We recommend most rabbits are neutered, unless they are specifically intended for breeding. Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs. This is ‘castration’ in bucks (the removal of both testicles) and ‘spaying’ in does (the removal of the ovaries and uterus or womb).
Neutered rabbits are more social and less likely to exhibit aggressive behavioural traits. They are also easier to keep with other neutered rabbits. Female rabbits have a very high risk of developing ovarian and uterine cancer if they are not spayed. In one study, 60-80% of un-neutered female rabbits over the age of 4 were found to have these cancers.
The ideal age for neutering is around 6 months of age
Neutering is a surgical procedure and therefore is done under general anaesthesia. There is a risk involved. In young fit healthy animals this risk is minimal. Neutered animals have a reduced metabolic rate and therefore are more prone to putting on weight when fed the same quantity of food; A slight reduction in intake can prevent this. We actively encourage regular weight checks to ensure this problem doesn’t occur. A neutered rabbit fed on a diet of grass and hay should not become obese.
For all neutering procedures patients are generally only hospitalised for one day. It is important that rabbits are NOT starved prior to admission, and that water is made available at all times (this is different to dogs and cats.) The use of modern anaesthetic drugs and equipment, help to ensure safety and a rapid recovery for your pet. The surgery is performed in excellent facilities and recovery takes place in warm supervised kennels. Your rabbit will normally be ready to go home by late afternoon or evening the same day. A nurse will discharge your rabbit and explain what aftercare is necessary.