Neutering rabbits is important, but why? Vet Emily tells us more…..
What exactly is rabbit neutering?
Neutering is a routine surgical procedure to remove parts of the reproductive system. Generally the procedure is less invasive for male rabbits than female, however, there are notable benefits for neutering in both sexes.
The procedure not only prevents unwanted breeding but also has many significant and proven health and social benefits too!
Neutering is carried out under general anaesthesia and a special combination of medications suitable for rabbits are used, including plenty of analgesia to promote comfort. Qualified nurses carefully monitor patients throughout until they are ready to go home.
What are the benefits of neutering?
- Significantly reduces the risk of cancer (especially if performed at a young age)
- Unfortunately, female rabbits in particular are very prone to cancer (and infections) of the reproductive organs. Neutering can significantly reduce the risk of these occurring.
- Decreases unwanted behaviours shown by rabbits reaching sexual maturity. These include:
- mounting/humping/aggressiveness/destructive chewing and digging.
- Improve socialisation with companions.
- Rabbits should be kept with at least one other rabbit companion, and neutering can help them form a friendly bond so they can be safely housed together (this applies to both same and opposite sex companions).
- No risk of unwanted pregnancies
- Removes risk of false pregnancy
- False pregnancies can occur in unneutered females and often increase unwanted behaviours at that time, such as aggressiveness towards their companions.
- Improves house training
- Neutered rabbits are much less likely to exhibit marking behaviours around the house.
- Easier to handle
- Neutered rabbits often have a better temperament, which in turn makes them easier to handle.
When should rabbits be neutered?
Generally at around 4-6 months of age, but can be earlier or later depending on gender and size. Ask your vet nurse for further advice and guidance as to what’s best for your bunny!
Our nurses run a pet health advisory service and can offer you support and information on a range of pet care topics, to help you make the best decision for your pet. Click here to find out more!