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Rabbit Neutering

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Your rabbit should be neutered at approximately 5-6 months of age, once over 1kg in weight.

Males

The procedure for males is called castration and involves a general anaesthetic, which means your rabbit will need to spend the day with us. Both testicles are removed from the same incision site which is closed with dissolvable stitches. We like to check the wound at 3 and 10 days post-operatively. Your rabbit will need to be kept inside for 48 hours while the anaesthetic wears off and then he can return to normal.

Reasons to get your male castrated: Uncastrated males are very territorial and spray urine to mark their territory and possessions. If the rabbit has a retained testicle this can increase risk of testicular cancer. Castration can also help to reduce aggressive behaviour as well as mounting/mating behaviour. By having your male bunny castrated it allows him to live with a female without her becoming pregnant. Although rabbits can remain fertile for up to 8 weeks after castration!

Females

The procedure for females is called spaying (ovariohysterectomy) and involves a general anaesthetic, which means your rabbit will have to stay with us for the day. Once anaesthetised we make a small incision in your rabbits abdomen and remove her ovaries and uterus. This procedure does involve stitches although we try to bury these under the skin so there is nothing sticking out for your rabbit to pull on. These sutures will dissolve on their own but we still like to check the wound at 3 and 10 days post-operatively.

Reasons to get your female spayed: Female rabbits are at a very high risk of developing uterine cancer if not spayed. They can also develop pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus/womb. Both conditions are fatal for your bunny. Female rabbits can get pregnant from as young as 4 months and can produce multiple litters, so it is recommended to get them neutered as soon as possible if housed with a male. Some unspayed females can be aggressive and territorial, especially in the spring and summer, and may growl, lunge, scratch and even bite their owners.

Surgery on any animal can have unexpected complications, including a small risk of death, but anaesthetic techniques have advanced so the benefits of neutering your bunny outweigh the risks. If you have any concerns or queries please do not be afraid to ask us.

Post-operative care of your bunny will involve preferably keeping them indoors in a restricted area to minimise exercise and jumping. Sawdust should be avoided, use shredded newspaper instead to avoid irritating the wound. Exercise should be restricted for 7-10 days. Bunnies can be kept together as long as they are not fussing at each other’s wounds. The most important concern is to ensure your rabbit is eating and passing faeces when they get home. If your rabbit does not have an appetite and there is no faecal output, contact us immediately as this can be life threatening.

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