Hills Veterinary Clinic boy2 and rabbits

Desexing Rabbits

Why should rabbits be desexed?
There are many reasons why it is important to desex rabbits. It means that they can be kept together with less risk of fighting or bullying but it also helps to reduce many behavioural problems. Male rabbits will often spray urine or exhibit sexual behaviour if not desexed and many female rabbits will become aggressive and difficult to handle.
Most importantly 60% of female rabbits will develop cancer of the womb if not desexed.

What does desexing involve?
Male rabbits are castrated & have both their testicles removed, females have a full ovario-hysterectomy (both ovaries & womb removed). The surgery is done under general anaesthesia and both male & female rabbits are given injectable pain relief, sub-cutaneous fluids and a metomide injection to help prevent gut stasis.

What do I do to prepare my rabbit for surgery?
Please note that rabbits do not require starving prior to anaesthesia, as they are unable to vomit. They should have access to food and water right up to the time they are presented to us at the surgery. Please bring some of their normal food with you so we can offer them some as soon as they wake up.

If your rabbit normally lives with a companion it is often a good idea to bring him or her to the surgery as well. Having a friend with them will help your pet feel less stressed and will avoid any problems reintroducing ‘bonded pairs’ later on. If you plan to do this please let us know so we can have an appropriate sized kennel available.

The anaesthetics we use will often differ from those used in dogs and cats.To make anaesthesia as safe as possible we use the newest and safest anaesthetics available. However a small risk is always present. All anaesthesia is monitored at all times by a trained Veterinary nurse, who has had specific training to deal with rabbits.

When your pet goes home we recommend they are kept inside in a warm (20-22 C) draught free room and bedded on shredded paper or hay/straw for at least 48 hours. It may be useful to get this ready before coming to collect your rabbit from the surgery.

Please phone the clinic to arrange an appointment to have your rabbit desexed.