (although cute, it will cost more as they continue to breed)
-Less chance of testicular cancer
There are 2 ways to neuter a male: The "pom on" method (testicles are still visible) and "pom off" method (testicles are removed).
The pom off method is the entire removal of both the scrotum and the testicles. Some vets will use either glue or stitches to close the wound.
The pom on method is the removal of the testicles, it requires an incision in the scrotum and the blood vessels tied off/cauterized. No glue or stitches are required for this method.
Female gliders aren’t spayed, and should never be spayed, since they are so small and the surgery would be too invasive. Don’t trust any vet that says they can spay females. That is not a Sugar Glider savvy veterinarian.
Since they are exotic pets, the cost of a neutering procedure is usually higher than a cat or dog when you go to the vet. If you are need to get your sugar glider neutered, call a few different exotic vet offices to compare pricing and experience of the veterinarians. If you purchase your sugar gliders from TPG, the males will already be neutered (unless you opted for breeding gliders). The vet we use does laser removal (pom off) which is a quick and painless procedure that requires little to no recovery time. This is a fairly new method and is costly, so not all vets will carry the necessary equipment.
Do your research before you take your gliders to a vet! Not every veterinarian who will treat sugar gliders necessarily has experience with gliders. Or performing surgery on small animals! Ask all the questions you can and get as much information as possible. Here are some basic questions you can ask:
-How young can they get neutered? Either 8 weeks old (2 months) or at least 60g
-Can you fix females? Females are never spayed (red flags if they say yes!!)
-What’s the oldest you can neuter? 7 years old is the max you should neuter a male.
-Can you tell me the methods you will be doing the neuters? Pom off, pom on... if they’re doing laser or not
-How many years and how many gliders have you neutered? Experienced vets are always better
-Are you going to shave that area before neutering? There is no need to shave at all, this will actually increase stress
-How soon before I can put him back with his friend? Depends on the method used (this advice will vary) Pom off is non-invasive and has virtually zero recovery time.
-Will they need pain medication afterwards? No for laser procedure, yes for the other methods.
-Will they need to be anesthetized? Always yes