If you’re a new bunny owner, you should know the importance of rabbit neutering. It’s also good to be aware of the average rabbit neuter cost. It will be one of the most essential costs that come with pet ownership
Pet ownership is a joy. All pet owners will testify to the loyalty, love, and companionship that their beloved pets provide. However, pet ownership does come with its share of responsibilities and costs. And one of the most major ones is neutering (or spaying).
This article will give you all the things that you need to know about spaying or neutering your pet. Especially the average neutering cost for a rabbit.
Sterilization: What Does it Do, Actually?
The methods of rabbit sterilization are rabbit spaying (female) and rabbit castration (male). Often the term rabbit neutering is used to specifically mean rabbit castration.
But why rabbit neutering or spaying? Why do some rabbit owners put their pets under that risky procedure?
What is Rabbit Castration?
Rabbit castration is the removal of the testes (testicles) in male rabbits and is commonly practiced on household rabbit pets. Castration/Neutering is the most common method of rabbit sterilization.
Why is Rabbit Neutering Important?
The main reason why getting rabbit neutered is that many behaviors that intact males can display are not great for indoor pets.
The rabbits that are not neutered tend to hump, spray and their litter box habits can be iffy. Some rabbits can be aggressive or territorial as well. No one likes to be sprayed daily, humped, and have a rabbit running through their feet all the time!
Neutering will usually stop most if not all these behaviors and usually improves the rabbit litter habits (it helps because they keep their cage so much cleaner).
If you have a male rabbit and have no intention of getting him a female in the future, then neutering may not be necessary. However, if, as he grows, his hormones have too much effect on him, you may decide then to go ahead and neuter.
Some rabbits exhibit lots of undesirable hormonal behaviors including excessive chewing, aggression, forgetting potty habits, and spraying urine about. Those, clearly, would make one want to neuter. But other rabbits don’t have any noticeable behavior changes.
If you have only one rabbit and he does not cause problems with his behavior I’d say there is no reason to put your rabbit through that risky procedure.
What is Rabbit Spaying?
Spaying as a method of rabbit sterilization involves abdominal surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus in female rabbits.
Why Rabbit Spaying?
If you have a female rabbit, I would encourage spaying. It is good for their health to get spayed (unless, of course, they are part of a breeding program). The average lifespan of an unspayed female rabbit is about HALF that of a spayed female rabbit because of their proclivity for cancers of the reproductive system.
In the wild, female rabbits would pretty much have a litter or be pregnant most of the time. Pets are generally not bred at all. A reproductive system that has evolved to be in regular use and is not used can develop problems and that can lead to cancer.
The chance of an intact doe getting cancer by age 5 is considered quite high.
On the other hand, it is not crucial to get a female rabbit spayed unless you’re having big problems with her that spaying would solve. Keep in mind that the operation is a risk that you can’t ignore.
Rabbits are sensitive to anesthesia and having a rabbit-savvy vet do the procedure helps, but it doesn’t eliminate the risk.
What is the Difference between Neutering or Spaying?
Neutering or spaying is a highly recommended procedure and is generally considered one of the most important surgeries that all pet owners should take.
There is nothing cruel with the procedure. Neutering and spaying is a one-time surgery that will be more beneficial to the animal’s health in the long run. Remember a healthy pet means a happy pet and happy pets make for happy owners.
Neutering and spaying are both terms used when surgeries are performed on animals to remove their sexual organs.
When a male animal gets its testes removed this is called neutering while spaying is the term used for female animals when their ovaries and uterus are removed.
A more general term that is used to refer to neutering and spaying is “fixed”.
So when an animal is referred to as fixed this means that it has been neutered and spayed. The surgery is also performed with an animal under general anesthesia.
Pets usually stay in the vet for an entire day after the procedure. This isn’t a hard rule however, animals can stay for a few more days. It depends on the animal’s health age and size.
Also, depending on what kind of procedure and tools the vet used, you might need to bring back your animal to the vet to get their stitches removed.
Female rabbits should be spayed between four and six months old while male rabbits can be neutered from three to five months old.
One should also be aware of the needed preparations and aftercare you can do as a pet owner to make sure that the procedure is as comfortable for your pet and you as well.
1. Do not change your pet rabbit’s routine
One of the most important things that you can do for your pet rabbit is to not change its routine before it is a surgical appointment. You do not want to create a big deal or fuss for this operation.
Also, rabbits are creatures of habit and they love their routines disrupting this would stress your rabbit and unnecessary stress should be avoided at all costs before the procedure.
Make sure to provide them with quality hay, salads, and pellets to boost their health for the surgery to come.
2. Pick the best vet you can trust
The surgery for sexually “fixing” your rabbit can be a stressful one not just for your pet but for the owner as well. So it is better that you trust your rabbit’s care to a clinic and to a vet that you trust. This will give you peace of mind and assurance that all that your pet is in good hands.
