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What is neutering?
Neutering male rabbits is called ‘castration’. This is a routine surgical procedure under general anaesthetic to surgically remove the testicles via two incisions in the scrotum. It is usually done at 5 months old but can be done from 3 months if the testicles have descended sufficiently and the rabbit is big enough. Aggressive and scent marking behaviour develops from 5 months old so we recommend not waiting longer. Male rabbits are not sterile until 6 weeks after surgery, so keep a buck away from any females during this time.
Why should I neuter my rabbit?
There are lots of important reasons to neuter your buck. The most important are listed below:
What can I expect on the day?
Your rabbit will be admitted to the practice in the morning by our nurses and will normally go home the same afternoon. After the operation is complete and your rabbit is recovering, our nurses will call you to arrange a collection time. Rabbits don’t normally need a collar/cone. He will have a shaved patch around his scrotum and any stitches are hidden and dissolvable. Sometimes a rabbit may need an overnight stay if the vet thinks they require a longer period of close monitoring. Our vets and nurses will discuss with you how to monitor your rabbit and his surgical site at home, but it is important to see that they are eating and defaecating the same day. Some rabbits will need special recovery food that is syringe fed into the mouth at home. Your rabbit should cage rest for at least 2 days.
Before bringing you rabbit in for a visit, please make sure you read a copy of our “Bringing Your Bunny to Orchard Vets” checklist so that you can help make your rabbit’s stay as stress-free as possible.
Are there risks of neutering?
As an accredited Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) Rabbit Friendly Practice, we are experienced at carrying out these surgeries; monitoring your rabbits and providing excellent post operative care and pain relief. The small risk of a general anaesthetic and surgery is outweighed by the benefits of neutering for most rabbits: ultimately this decision is made on an individual rabbit basis and is something you will discuss with your vet. The main risks are outlined below: