We all know rabbits breed like wildfire! Rabbits can produce up to 12 babies (known as “kits”) per litter and can have up to 7 litters per year.That’s a lot of mouths to feed! Rabbits are not picky about who they mate with either, and interbreeding is not uncommon, with sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers working together quite happily to grow the family tree. For this reason, we strongly recommend de-sexing your furry little friends once they reach sexual maturity. As a rule of thumb, rabbits will mature sexually at around 16 weeks old, though there are always those that will mature earlier (or later) than this.
De-sexing rabbits is a routine procedure, where your bouncy buddy is in and out of the clinic on the same day. Post operative home care is relatively straight forward, particularly with males, as we may use special medical glue to close the skin layer of the surgical wound, meaning there are no stitches that need monitoring, or removal. Females will have stitches that will need to come out after 10-14 days, so it’s important to make sure they refrain from nibbling these.
The main thing to note while helping your bunny through the recovery period is that they are eating well and have no swelling, discharge or discomfort in or around their surgical site. It is important that they leave their surgical wound alone as well, as chewing or licking the wound can slowdown the healing process and introduce infection. Something very important to know is that male rabbits are still able to reproduce up to 3 - 4 weeks post surgery,so keeping them separated from any females for this length of time is a must!
There is an increased risk for rabbits while under anaesthetic, more so than there is with your average healthy cat or dog.However, the benefits of de-sexing are that you reduce the risk of some types of cancers as well as eliminating others. Our wonderful vets and nurses take a great amount of care with your rabbit’s anaesthetic, monitoring things such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation of the blood, heart rate and respiration rate. Our staff continue to monitor them closely as they recover, ensuring they are kept warm in their recovery cages and that they are back up on their feet and eating and drinking as soon as possible post-surgery.
If you have any questions regarding rabbit de-sexing or would like to get in touch with us to organise a procedure, get in touch with your local Vet Hospital clinic and our friendly staff can answer any questions you might have.