3. Check if your rabbit can undergo the surgery
You should always ask your vets if there are tests that are needed to be done on your rabbit to determine if they are healthy enough for surgery.
Blood tests are usually run to catch any underlying diseases that might prove dangerous or possibly fatal when your rabbit undergoes anesthesia.
Once our pet is given the clean bill of health then you’re sure that they will be safe during the duration of the surgery.
4. Bring comfort toys or food for your pet
Pets are usually held in the vet for a whole day after the surgery.
This is a normal procedure just to ensure that they are being monitored constantly and rapid action can be taken if they show any ill side effects from the surgery.
However, being away from their owners can stress out an animal. They are after all bombarded with strange smells and strange people in a place they’re not familiar with.
Bringing them their favorite toys or asking the clinic to feed them with their favorite pellets will help calm and comfort your rabbit as they will recognize it as a piece of home.
1. Monitor your rabbit
Pet owners should vigilantly monitor their pets for 24 hours post-operation.
Make sure that you give them quality food and pellets, keep them hydrated. Surgery can drain a rabbit’s energy and they need to fully recover. They should not be bleeding in their operation site so you also need to watch for this.
If your rabbit remains lethargic and has lost its appetite be sure to call your vet.
2. Keep your rabbit warm
Keeping rabbits warm post-op will help them recover faster. Keep them in a quiet but warm environment.
If they are part of a pair then you can also keep them together, provided that they do not hop or play around a lot. A companion rabbit can provide comfort to your rabbit as it recovers.
3. Limit exercise
Limit the exercise of your rabbits for ten days after the surgery. You should not let your rabbit jump and hop around too much.
If you find that they tend to play a lot with their companion, then separate them during playtime. Excessive play can cause injuries to a newly operated rabbit.
4. Get that cone of shame
Rabbits should not scratch at their surgery areas. Some owners opt for cones to keep their rabbits from reaching their stitches.
Keep this cone as small as possible, just enough for your rabbit not to reach their stitch but still allows them to eat. If you are still having doubts about using cones then it is advisable to get your vet’s advice.
Why Should I Neuter or Spay My Bunny?
It is recommended to neuter or spays a rabbit because it is the healthier choice. A fixed rabbit will eliminate some cancers and would extend the life of your rabbit for a significantly long time.
Neutering or spaying will also eliminate unwanted behaviors caused by hormones.
1. Eliminates the risk of reproductive cancers
Sexually fixing your rabbit eliminates its risk of developing any reproductive cancers. This adds significantly to their life span.
If you provide adequate exercise, quality food, and clean living space then your rabbits can live a long and happy life by your side.
2. Calmer, well-mannered rabbits
Aggression is often caused by raging hormones. Male rabbits who are not fixed tend to be very territorial.
This means that they do not want anything to be intruding in their space. They could result in aggression to protect their territory.
Rabbits can bite, nip and kick and this could cause injury to your, your other pets, or small children.
Unfixed male rabbits also mark their territory by spraying their urine, so unless you want your house to smell like rabbit urine then neutering rabbits will save you the hassle of constant cleaning of your living space.
Also, hormonal male rabbits tend to hump a lot so neuter them and save your other pets’ dignity.
3. Easier to integrate with other rabbits or pets
Non-hormonal rabbits who do not feel the need to be territorial and who do not have the urge to hump anything in sight will be easier to integrate with other rabbits or other pets.
The bonding will be more seamless and easier.
4. Eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancies
This is the most obvious benefit of neutering or spaying. Rabbits are notorious for producing large litters regularly.
Baby rabbits need special care and rabbit ownership can be expensive, so making sure that you only end up with the number of rabbits you can afford to take care of is never a bad thing
How Much Will Neutering a Rabbit Cost?
The cost of rabbit neutering or spaying can vary. Low price ranges can vary between $45 to $75 usually in spay or neutering clinics.
I have however heard that neutering or spaying can cost as high as $200 to $250. This largely depends on the area that you live in. City clinics usually charge higher because of higher cost of rent, staffing needs, and other factors.
Neutering is cheaper than spaying a rabbit probably because spaying is a more complicated procedure than neutering and might also take more recovery time and hence more monitoring for your rabbits.
Also, additional medications that your rabbit will need pre-op and post-op can add to the cost of the operation.
If you want to save cost on this procedure then veterinary shopping will help. You can call different clinics from different areas within your vicinity and compare their prices.
While this is completely fine, know that it is best if you go with the vet that knows your rabbit’s history as they will be more capable of making informed decisions about your rabbit’s health.
If you are thinking of getting a pet rabbit you should include spaying and neutering in your budget. Remember as well to look for a vet that you will be more comfortable with.
A vet that you can trust will not only give you peace of mind during this operation and all other possible health issues your bunny might encounter in the future.