Spaying Female Rabbits (Does)
This should be done from 6 months of age. The uterus and ovaries are removed under general anaesthetic. It is a routine operation just as in dogs and cats. Dissolving sutures are used in the small skin incision on the underside of the abdomen.
The rabbit is normally only at the surgery for the day of the operation.
Reasons to spay:
- You do not need to worry about your doe becoming pregnant if living with a male rabbit
- At least 50% of female rabbits die from uterine or ovarian tumours so spaying prevents this.
- Female rabbits are often moody and aggressive around their seasons, which occur every 3 weeks. Spaying will stop these hormonal changes and improve the overall temperament of the rabbit which helps younger children enjoy them.
- A spayed rabbit is easier to litter train as they are less likely to mark their territory.
Castrating Male Rabbits (bucks)
This can be done from 4 months of age. Both testicles are removed under general anaesthetic. It is a routine procedure and dissolving sutures are used in the skin incision. The rabbit is normally only at the surgery for the day.
Reasons to castrate:
- You can keep male and female rabbit together with less chance of fighting
- You can reduce or stop territorial behaviour such as cage guarding and urine spraying
- A neutered rabbit is easier to litter train
- A neutered rabbit is a much easier rabbit for small children to handle and less likely to be aggressive toward owners
Anaesthetics in rabbits
Rabbit general anaesthesia does carry a slightly higher risk than dogs and cats because rabbits have a much lower lung capacity, a narrower windpipe and do not tolerate the drugs quite so well.
To minimise the risk we use the lowest possible dose of anaesthetic drugs, give them warm saline fluids pre surgery, wrap them in bubble wrap to keep them warm and place them on a heat pad. We also give them a special pain relief and gut motility drugs.
For more information on Rabbit Care and Feeding ask a member of our team or go to http://www.burgesspetcare.co.uk