Have you ever heard about spay and neuter on rabbits? Spaying and neutering is basically a surgical procedure to prevent male or female rabbits from reproducing. In males or bucks, their testicles, which are the main source of testosterone, are removed to decrease the level of the hormone. This is called neutering. On the other hand, spaying happens in the females or does, where their ovaries and womb are removed so they will no longer be able to pregnant.
‘Surgical’ might sounds scary already, but in some cases, this procedure is needed to maintain your rabbits’ health and their rapid reproduction. If you still worry, then this article will explain a brief about the spay and neuter on rabbit and how safe is it for them. Let’s keep going!
Is Spay-Neuter Safe For Rabbit Breeds?
Why do we need to spay and neuter our rabbits, anyway?
Well, it is all for your rabbits’ sake. Spayed and neutered rabbits are healthier and have a longer lifespan compare to unspayed rabbits. Neutered male rabbits probably can live longer because they won’t be tempted to fight with others. Remember that as they reach their maturity age, male rabbits tend to be more aggressive and destructive than before so it is hard to make them get along with each other. As they get calmer from neutering, they don’t get hurt or injure themselves because of the fight or bite. Spayed female rabbits also have less risk of reproductive cancers and tumors, like uterine cancers or mammary cancers.
It benefits you too, as the owner! Spayed and neutered rabbits are generally calmer and more loving to you. Their urine and fecal pellets have less odor so you don’t have to worry that much about the smell.
Having your rabbits spayed and neutered also means that you do not contribute to the overpopulation of domestic rabbits. There are so many unwanted or abandoned rabbits in the shelter and it is hard to keep up with the numbers of them when the place or shelters is not enough. So if you are not sure about adding more rabbits into your house, you better spay and neuter your rabbits to prevent their reproduction!
When should your rabbit be spayed or neutered?
The male rabbits can be neutered around 8 to 12 weeks, or as soon as their testicles descend. The female rabbits can be spayed as soon as they sexually mature, which is usually around 4 to 6 months of age. The surgery can be riskier if your rabbit is too young. But waiting until your rabbit is too old is not wise too. In general, after the rabbit is six years old, the surgery can also be riskier. The best way is to consult your vet so the surgery can be performed regarding your rabbits’ current health and condition.
Okay, that’s nice to hear. Now, is spaying and neutering safe?
Of course, it is! Spaying and neutering for rabbits are as safe as for other domestic pets, as long as it is performed by professionals. Only trust an experienced and knowledgeable rabbit veterinarian to spay or neuter your rabbits. Do not allow a vet with a little or even with no experience at all! To choose a veterinarian, there are some good and basic questions that you can ask beforehand:
- How many spays or neuters for rabbits that have the vet has done in the past year and how’s the success rate? If there were any lost, what was the cause?
The average lost has to be less than 1/2 of 1 percent to make sure that it is safe to hand down the procedure to the vet. It is good for you to know all the possible risks, so you can prevent them as much as you can.
- Will the vet remove both the uterus and ovaries of your female rabbit?
Well, both uterus and ovaries should be removed. Without removing the ovaries, the rabbits will still be hormonal, which means their aggressive or destructive behavior will not be solved even after the surgery
- As for the male rabbits, is the entry to the testicles made through the abdomen or the scrotum?
The entry should probably be made through the scrotum because entry via the abdomen will only increase the trauma of your rabbits!
- Does your rabbit have to fast before the surgery?
No, it shouldn’t! Your rabbits should not have fasted before the procedure. They should not have an empty tummy for a long time, Rabbits cannot vomit, after all. So it is okay to let your rabbit eat or drink before the surgery.
- What anesthetics that the vet is used?
The common anesthetics used are isoflurane and sevoflurane. Let the vet explain to you about the anesthetic that is safe for rabbits, so you don’t have to worry during the surgery.
For short, as long as the spaying and neutering are done by the professional vet, this procedure is safe for your rabbits. Surgery always comes with some risk, but spaying and neutering is the most common procedure at the vet. You can also prepare yourself with some information about spay and neuter for rabbit first, so you understand exactly what are you (and your rabbit) signing into. You can also get some insight from the other rabbit owners who have spayed and neutered rabbits first; on how to prepare your rabbits, how to take care of them after the surgery, or even get some recommendation vets that can help you to perform this surgery!
After that, you can start discussing with your vet about the spaying or neutering plan. The surgery can take for a long time, so your rabbit might have to stay for a day to have the surgery. The recovery is also usually very rapid. Your rabbits can back on their feet again within a few hours after the procedure. So you don’t be that worry!