Neutering female rabbits is also referred to as spaying. It involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Neutering males is also referred to as castration. It involves the removal of the rabbit’s testes.
The nurse will see you on the morning of the operation to admit your pet rabbit for the day. They’ll make sure your rabbit has been well recently and is fine to have the operation, and also check that we have the correct contact information for you. For rabbits, it’s important that they eat right up to the anaesthetic and as soon as possible afterwards, because they’re very prone to gut stasis. They can also have water at all times.
Once the nurse has admitted your rabbit, they will be taken to their kennel room, made comfortable with padded bedding and given lots of fuss and encouragement to try to reassure them. There will also be a nurse in the kennel area during recovery to look after your rabbit.
The vet who’ll perform the operation will examine your rabbit prior to giving them an injection of a mild sedative to help keep them calm and ease the induction of anaesthesia. Your pet will also be given an injection for pain relief. Once your rabbit is nicely sleepy, the nurse and vet will lead or carry them into surgery. They will always talk to the animal throughout to try to put him or her at ease.
Throughout the general anaesthetic and on recovery, your rabbit will be monitored by the nurse. Once awake, they will be returned to their bed to be looked after by the kennel nurse, who makes sure they’re warm and cosy and comfortable. When they’re fully awake, a small meal is offered.
When you collect your rabbit to take them home that evening, they may be wearing an Elizabethan collar to prevent them from licking the surgical wound. The nurse will go through the required post-operative care in the discharge appointment with you – feeding, exercise and administration of pain relief medication, for example.
We’ll always arrange a 3- and 10-day post-op check-up with the nurse to ensure that your rabbit is doing well, is happy and comfortable, and that his or her wound is healing nicely.