Why should I neuter?
If left entire, female rabbits run a big risk of developing cancer of the uterus in later life – a study in 2004 estimated a 50-80% chance in a rabbit over 3 years. Entire females can also develop mammary tumours, and can have phantom pregnancies. Their hormones can make them aggressive and hard to handle. They also obviously run the risk of pregnancy if there is any possibility of access to entire male rabbits (including relatives), and a female rabbit can get pregnant immediately after giving birth. Males are also at risk of testicular cancers.
Who should neuter my rabbits?
Desexing rabbits in general, is a far more complex procedure than cats and dogs. Desexing (neutering or speying) a female rabbit is more invasive surgery than a male. Unlike other species, rabbits should NOT be fasted prior to surgery. The procedure should be performed under a general anaesthetic with an assessment prior to surgery ensuring the rabbit is a fit candidate for surgery. During surgery, rabbits should be intubated and provided with fluid therapy. They should be given pain relief before and after surgery.
Rabbits should be closely monitored postoperatively and assisted feeding might be required.
In the past rabbit surgery and anaesthetic were considered to be high risk, but advances in medicine, surgical techniques, and monitoring have made it a much safer procedure. Make sure you have a rabbit savvy vet who is experienced in this type of surgery.