Deciding to neuter your rabbit can be a very daunting prospect. However, it will be one of the best decisions you can make for your pet’s future health and happiness. Not only will neutering prevent unwanted litters, but it also reduces aggression and territorial behaviour, stops spraying of urine, and prevents uterine cancer – a major killer of female rabbits. It is also very important to neuter rabbits if you intend to keep them in pairs or groups to ensure long-term compatibility and no un-wanted litters. If you have homed a bonded pair from us the chances are we have already neutered the buck for you, just leaving you to arrange the neutering of the female companion when she reaches 5-6 months old.
With pet rabbits it is still the minority that they are neutered, this can mainly be blamed on the high costs involved, as well as owners ignorance and lack of knowledgeable pet stores plus some breeder's haste in homing their un-wanted offspring at a young age where the accurate sexing can not always take place or the rabbits are not old enough to be neutered. We are the only breeders that we know of that will routinely neuter all the male rabbits that we re-home as pets, we will neuter females if they are still here at 5 months old. To us this is the way forward to cut down on un-wanted litters or people just giving breeding their pets a go with no thought to where the offspring will end up or what they are breeding.
The downside for us being responsible, caring breeders is our over heads are much much higher than breeders outing their babies at 8 weeks, and then re-mating the mother to produce yet another litter 31 days later. Not only do we have to feed the babies for an extra month but we also need enough spare hutches in which they can live when they move out of their mums hutch at 10/12 weeks old (very costly as this is the period of rapid weight gain.) This also means the babies mother can not have another litter till they have moved on. On a plus all our babies are weaned properly, are established in their own right making them fitter stronger youngsters. Luckily our inter net shop funds us and we would ask you to support our shop in the purchasing of your hutch, accessories, feed and bedding if homing a pair of rabbits from us.
With modern veterinary techniques and knowledge, the neutering of rabbits of both sexes is now considered a routine operation. Our vets neutered 105 bucks and 4 does for us in 2013 , all of which recovered well from the experience and went on to homes with either a bonded partner or as a companion to an existing rabbit.
Has your baby bunny gone from cute to crazy? Nice to Naughty? Litter tray habits gone haywire? Is he looking for love in all the wrong places? Is she getting bossy, grunting and lunging? If so, it sounds like you may have a bunny that's reaching sexual maturity, (4–6 months). This is when hormones begin to signal rabbits to mate, mark and protect their territory, causing a whole host of challenging behaviour including, destructive behaviour, mounting, aggression, and loss of litter tray habits.
Rabbits become adolescent from 10-16 weeks of age, and at this time they tend to become moody and restless. They start to become more aggressive towards other rabbits and people, and also become less reliable where litter training is concerned. Both males and females may treat a family member of the opposite sex as a surrogate mate, following and circling that person and trying to mate their arms or legs. In male rabbits, courtship can include nipping the surrogate mate.
Neutering is one of the best things you can do for your rabbit. It will ease or illuminate these problems without changing your rabbit’s personality. Your bunny will not realise that anything has changed but will become happier and more relaxed. Neutered rabbits are easier to litter train and their urine and droppings will become less smelly.
Male rabbits: Can be neutered as soon as the testicles have descended at around 3-4 months of age, our preferred age is 12 weeks-prior to the buck realising that he is a buck. Female rabbits should be neutered when they reach 5-6 months. Spaying your female rabbit is extremely important because as many as 85% of adult does die before the age of five from reproductive cancers if they are not neutered. Cancers of the mammary glands can still happen but is less likely if the spay is done early enough. It is important to realise that the changes in behaviour associated with sexual maturity does not suddenly disappear - female rabbits take a couple of months to generally calm down, and male bunnies that were neutered past 5 months may continue to spray for a few months after being neutered.
