Castrating your Rabbit
Please bring your rabbit to the surgery, the night before the operation between 4pm – 7pm Please bring a small bag of your rabbit’s normal diet, including vegetables or hay.
Castration is the removal of the testicles. The operation is a one off procedure and is not reversible. Once your cat has been castrated he will never be able to father kittens. The normal rabbit has two testicles situated in the scrotum
When should I castrate my rabbit?
We feel that the ideal time to castrate a rabbit is at six months old, although adult rabbits can be castrated at any time. Some rabbits can be neutered from as early as 4 months old, if they housed with entire females.
What are the advantages?
The main advantage is that your rabbit will not be able to get female rabbits pregnant.Rabbits become sexually mature around five or six months old.
Reduction of smell and spraying behaviour. Most un- neutered rabbits by one year of age have the characteristic, pungent smell and spray strong smelling urine around the home and garden.
Reduction in fighting. All rabbits are inclined to squabble over territory but the entire buck is the main culprit. It is not uncommon for bucks to need treatment for bite wounds on a frequent basis.
Neutering can also have a marked effect on the behaviour of male rabbits. Normally does are the more dominant sex, but male rabbits can also become stroppy and neutering them can calm them and prevent, reduce or stop unwanted behaviour.
What are the disadvantages?
Castrating, although a routine procedure for small animal veterinary surgeons, is a major operation for small furries. A small number of animals have problems with anaesthetics, the operation itself and with post operative haemorrhage. This can result from too much activity, dislodging one of the internal blood vessel ties. Surgical experience, good nursing help and careful supervision does reduce the risk but that risk cannot be totally eliminated.
Rabbits also like to chew their sutures out, so you must be able to check the wound daily, after the operation. We do not routinely give out buster collars for rabbits, as this can cause problems when it comes to eating their caecatrophs.
There are a higher proportion of overweight castrated rabbits compared to their entire counterparts. There is no doubt that a neutered rabbit requires less food for a given weight and activity level.
Rabbits which are overweight can develop a dewlap under their chin and develop a dirty bottom, as they cannot get round to clean it or eat their caecatrophs, this can become the prefect area for flystrike or urine scald.
We encourage weight checking and will weigh your rabbit at each vaccination so that fine tuning of food intake can be made. With proper management, there is no reason for any weight gain as a result of spaying.
Booking your rabbit in for spaying.
We perform routine surgery each day except, Wednesday and given a little notice we can accommodate a specific day to suit your schedule.
Rabbits should not be starved prior to surgery and with-holding food can be detrimental to their health. Therefore we would ask you to treat your rabbit as normal, regarding food and water.
We normally admit rabbits the evening prior to the operation, as this gives rabbits the chance to settle into the practice, getting used to the smells & sounds and reducing their stress levels. It is very important that rabbits are not too stressed prior to operations, as this can increase the risks of the anaesthetic. Bringing their own diet also reduces stress and ensures the rabbit has something familiar to eat after the operation.
If your rabbit has a favourite toy, please feel free to bring it in as this will also help familiarise them.
The consent form
We shall ask you, or an authorised adult, for written permission to perform the castration operation on your pet. We make time to guide you through the consent form so that we can explain any terms that you do not understand or are worried about.
All pets undergoing surgery at A+G Vets have an analgesic (painkiller), antibiotic and gut motility drug as part of their premedication, so that they are more comfortable and therefore less frightened when they wake up.
We allocate each pet an individual kennel, although siblings may share a kennel, if preferred. We try to keep rabbits away from other animals, to reduce the stress that they will be feeling. The kennels are warm and sound insulated and each has a lightweight polyester fleece and a heat pad for warmth and comfort. All animals are within sight of the nursing team, allowing prompt intervention, if required.
With all our rabbits operations, we give fluid therapy within our anaesthetic protocol. This allows the rabbits to have a smoother recovery and keeps the guts from becoming dehydrated, which could lead to gut stasis and a potentially unhappy bunny!
Care of surgical wounds
Wounds do not normally require any attention except for you preventing your pet licking excessively at the wound, or removing the stitches. We have to make a charge for re suturing wounds, often involving another anaesthetic, if stitches have been lost as a result of a lack of supervision.
We normally remove stitches after ten days, although we may use dissolving sutures for particularly jumpy or nervous bunnies, which do not require removal.
Contacting us if you are worried.
When your rabbit is discharged you will receive instruction as to how to receive advice during the evening. We have 24 hour out-of-hour emergency care, which you are able to contact by calling the surgery for the relevant emergency mobile number.