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Old 02-16-2006, 09:08 AM   #1
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Also see:
Surgery and Post Surgical Care

Why Should I Spay/Neuter My Bunny?
  • Altered rabbits are healthier and live longer than unaltered rabbits. The risk of reproductive cancers (ovarian, uterine, mammarian) for an unspayed female rabbit stands at is virtually eliminated by spaying your female rabbit. Your neutered male rabbit will live longer as well, given that he won't be tempted to fight with other animals (rabbits, cats, etc.) due to his sexual aggression.
  • Altered rabbits make better companions. They are calmer, more loving, and dependable once the undeniable urge to mate has been removed. In addition, rabbits are less prone to destructive (chewing, digging) and aggressive (biting, lunging, circling, growling) behavior after surgery.
  • Avoidance of obnoxious behavior. Unneutered male rabbits spray, and both males and females are much easier to litter train, and much more reliably trained, after they have been altered.
  • Altered rabbits won't contribute to the problem of overpopulation of rabbits. Over 15 million adorable dogs, cats, and rabbits are killed in animal shelters in this country every year. In addition, unwanted rabbits are often abandoned in fields, parks, or on city streets to fend for themselves, where they suffer from starvation, sickness, and are easy prey to other animals or traffic accidents. Those rabbits who are sold to pet stores don't necessarily fare any better, as pet stores sell pets to anyone with the money to buy, and don't check on what kind of home they will go to. Many of these rabbits will be sold as snake food, or as a pet for a small child who will soon "outgrow" the rabbit.
  • Altered rabbits can safely have a friend to play with. Rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of other rabbits. But unless your rabbit is altered, he or she cannot have a friend, either of the opposite sex, or the same sex, due to sexual and aggressive behaviors triggered by hormones.
  • Spaying and neutering for rabbits has become a safe procedure when performed by experienced rabbit veterinarians. The House Rabbit Society has had over 1000 rabbits spayed or neutered with approximately .1% mortality due to anesthesia. A knowledgeable rabbit veterinarian can spay or neuter your rabbit with very little risk to a healthy rabbit. Don't allow a veterinarian with little or no experience with rabbits to spay or neuter your rabbit.


Listings in Rabbit References: Neutering/Spaying

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering

The RWF Guide to Having Your Rabbit Neutered
(Broken Link)

Neutering Rabbits

Uterine Cancer In Rabbits
Surgery to remove a uterine tumor *Graphic photos*

Post Surgical Care

Why Spay or Neuter My Rabbit? Some Scary Numbers

Female Reproductive Tract and Ovariohysterectomy (spay surgery) *Surgery Pictures*

Male Reproductive Tract and Orchidectomy (neuter surgery) *Surgery Pictures*

WHRS- Why We Spay and Neuter

RO Threads

Neutering Rabbits
Safety of Neutering an Older Bunny
Help My Aggressive Bunny!
My Rabbit Has Un-Toilet Trained Himself
Neuter vs. Spay
BIG Prayers for Maise Please (uterine cancer)

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Old 07-23-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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Instructional Video: Pre-Neuter Information


Instructional Video: Post-Neuter Examination/Healing:


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Old 09-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #3
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Preparing For Your Bunny’s Spay/Neuter and Coming Home

by Watermelons

Surgery costs can vary and while most clinics charge more for a spay then a neuter there are a number of clincs out there that claim a neuter should cost just as much due to a male rabbits ability to bring their testicles into their body cavity. Prices for these procedures can range anywhere from $60-$300 depending on the clinic and where you live.

Rabbits do not possess the ability to vomit, therefore with holding food prior to the surgery is un-necessary. If the clinic is telling you to stop feeding your rabbit before the surgery, It might be necessary to find a different vet to perform the surgery. However this depends on who the information comes from, a receptionist may not know this, but that doesn't mean the vet doesn't know what they are doing. Have the receptionist double check with the vet and if they still say "No food" or it was originally the vet who said that, time to cancel and find a new clinic.

Ask how they will close the incision. There are typically dissolving sutures used inside, but for the outside the vets best options are usually hidden sutures. All vets know how to suture like this, the incision is closed but not a single suture is visible from the outside, which prevents the bunny from chewing at them and causing injury or trauma to the area. Normal sutures/staples are another option but allow for more irritation and easier access for the bunny to grab and try and remove them on their own.

Continue to feed your bun until you drop them off at the clinic, while they may be allowed to eat prior and have food in their tummies, you don’t want them to have food in their throat/mouth if their procedure is first thing. Often you can leave food with your bun and the clinic will either choose to continue to offer the food, or take it away based on when the procedure will happen. You also want to make sure you've left something your bunny really enjoys, so they can munch on that upon recovery. Consider some type of veggie or a herb like cilantro.

Laser vs Scalpel
While this is a new-aged debate, there are pros and cons to each side. Most clinics do not offer this option.
Typically surgery done with the laser is more expensive as the machine itself costs about as much as a new car. The laser cuts with the ability to zap cell by cell, and cauterize as it cuts so minimize bleeding, allow the vet to perform the surgery quicker, with a smaller cut, and minimize trauma to the area. With a scalpel, force (though minimal) is required for the blade to cut through the tissue occasionally bruising it. However with the scalpel its thought that leaving the edges un cauterized allows them to heal together much faster. Laser surgeries tend to heal faster, the animals bounce back quicker, there is less pain, smaller incision.
Many vets who have used the laser, prefer it, especially when it comes to how clean the surgery is, but ultimately the decision is up to you.

