How important is spaying a friendly female?

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thetwobunnies

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So I have heard from many people and sources that not spaying a rabbit will lead to aggressiveness and there's a 60-80% chance females from the ages of 2-4 getting uterine cancer.

But from others I have heard that it's actually very rare for a female to get uterine cancer and as long as she is not aggressive and not with any intact males - then there's no need to spay her.

I would like to know who is correct. My rabbit is nearly a year old (can't believe it!) she's around 10 months old, and a holland lop (but like 2.5-6 lbs - maybe a little more) She is extremely friendly and actually lives with my neutered male and there has never been ONE fight between them - even when I first introduced them to each other during the "bonding" process.

The vet I would go to would be Dr Effie (city vet dallas) and apparently she is the neuter/spay vet for the rescue I adopted my male from, so I suppose she is good at doing surgeries, but if you know her and have anything to say about her then that would be greatly appreciated!

If it is that important to spay her then I would like to do it now in the summer before I start school later this month, so I can watch her and stuff.
 

Azerane

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It is my understanding that females do have about an 80-85% chance of uterine cancer from about 3 years onwards. I have heard that females which are bred do not stand as high a risk which may be where the contradicting information comes from, but I'm not sure that that is correct or not.

Personally, if I wasn't breeding, I would never risk keeping in in-tact female. To me it's just not worth it to have such a high risk of losing your pet at such a young age when there is a way to prevent it.
 

thetwobunnies

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True, I mean if the risk is that high I would spay her, but she just has the greatest personality ever and I don't want her to change after the surgery - or even die during the surgery (which is not common, but still) or get the area infected afterwards and etc.
 

Kipcha

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I've only had rabbits change for the better from spaying (We run a very small rescue, I've had about 25 rabbits spayed). It improves their attitude and overall happiness, as well as dramatically increases their cleanliness and litter habits.

If you have a vet that is confident with the surgery, it should be much of a problem. You can get a pre-surgical blood panel if you want, just to be sure she is healthy enough for it. We've have around 50 buns go in for surgery (Spays and neuters, as well as other surgeries) and have never lost a rabbit from surgery. As well, we volunteered with the Canmore bunny rescue and had around 160+ previously feral rabbits go through surgery, which was very stressful for them, but did not lose a single one.

The bonded pair might be difficult. We did have one pair come in that was close, but we got them spayed and separated them for the first two day to make sure there wasn't any fighting when they were just out of the surgery (We kept them right close together, never truly separated them but just kept a single x-pen between them) and when we went to put them back together they hated each other. That's the only experience I have had, not sure about others.
 

Channahs

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I'm glad you've posted this. I might have asked the same question. My biggest fear is the risk of losing tJovi so we're waiting until she's filled out really well and closer to a year old.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Our biggest fear was the high cancer rate. Our bunnies personalities didn't change much--crabby bunnies were still like a crustacean like and our cuddlers were even more so. Bonny would still figure 8 around my feet and build nests in boxes with shredded newspaper.
 

missyscove

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There was a study done suggesting upwards of an 80% chance of uterine tumors (athough not necessarily cancerous ones) in unspayed does. I've had firsthand experience with mammary cancer in a doe who was spayed before I adopted her, but she probably wouldn't have had mammary tumors if she'd been spayed younger.

Personally, all of my rabbits have been adopted already spayed and neutered so the behavior change isn't something I've witnessed first hand, but for health reasons alone, I would do it.
 

thetwobunnies

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Thanks for all the help! Yes if those statistics are correct then I think getting her spayed would be the responsible thing to do. I will be calling the vet in a few minutes to schedule a checkup/ spay for my bunny!
 

thetwobunnies

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I have her spay scheduled for next friday! I thought it was weird that they didn't ask for a checkup first, is this normal? LOL sorry, ALREADY nervous about it.
 

Kipcha

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It depends entirely on the clinic. Some will ask for it, some won't. Just make sure they don't fast bunnies before surgery and ask how many they have done. Also ask if there will be a check up before they go under (Checking temp. and for any other health concerns).
 

tamsin

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That 80% rate came from quite an old study which is why there is some debate, however if you chat with rescues who get a lot of females spayed anecdotally they often find early (and sometimes late) stages of changes to the womb that indicate cancer and sometimes in quite young does eg 2-3 years. The trouble with this form of cancer is by the time it's obvious enough to detect it's very wide spread and untreatable - that's if it's ever detected, there are no stats on how many older rabbits die from it.

Personally, I would definitely have it done if I had a vet with the experience to do it.
 

Bunnylova4eva

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As long as you have a good rabbit savvy vet, I would have it done for any female bunny you have and here's why: I'll be honest: I never believed in spaying female rabbits if they were friendly. We'd had a couple bunnies and they were always fine intact. Then this year the vet found a uterine tumor on Taffy. The vet promptly removed it and found it had also been causing internal bleeding. Thankfully it was caught soon enough and so far she is doing wonderfully. From now on, I will never have an unaltered bunny; it was too scary and not worth it.
 

thetwobunnies

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Thank you for all the help! And wow that's so scary, thank goodness they found it in time! Thank you all, I am excited for her spay next week :D
 

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