Rabbit – Neutering

Both male and female rabbits can be neutered, it is always advisable to get your rabbits neutered to prevent any unwanted pregnancies. As well as this unspayed females are at high risk of uterine cancer and pyometra.

Male rabbits can be castrated as soon as their testicles develop, it can vary between rabbits and there is no set age. If you are unsure always ask a vet. The neutering process is a straight forward operation, and recovery time is fairly quick (providing their are no complications). It is important to note that after castration a male is still fertile for anything between four and eight weeks. If your female is spayed then they can be paired up again, however if not it is advisable to wait.

Advantages of castrating your male:

  • It prevents unnecessary breeding.
  • Male rabbits, like cats, will spray urine to mark their territory, this can be over possessions as well as you.
  • It is thought that neutering can make litter training easier
  • It eliminates any chances of your male rabbit developing cancer in their testes.
  • Some male rabbits can be slightly aggressive prior to neutering. Testosterone levels decrease after neutering which should eliminate any aggression.
  • In¬†general neutered males are much happier pets.

For female rabbits the operation is a lot bigger, and more intrusive. The ovaries and uterus have to be removed. Females are sterile as soon as they have been spayed, however it is vital that any male companions with her are gentle, if your male rabbit is not it is advisable they are kept separate. Your female rabbit must be kept in clean conditions so as to keep her wound clean and reduce chances of infection.

Advantages of spaying your female:

  • There are two nasty diseases that unsprayed females are at high risk of; Uterine cancer, and Pyometra, both of which can be fatal.
  • Female rabbits are able to reproduce from around 4-6 months of age. Rabbit pregnancies are short – around 31 days and often there are many kits to each litter. Females are able to reproduce again immediately after giving birth. If an unneutered male is around there is a potential for mass reproduction.
  • Like males, some female rabbits can be aggressive if un-spayed. Spaying reduces the hormone levels and generally makes females happier and calmer.
  • Many females have repeated phantom pregnancies, and they may growl, lunge, scratch or bite their owners or other rabbits due to hormones.

Overall it is always best to neuter your rabbits, the advantages are huge in both males and females. The prices of neutering varies amongst different veterinary practices and their procedure.