Health and Behavior Benefits of Having Your Bunny Fixed
Fixed rabbits live longer, healthier lives than their unaltered counterparts. An unspayed female rabbit (doe) has an 85% risk of getting a reproductive cancer, especially if she is five years old or older. This risk is virtually eliminated by having your female spayed. Neutering a male rabbit (buck) will not only prolong his life, it will help eliminate hormone related fighting and aggression.
Fixed rabbits are easier to litter box train, less likely to display hormone-related sexual/aggressive behavior and generally make more reliable and pleasant house companions.
PLEASE DON’T BREED YOUR RABBITS
We know it is tempting because baby rabbits are so cute, but did you know that rabbits are the fastest growing domestic pet in America, which means that they are also the fastest growing animal showing up at shelters…? Please don’t add to this ever-growing problem. If you want another bunny – or a first bunny – contact us at Zooh Corner. If we don’t have a rabbit that steals your heart, we know other rescues who will.
WHEN TO SPAY/NEUTER
Female rabbits reach sexual maturity at about 6 months of age and should be spayed at this point; male rabbits reach sexual maturity between 3 1/2 and 4 months (as soon as the testicles descend) and should be neutered at this point. Opposite-gender rabbits will have to be housed separately until both are fixed.
PRIOR TO SURGERY
- Rabbits should be in good health.
- If your rabbit is over 2 years of age, or if you are unsure, have her examined by your vet. We recommend blood work on rabbits over 2 years old to check kidney and liver function.
- DO NOT remove food and water from your rabbit the evening before surgery. Dietary changes can upset your bunny’s stomach, making postoperative recovery harder on them.
- Make sure bunny’s cage is extra clean.
- Check incision daily for swelling or discharge, and to be sure she is not chewing or pulling at her stitches.
- Encourage bunny to eat. Offer her favorite foods, fresh hay, etc. If she has not eaten within 12 hours after surgery, if she appears to be overly uncomfortable, in a lot of pain (gnashing or grinding teeth, etc.), or if there is any discharge, bleeding or swelling around the incision, call your vet immediately.
- We usually wait about 24 hours before allowing a bunny limited out-of-cage playtime. We don’t want her jumping or getting too exuberant, but limited exercise for about 3-4 days is good both physically and psychologically.