Neutering rabbits

We recommend neutering rabbits as soon as they become sexually mature at around 4-6 months of age.

WHY SHOULD I NEUTER MY RABBIT?

Pet rabbits can be happier with a companion to live with but there may be problems such as fighting and unwanted litters. Neutering at a young age avoids these problems.

It has been shown that neutered rabbits live longer.

Unspayed females are likely to develop uterine or ovarian cancer by the age of 5 years. This is virtually eliminated by spaying.

Neutered males live longer and are less likely to be aggressive. They will be less stressed and friendlier companions. An aggressive rabbit can be quite frightening, especially to a small child.

Neutering will remove the urge to mate making your rabbit calmer and happier.

Rabbits spray urine to mark their territory and in some cases will do so over their owners as a sign of affection, especially in the breeding season. Once neutered, male rabbits will generally stop spraying urine.

Both males and females are easier to litter train once they have been neutered which can a big advantage if you want to keep your rabbit as a house pet.

WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Make an appointment to come in and see one of our vets to have your rabbit checked and discuss the neutering procedure. Neutering a rabbit is now a routine operation and anaesthetic techniques used for these operations are now much improved and safer than in previous times. Usually a reversible agent will be used to induce anaesthesia and then maintainance is continued with gaseous anaesthetic in a similar way to cats and dogs. This routine leads to rapid recovery and rabbits will usually be returned home on the same day.

AFTER CARE

During recovery your rabbit will be monitored by by a nurse to ensure that there are no problems and that your pet is comfortable and warm. You will be asked to call to check on progress and arrange a time for collection when you will be given advice on post-operative care and any treatment that may be required.

When you arrive home with your rabbit, place it in its hutch on hay (not woodshavings as these can stick to the wound) and make sure that the hutch is protected and draught-free. Your rabbit will still be feeling a bit sleepy and will be best left to recover quietly. Discourage children from handling or playing with their pet until a day or so after the operation and then an adult should be present to supervise.

Food and water should be made available as soon as you get home. Please check the wound in the morning and evening for the week following surgery, to ensure that there is no swelling or redness. If you are worried at all about your rabbit then please ring the surgery