Neutering your Rabbit

Why neuter your rabbit

We recommend that all male and female rabbits should be neutered, unless they are intended for breeding.

 

What is neutering?

In the male (buck), this is called castration, and simply involves removing both testicles. In the female (doe), the operation is commonly called spaying, where both ovaries and the uterus are removed.

 

When should the operation be performed?

Male rabbits can be neutered from 4 months and female rabbits can be neutered from 6 months of age. We advise that prior to arranging the operation, that a pre neuter check is performed by a Veterinary Surgeon. This allows a full health assessment to ensure that your rabbit is ready to be neutered.

 

Why should I have my rabbit neutered?

Neutered rabbits are more social and less likely to exhibit aggressive behavioural traits. They are also easier to keep with other neutered rabbits. Female rabbits have a very high risk of developing ovarian and uterine cancer if they are not spayed. In one study, 60 – 80% of un-neutered female rabbits over the age of 4 were found to have these cancers.

 

Are there any disadvantages of neutering?

Neutering is a surgical procedure and therefore is done under general anaesthesia. There is a risk involved. In young fit healthy animals the risk is minimal. Neutered animals have a reduced metabolic rate and therefore are more prone to putting on weight when fed the same quantity of food. A slight reduction in intake can prevent this. We actively encourage regular weight checks to ensure this problem doesn’t occur. A neutered rabbit fed on a diet of grass and hay will not become obese.

 

What do I have to do before the procedure?

For all neutering procedures patients are generally only hospitalised for one day. It is important that rabbits are NOT starved prior to admission, and that water is made available at all times.

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