Neutering 

Rabbits are very social animals, and prefer the company of another rabbit.  Both rabbits should be neutered before any pairing, or bonding.  Neutering reduces the hormones which makes bonding difficult and causes bunnies to fight for territory, food and mating rights of the area, as well as to show dominance. 

Dominant behaviour in males ranges from being cage territorial, spraying urine, humping owners or toys, and aggressive behaviour such as boxing and nipping.  Dominate behaviour in females is similar to males, however, is accompanies by phantom pregnancies 

The operations tend to cost similar to that of a cat. It costs around £60-£65 to castrate a male, and £80-£85 for a female.  There are regional differences, as well as differences between local vets.  However, only chose a vet on their performance over the price of their operations.  You must be confident in your vets abilities.

On phoning your vet to book the op, your vet should ask you to bring the rabbit in questions for a pre op check up.  This will include weighing the rabbit to check they are not too fat  or too thin, and to ensure they are fit and healthy for the operation.  Rabbits should be offered food and water right up until the operation.  I often take a 'packed lunch' for my rabbits when going in for their operation.  In this I include their usual pellets, some of their favourite hays, and a selection of fresh vegetables and herb.  I try to remember they are only going to be there for a few hours, but I'm often a bit generous.
 
 
Males - The operation itself is relatively straight forward, and involves the removal of the testes, on both sides.  An incision is made on each side to remove them. This operation can be performed as soon as the testicals have descended, usually around 14 weeks.

Females -  The operation for females is invasive, and the uterus and both ovaries are removed via the abdomen.  Most vets will only do this after the rabbit is 6 months old, due to the size of the reproductive organs.  It is recommended that glue is used for the outside incision, to prevent the rabbit nibbling the stitches and opening herself back up.


After the operation, the vet will make sure that your rabbit is reacting normally and has eaten and pooped before phoning you to book a discharge appointment.  Here your vet will give you instructions on how to care for your rabbit over the following few days.  I find it essential that pain relief is taken home, and if your vet doesn't offer it, please ask for it, I do find it is needed for females especially.  Pain relief does only tend to last around 12 hours, in this time your rabbit should have started to eat.  It may not be much, but it is essential to avoid gut stasis.

It is essential to keep a rabbit indoors for up to 2 days after the op.  this is for two reasons, one being that rabbits can not regulate their temperature after general anesthetic.  The other is allowing you to keep a very close eye on the rabbit and make sure that they continue to eat and drink, and ensure they are not nibbling at stitches.

It can take up to 12 weeks to see noticeable differences in behaviour.  It is recommended that bonding starts only after this amount of time.

  







Bonding is most successful when 6-8 weeks have passed from the last operation, and when done on neutral territory.  

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