Sunday, 30 October 2016

Rabbit 101 - Neutering

Neutering rabbits is very important for many different reasons and should definitely be considered if you would like your rabbit to live a full, fun and happy life. 

Although putting a rabbit under aesthetic has its risks, as with any other animal.
But rabbits due to their size and having a sensitive system, rabbits should never be starved / should never fast before an operation. If a vet asks for you to do so, then please consider using a different rabbit savvy vet, as rabbits are classed as exotic animals and if starved then they can get gut statis and need to see a vet immediately as it can lead to further complications and death, so make sure they are eating right up to the point they go in for their operation and that you find a vet that you can trust.

Although rabbits are very cute! especially baby rabbits, without being neutered they can multiply frequently; with a sexually mature female being able to have up to 11 litters a year. A typical rabbits litter will contain 4-6 kits, although they can have as many as 8. Their pregnancies typically last around 31 days, so a rabbit can produce as many as 88 kits a year. There are already thousands of rabbits being mistreated, over flowing rescue centres, please don’t bring anymore into this world, if you have room to keep more and provide a perfect home for anymore, please consider rescuing or rehoming one that is already in need of a loving home.

Spaying a female rabbit can significantly reduce their chances of getting cancer later on in life, as there is a high percentage of female rabbits over the age of 3 that eventually get uterine cancer.

Phantom pregnancies are common in female rabbits that haven’t yet been spayed; they typically start with the female starting to be a little grumpier, change in appetite and pulling fur out from their chest to start building a nest, you may also catch them running around with hay in their mouth, gathering nesting materials. This can be very stressful for both rabbit and us humans to watch; they can last a couple of days to a full month and may only happen once or keep reoccurring. Spaying your female rabbit usually stops this behaviour and they can focus on other things.

Although it may look very cute when your rabbit/s runs circles around you, making a honking or buzzing noise, this is hormonal behaviour and mounting teddies and other things is also part of their hormones. Humping can also be a sign of dominance and your bunny trying to show you who is boss but in un-neutered rabbits it is generally an urge they have, they cannot help it, it can also cause them a lot of stress, having urges to hump and spray with other behaviour issues.

Spraying is where your rabbit may aim and spray urine at you, sometimes when you hold them, other times when you least expect it, in your face! They also tend to mark their territory with urine to let others know that, that is their area and not yours, so if you have an indoor area for them, be careful to keep an eye on your walls and furniture.

Every rabbit deserves to have a friend and must be bonded correctly, when both rabbits are neutered it is much easier for them to live harmoniously together and have a pal for life. (You can attempt bonding after 6-8 weeks after neutering, once bunny has healed)

Neutering has so many benefits and pros, including making it easier to litter train them and usually helping with any behavioural issues - so if you are questioning whether you should or not, it might be worth considering all of the above and booking an appointment with your vet to discuss it further.

Male rabbits can generally be castrated between 4-6 months, when they reach sexual maturity and their testicles are visible. (Costing around £40-£50)
Female rabbits can generally be spayed between 5-6 months, depending on the size and weight of your rabbit. (Costing around £70-£90)

Best of Luck!

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