The pros and cons

Male rabbits (bucks)

Surgical neutering or castration in male rabbits can be performed from 4-5 months of age and is an important preventative procedure for several  reasons:-

  • If rabbits of both sexes are kept together it will prevent unwanted pregnancies.
  • Sexually active bucks will mark their territory with strong smelling urine.
  • Sexually active bucks often become aggressively possessive about their environment and their owners leading to injuries in rabbit and owner alike!
  • If more than one male rabbit is housed together then fighting often occurs upon attainment of sexual maturity at 3-4 months of age.

ALL OF THE ABOVE CONDITIONS ARE PREVENTED BY SURGICAL NEUTERING (CASTRATION)

The procedure involves a full anaesthetic and surgical removal of both testicles. Bucks are kept in overnight after the operation for routine monitoring  and pain relief.

Female rabbits (does)

Ovariohysterectomy or speying in female rabbits can be performed from 4-5 months of age and is an important preventative procedure for several  reasons:-

  • If rabbits of both sexes are kept together it will prevent unwanted pregnancies
  • There is a high risk of a malignant cancer of the womb called an adenocarcinoma in unmated does over the age of 4 years. Speying will obviously  prevent this.
  • Some does have ‘phantom’ pregnancies where even though they have not been mated their sexual hormones are telling their bodies to prepare for  ‘kittens’ or baby rabbits. This causes behavioural problems, fur pulling for nest building and milk production which can cause mastitis or infected  mammary glands.
  • If enough phantom pregnancies occur some does can go on to develop a serious womb infection called a pyometra where the womb fills with poison  creating a potentially life threatening situation.

ALL OF THE ABOVE CONDITIONS ARE PREVENTED BY SURGICAL NEUTERING (SPEYING)

The procedure involves a full anaesthetic and surgical removal of the ovaries and the womb. Does are kept in overnight after the operation for routine  monitoring and pain relief.