Not all aggression is caused by hormones, different breeds of rabbits show different behaviour traits. Rabbits that have been mishandled or that are very timid will show different levels of aggression. It is important to build a good relationship between yourself and bunny/s. Gaining the rabbits trust is the key to a happy relationship between you and your bunny. Neutering is particularly important if you have more than one rabbit. It will of course prevent unwanted pregnancy, and make it possible for two or more rabbits to live happily together. A neutered pair of bunnies can form a strong bond and often spend a lot of time huddled together and hours grooming each other.
Two bunnies who have grown up together (even siblings) can suddenly become hostile and very aggressive towards each other, if left un-neutered. This can result in serious injury to one or both of the rabbits, and them losing the bond they had forever. Neutering both rabbits can prevent this happening, providing it is done early enough. Neutering after a fight or disagreement may help but there is no guarantee that their friendship will be restored, and they will carry on living happily together. So neutering as soon as possible is advisable.
Many facts of your rabbit’s sexuality will remain post neutering, but in a gentler more subdued form. The extent of the sexual activity really depends on your rabbit’s personality before neutering. Many neutered rabbits retain a certain amount of sexuality interest and may continue some courting behaviour - a spayed doe is more tolerant of a buck’s advances than an un-spayed doe will be. Some rabbits lose all interest in sexual activity but their need for cuddles and affection, from humans and companion alike, remains the same.
Risks associated with neutering can be reduced in several ways. The rabbit must be in a good healthy condition to undergo any surgery involving an aesthetic. They should be fed as usual right up until the time of the neuter to prevent digestive problems and there must be no signs of a sticky bottom. I always give the bunny a ball of Timothy hay and a small bowl of feed in the carrier. Pain relief should be given post-operatively,and glue should be used instead of external stitches to prevent the rabbit re-opening the incision (especially important in females). It is advisable to keep them inside overnight to prevent chilling, and to obverse how they are getting on, returning them to their cage in the morning if all is well. On their return from the vets, I give them more fed and hay-this will help prevent gut stasis (constipation), a very serious condition in rabbits that often has fatal results. . The vet should provide you with pain relief medication to give them for 2-3 days post neuter. In the morning after the neuter your rabbit should be eating, drinking, urinating and defecating, females will often refuse to eat dried food for a couple of days but will nibble hay or fresh goodies. Bucks will recover in 2-3 days a lot quicker than females, who on average take between 5-7 days to recover. It must be remembered the female operation is a major procedure and care must be taken not to incur any internal damage by rough handling or strenuous exercise. It is best to keep the doe's exercise restricted for at least 5 days afterwards.
We offer a neutering and re-bonding service for rabbits leaving here. If you have a single bunny already or one that has just lost its partner and are looking for a companion, we can advise you on which of our available bunnies would be best suited, we can arrange their neuter but can not bonded them for you, however we are happy to guide you in the bonding of the rabbits.
Neutering cost: We will neuter at 12 weeks prior to the male realizing he is a boy. The neutering fee covers; payment for the vet, all our running back and fourth to the vets, the aftercare including administering drugs and checking the wound, and the re-bonding of the neutered rabbit with it's partner. Plus we have every confidence in our vets with a good success rate to date. Photoon right - rabbits at the vets waiting to be neutered. Photo below rabbits recovering at home.
You may well be able to find a cheaper option but you will need to budget in to this the time involved -possible three visits to your vets plus some vets will not neuter before 4/5 months old- so you will be either risking pregnancy and an un-wanted litter, or having to separate the bunnies whilst you are waiting. if rabbits are spilt from each other prior to neutering there is no guarantee that these will go back to together.
The vet we use, will groin neuter and then glue, we have found that rabbits heal a lot quicker with this technique than those that have had a testicle neuter. (see photo's below)
We can neuter Does if they are 5 months old and still here.
We will email you a consent form which explains in full our terms and condition of neutering your chosen rabbit, with the planned neuter day plus collection details. The neuter fee has to be paid for as well as the rabbit/s in full before it/they go to the vets.* Sorry but we can only neuter rabbits already in our care, if you are needing a rabbit neutered that you already own you will need to arrange this yourselves with your vet.