Neutering is important for a long and healthy life for your bunny. It’s important that rabbits live in pairs or groups for their wellbeing and neutering them allows them to do this. It prevents life-threatening health problems (especially in females) and prevents unwanted pregnancies.
We often buy rabbits in mixed sex pairs and ideally both should be neutered for them to be able to live together happily. If you were to decide to spay the female and leave the male uncastrated, the uncastrated male will still try to mount her and this can trigger them fighting and cause stress to both rabbit. If you were to castrate the male but leave the female entire she will have false pregnancies and be at high risk of dying of uterine cancer.
Advantages of having a female rabbit spayed:
- Unspayed females are at a very high risk of developing uterine cancer, pyometra (life threatening infection in the uterus) and uterine torsions (life threatening condition where an enlarged uterus twists on itself). All three can be fatal and very painful.
- Rare but can develop mammary tumours
- Can be aggressive and territorial if unsprayed. Many due to phantom pregnancies during spring and summer.
- Keeping two unspayed female, even if related may result in fighting and injuries
- Female rabbits can have kits from 4 months. Rabbit pregnancies are short, about a month and will produce several kits in each litter. Females can mate straight away after birth so if a male is kept with her…..in a months time you’ll have more!!
Advantages of having a male rabbit castrated?
- Uncastrated males will breed if living with an unspayed female
- Uncastrated males often spray urine over their territory, their possessions (including their rabbit companions) and very often over you!
- Rarely but can develop testicular cancer
- Some uncastrated males can be aggressive. After castration, testosterone levels will dramatically fall and should reduce or completely stop this behaviour.
- Uncastrated males cannot live bonded to any other rabbit safely.
What is a rabbit spay?
A rabbit spay is a major operation under general anaesthesia. Her uterus and ovaries are removed via an incision in her abdomen. Females are sterile as soon as they are spayed but if they have a male companion, you’ll need to make sure that he isn’t likely to mount her when she arrives home later that day. If he is, then he should be separated for a few days in a cage next to her so they can see and smell each other through wire mesh. This is to ensure she is allowed to heal and is easier for you to ensure she is eating and passing faecal pellets after her surgery.
What is a rabbit castration?
A rabbit castrate involves removal of both testes under general anaesthesia. Male rabbits are not sterile immediately after castration so must be kept away from an entire female for at least six weeks after his operation or you will end up with kits!
What happens when your bunny is admitted?
On the day of surgery your rabbit will be admitted into the hospital either by our special bunny vet or one of our nursing team who will go through a surgical consent form with you. You can ask any questions you want to when your bunny is admitted and we’ll give you a time for phoning to see how your pet is getting on. Your rabbit will be settled into a kennel and given food and water (we do not starve rabbits as this actually puts them at greater risk of gut stasis after the surgery). Once it’s time for the surgical list to get under way your bunny will have a full health check with our rabbit vet and qualified nurse. If your rabbit is deemed fit for surgery we will then proceed with working out an anaesthesia plan tailed to your rabbit. While our vet is working out anaesthetic drugs, the nurse will be getting the theatre ready and warming blankets set up ready for the procedure. All our rabbit neutering surgeries are performed by our experienced rabbit vet. One of our qualified nurses will monitor your rabbits anaesthetic throughout the procedure ensuring the anaesthetic is as safe as possible. Once the procedure is complete we monitor your bunny until awake and able to go back into a kennel on his/her own. They will then be monitored for any signs of pain (all bunnies are given a pain killer and gut stimulants while under anaesthetic) and feeding will be initiated as soon as they are able to eat. We will have asked you to bring in the rabbits usual diet and food and water bowls/bottles so they have a familiar smell to them which can encourage them to eat quicker. We will syringe feed your bunny with a special recovery diet to get food moving to avoid gut stasis before they go home. Most of our rabbits go home same day and as soon as we are happy they are doing well and comfortable we will get you to come and collect them. They are often happier at home in their own environment which encourages them to resume normal activity and feeding habits quicker than keeping them in the hospital overnight. Your bunny will be discharged by one of our nursing team who will go through after care and answer any questions you have. We will want you to bring your rabbit back to us for a post op check two days after his/her surgery so we can check everything is healing nicely and you are happy with progress. We ask you to ring the next day to give us an update to make sure that they are eating and passing faecal pellets ok.
When can I get my rabbit neutered?
Females can be spayed from 5-6 months
Males can be castrated from 4 months
We perform rabbit neutering on Tuesday and Thursdays only.
How much does it cost?
Routine Rabbit Spay £75-£80 (Weight dependent)
Routine Rabbit Castrate £60- £70 (Weight dependent)