What is neutering?
Neutering is a surgical procedure, that both male and female rabbits can have. In females the ovaries and womb are removed to stop any risk of unwanted pregnancy. In males, their testicles are removed this causes testosterone levels to fall.
Should I get my rabbit neutered?
YES! Neutering of your rabbit will not only benefit them, but you as well.
Rabbits are companion animals, they like being with other rabbits, generally male and female rabbits bond the best. Therefore, neutering is really important to ensure there is no risk of pregnancy.
Neutering lowers the risk of cancer. Female rabbits are a high risk for developing uterine cancers, therefore it removes this risk, and the risk of womb infections. In males it eliminates prostatic and testicular cancer.
It also removes the risk of false pregnancies. Often young female rabbits can develop false pregnancies, this can cause the female to become increasingly aggressive due to a change in her hormones.
Did you know that neutering improves a rabbit’s temper! Generally, we find after neutering a rabbit becomes easier to handle and is a lot less temperamental.
It can help with reducing aggressive behaviours, such as biting and lunging. If a rabbit is not neutered, then once they hit sexual maturity these behaviours can become worse and unmanageable.
Male rabbits mark their territory with their urine, as the urine has a very strong smell, this is not something many people would like especially if the rabbit is a house rabbit. Neutering can help calm this behaviour. However, if a male rabbit is left unneutered this will continue and can become a habit that is extremely difficult to stop.
When is the right time to have your rabbit neutered?
Rabbits are usually neutered when they are approximately four to five months old.
Ted was found abandoned down the lane, by our Liverpool site. Luckily, a passing cyclist was able to catch Ted and bring him to us. On arrival, he was given a thorough health check and put in to an isolation pen for a few days.
From day one staff had to be cautious around Ted as he would spray urine at them, when they went to feed and clean him. He would spend the majority of his time pacing around his pen in an agitated way. We set up a camera to view his behaviour when staff were not in the room. However, this made no difference and Teds erratic behaviour continued. Our small animal team are very experienced in caring for rabbits and knew immediately that Ted needed to be neutered, with the hope that this would help calm him down.
Once Ted was neutered it took a few weeks but he began to become more relaxed and did stop spraying urine, and pacing. Ted now enjoys lots of attention from the team, and is extremely nosey. He loves following staff around when they are cleaning, to make sure that they are cleaning to his standards.
The difference in Ted from being neutered is amazing, and he is a completely different rabbit. He is now a very happy and calm boy, who loves nothing more than head scratches.
We suspect that Ted may have been dumped due to his stress behaviour. With an increase in rabbits being bought over the lockdown period we want to spread awareness of how neutering benefits yourselves and your rabbits lives! If you have a rabbit that is behaving this way, please neuter it before thinking of giving it up. What a difference the procedure has made to Ted’s life and we hope his story can benefit other rabbits too.
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