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Spaying or Neutering Your House Rabbit

Most people are aware of the reputation rabbits have for breeding and overpopulating their environment.  Even if your rabbit is your one and only bunny, you should still consider spaying or neutering your pet to avoid some health problems and promote bonding with your house rabbit.   The benefits to having your pet altered by your veterinarian far outweigh the risks of the surgery itself.

Why Altering is Beneficial to Your Rabbit

Not only will altering your house rabbit lower his or her risk of developing certain cancers and lessen the frequency of urinary tract infections, but spaying or neutering your pet bunny can make for a much more calm and less destructive pet.  You’ll also cut down, and in most cases put an end to, spraying and marking of territory, as the need to establish dominance is lessened.  You’ll help your rabbit enjoy good health and create an environment ideal for bonding and getting to know your new friend.

When to Schedule Your Bunnies Surgery

Timing is everything when it comes to altering your house rabbit.  For both males and females, surgery should be scheduled around the time they reach their sexual maturity.  For the male rabbit this occurs between 3 and 5 months.  For the female, between 4 and 6 months is ideal.  After the age of 5 years, most house rabbits are considered too old to be altered.  Complications can arise from surgery if your rabbit hasn’t yet reached sexual maturity, or if your pet is too old. Be sure to consult your rabbit sauvy veternarian

What to Expect

Female rabbits are spayed via an abdominal procedure.  An incision is made, the vessels supplying blood to the reproductive organs are tied off, and the organs are removed.  The abdominal incision is then sutured.

For the male rabbit, neutering involves removal of the testes.  An incision is made in the scrotum and the testes are removed through that incision.  Your rabbit is then stitched up.  For up to two months afterward, your male rabbit can remain fertile and should be kept away from females.

Bunnies Recovery

Be gentle with your rabbit and keep a watchful eye after the procedure to ensure the stitches remain in place.  It’s not uncommon for rabbits to tug at and attempt to remove surgical stitches while grooming.  You should also be on the look-out for any changes in behavior which could indicate infection or an adverse reaction to the procedure.  Your vet will give you a list of things to watch out for when he or she meets with you.  If you are concerned or have questions, don’t wait!  Call your vet immediately.

Altering your pet may be a point for discussion among some rabbit owners.  If you are unsure, set an appointment with your vet to go over all the positive aspects of spaying or neutering your house rabbit.  You’ll come away realizing the benefits to such a procedure.  Spaying or neutering your rabbit will guarantee no unwanted additions, as well as help promote a long-lasting relationship for you and your house rabbit.


Photo Credit: Carly & Art via Flickr

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