Surgery Day
Usually the animals having procedures done during the day get dropped off early in the morning as the clinic opens up. However due to your schedule you may need to drop your bun off the night before. Make sure to bring enough food to last 2 days, your buns favourite veggies, your bun’s water bottle and some recovery treats. A towel with your smell on it might assist in this stressful situation. Be sure to label all of your stuff, carrier included.
Upon dropping off at the clinic, be sure to leave a good contact number with the clinic you can be reached at, just in case. Explain to the clinic staff about your bunny’s recovery treats. They may not realize the importance of getting a bunny to eat right away and if the vet has gone into appointments they may not be able to ensure this happens. So just make sure the staff keeps an extra eye in there and keep bun eating.

Pick Up
Rabbit spays and neuters can go home the day of, however some vets like to keep females overnight due to the surgery being more invasive. It is not necessary but it is personal preference of the vet. You may be able to talk them into letting you take bun home the day of. This is a discussion that needs to take place between you and your vet.
Your bunny will be a little sluggish and sleepy when you pick them up. Keep them quiet, confined and warm. Have the clinic staff show you your bun’s incision and what to look for. For the boys, it will look like they are still intact.

Have your vet dispense you a syringe or two of oral Metacam. They should have received an injection of a pain killer, likely Metacam, before the surgery that is expected to last 12 to 24 hours, check with your vet on this. If they have received the injection, wait until tomorrow morning to give the oral Metacam. If they have not received it, you may give the oral dose when you get home, or have your vet show you how to syringe it to your bun. It is essential to use Metacam or another prescribed drug and not home dose pain medications. Home medications such as Asprin/Tylenol/Advil can do a lot of kidney damage to an animal as delicate as a rabbit.
If your vet simply dispenses a bottle of Metacam and says "5 drops", ask for some 1 cc syringes. Take the lid off that syringe and drop your bunny’s dose, plus one extra drop into the lid. Suck up the medication in the lid into the syringe. Do not just drip it onto veggies or food. The extra drop is not to go over the prescribed amount but to take up the room in the tip of the syringe that doesn’t get ejected, to ensure your bunny gets the full amount.
Metacam should only be given to rabbits with food and water in their tummies. If your bun isn’t eating or drinking anything at all, it will be necessary to gently syringe a few mouthfuls of Critical Care or canned pumpkin before the Metacam. This is the easiest to do while the bun is in a small carrier and can’t back up or run away. Gently grasp the head without holding the body and hurting their incisions.

Coming Home
Your rabbit should stay in the carrier until they have had their pain medication and have started eating on their own. The anesthetic can make their body temperatures drop so if your rabbit feels cold, they can lie on a pet-safe heating source like a ‘Snuggle Safe’, or they can have a warm (not hot) rice sock - a sock filled with rice heated in the microwave - or bean bag to snuggle with.
It is also good to let them come out of the carrier on their own. If they don’t, you can remove the top and gently usher them out so they don’t have to be picked up or carried.
You should have a cage set up with clean towels in the bottom. You can continue to use your rabbit’s normal litter so long as their litter box doesn't have a high edge. Keep your bun confined to their cage for the first few days. If their usual cage is a large pen or run, cut that down, you want them confined to an area they can’t run or jump in, as mean as it sounds, it is necessary. No second levels that require jumping to get onto, either remove them, block them, or provide multiple steps/ramp to get to that level so your bun will not jump up and will not jump down.

After about 2-3 days for boys, 3-4 for girls, they can be allowed more room to stretch out, hope around a bit. Those with the large pen sized cages can have the full size of their cage back. No 2nd levels yet and no free range of the house! However they can go back to their normal cage bedding.

Now we've hit day 5-6 for boys, 8-10 for girls. We can go out for small amounts of free time, supervised, no racing. Please ensure no jumping up onto objects.

Days 10-12 for boys, 12-14 for girls. Depending how their incision is looking, its just about time to go back to our old daily routine. Keep in mind there are internal sutures in both sexes and those can still be torn if your bun is being to hyperactive. If your vet recommends a longer period of time to be kept "quiet" for, please follow their direction.

Incisions need to be checked daily, keep your buns tummy loose, pick them up so their bellies still curved and don’t stretch it out to look. It should look clean, not inflamed or tender. There should be no pus, blood, or other discharge except for minor amounts of clear fluid on day 1/2.

Most bunnies will leave their incision alone, however it may be necessary to try some biter spray. Please do not use your average pet store spray, you need one that will not burn or irritate the incision, this can usually be purchased directly from the vet. Cones would be a last resort and can cause more panic then good in a bunny. Please consult with your vet if this is the issue. Usually the 2nd week is the worst as that’s when the incision really starts to heal and the scab gets itchy!

Some bunnies will come home after surgery and eat as normal, good! Others may not be so inclined to do so. Encourage your bunny to eat, offer lots of their favourite treats, veggies, herbs, maybe a small amount of fruit to encourage their appetite. Many bunnies that don’t seem that hungry after surgery will only nibble here and there, causing their humans to panic. So long as your bun eats SOMETHING, even just a little bit, that’s fine! Do not panic! Their appetite will increase in a few days. Force feeding too soon can do more harm than good, so as long as your bun is nibbling at something, even if its not their normal daily amount, remain calm. If after 4 or so days, your bun is still not eating that much, their incision seems okay, and their temperature is normal, offer more extra yummies. If any of those variables is not normal consult your vet. You may need to stock up on the good stuff your bunny doesn't normally get, Cilantro is a great staple to help reduce gas especially in situations like this.

If your bunny is refusing to eat at all and has not eaten ANYTHING by mid day, the day after the surgery, you will need to get something into their system. Critical care is the best option for this, if you do not have critical care, pellets can be ground up with water or a bit of juice (apple works well, the real stuff) even add some herbs like cilantro and syringe fed. Do not over force the food into your rabbit.

Check for poops/pee after surgery. You may not notice any missing food but if their poops are normal and coming fresh, there has got to be something going in.
If your bun is still not eating or pooping after 24 hours, call your vet.

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