Vet Q&A: Is it safe to get rabbits neutered?

by PDSA Vets | 15 February #VetQ&As

We understand that some owners might be worried about getting their rabbits neutered or spayed. Our vets are here to help put your mind at ease.

Operations can be scary – especially when they’re on our pets. We’re not saying that operations are completely without risk, but often the benefits far outweigh these.

When your rabbits are neutered or spayed, they will need to have a general anaesthetic. Whenever pets have an anaesthetic, there’s always a slight risk that something could go wrong. Your vet team will do everything possible to prevent this by making sure their patients are in really good health before deciding to do any surgery on them.

Over the years, lots of bunnies have been safely and successfully neutered or spayed. Neutering has great benefits for your rabbits, such as:

  • Preventing certain cancers
  • Helping to prevent hormonally driven aggressive behaviour
  • Making it possible to live with other bunnies without unwanted litters!

The operation itself is actually quite quick – less than an hour usually – and your bunny usually recovers enough to go home on the same day as the operation. Once home in their familiar surroundings, kept warm and comfortable, they’ll soon feel back to normal. Female rabbits can take a little longer to feel completely better, but your vet will give you lots of guidance on how to take care of them during this time.

Your vet will carefully consider the suitability of your bunnies for surgery. They’ll take into consideration their age, general health, weight and their physical development. This is to make sure they are ready for an operation and that it is as safe and as low risk as possible.

If your vet has any doubts at all about your bunny’s health, or is concerned that they aren’t ready to undergo surgery, they won’t carry out the procedure.

When your rabbit goes for their surgery, they’ll be monitored continually throughout. Someone will be keeping an eye on their breathing, heart rate and temperature at all times, making sure they’re well while under the anaesthetic. Your rabbit’s nurse will stay with them until they wake up to make sure they’re OK and coming round from the surgery fine.

We know how anxious you can feel taking your beloved bunnies in for an operation, but your vet and vet nurse will do their very best to make sure they’re safe the whole time.

For more information on neutering, read our full guide.

Please note some vets might not be able to carry out preventive treatments like neutering at the moment due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Take a look at our Hub for advice on keeping unneutered rabbits safe during the pandemic.

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