Should you spay or neuter your rabbit? (Top reasons why you should)


 

Yes, it can help your rabbit to live longer, healthier and happier.

Rabbits are extremely popular pets in many countries. Their affordability and cuteness make them vulnerable to impulsive buys. What most new pet owners don’t realize is, rabbits require the same commitment level as owning dogs. Naturally, spaying or neutering would not come into their minds. If you are reading this and researching about rabbit care, then that makes you an awesome pet owner!

Terminology 

Spay:

To remove the reproductive organs (i.e. uterus and ovaries) of a female animal and by doing so, it is unable to create babies.

Neuter:

To remove the reproductive organs (i.e. testicles) of a male animal and by doing so, it is unable to create babies.

5 Very Good Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Rabbits

1.  Save your rabbit’s life

 
Most female rabbits or does will develop uterine cancer- a nasty disease that can lead to death, by the time they are four years old. This kind of cancer is very difficult to treat and has a very low chance of survival rate even with surgery.
 
Spaying involves the removal of the uterus. Without a uterus, your doe cannot develop uterine cancer. This way, you can help your fluffy friend live longer and healthier.
 
Neutered male rabbits or bucks will also live longer, given that he won’t be picking fights with other animals due to his sexual aggression.
 

2. Stop unwanted pregnancies

Here’s the truth about the expression “to breed like rabbits”. Rabbits are known to give birth to many babies very quickly. 

Rabbit pregnancy lasts about 30 days and up to 12 young are born each time. Does can mate and become pregnant again within a few days of giving birth.

Rabbits make cute pets but to raise dozens of them is a different thing altogether.

By spaying and neutering your rabbits, their reproductive organs would be removed and they would not be able to reproduce babies of their own.

 

3. Reduce bad behaviours

If rabbits can talk, they will ask you to get those raging hormones out of them!

The urge to mate can drive them to do crazy acts such as biting, circling, digging, growling, humping and spraying urine all around the house.

Believe it or not, spraying urine (usually from bucks) is a form of courtship. It is their way of expressing love. If you get peed on, your fluffy friend really loves you.

Thankfully, these unpleasant behaviours will be minimized after neutering or spaying. Altered rabbits make better companions to you as they are friendlier and calmer.

 

4. Improve your success with litter training

Litter training your rabbit is possible. It is, however, much easier to litter train altered rabbits, given that they don’t have the urge to spray urine everywhere to claim territory and/or a mate.

 

5. Help your rabbits to live harmoniously with one another

Unaltered rabbits are prone to destructive and aggressive behaviours triggered by hormones. Don’t even think about putting two unaltered rabbits of the same sex together. They will fight and injure each other.

Hold on, aren’t rabbits social animals? Yes, and in fact, they will become depressed when left alone most of the time and have no one to play with.

 By neutering or spaying your rabbits, they can safely have a friend to play with.

 

When is the right time to neuter or spay your rabbit?

 Any time after 6 months of age, your rabbit can be neutered or spayed. It is possible to neuter or spay rabbits as young as 4 months, however, the risks of surgery are higher with rabbits that are too young.

 On the other hand, don’t wait too long – especially for a female. The older she is, the higher the risks of developing uterine cancer.

 

Is surgery safe on rabbits?

 With any surgery, there are bound to be some risks. In this case, the risks of surgical complications are low. The benefits of spaying or neutering far outweigh the risks.

 Each time when you cross the road, you are taking risks. You still cross the roads, even if you may get knocked down by cars. Similarly, the benefits outweigh the small risk.  

 It is best to engage a knowledgeable rabbit veterinarian when obtaining a spay or neuter. Don’t be shy with questions. You are entitled to show concerns for your fluffy friend.  

 Review the process of the surgery with your vet. He or she should be able to answer you confidently if experienced.

 

How to care for your rabbit after surgery?

Once you have returned home with your rabbit after the surgery, he/she may still be a little drowsy from the anaesthesia.

 Keep the environment quiet so your recovering rabbit doesn’t get startled and perform acrobatics- the sudden movement can cause the wounds to open up. Also, try not to pick her up.

 Examine the incision wounds in the morning and evening. Watch out for any excessive bleeding and signs of infection such as pus. If any of the above is true, revisit your vet immediately.

 Expect that every rabbit reacts differently after surgery. Some may be looking for food right after surgery whilst some may not have the appetite at all.

 At first, your rabbit may seem not to be interested in eating and prefer to sit quietly in a corner. Take the hint and leave her alone.

 The following day after surgery, it is important to ensure that your rabbit is nibbling something. It doesn’t matter what or how much, as long as she is eating something so the digestive tract won’t shut down.

 If she isn’t, try giving her favourite fruit or treat. As a last resort, you might have to make mush rabbit pellets and force feed a little using a feeding syringe.

 Your rabbit might also try to pull out the stitches. As a precaution, wrap a small towel around her middle and bind with an elastic bandage – make sure it isn’t too tight to allow easy breathing.

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