For the boys
Boys can be desexed at around 4 months of age (depending on the weight and size of your bunny). Generally, if the dangly bits are dangling, it's time for the operation - but check with your vet for an accurate guide.
Boy bunnies tend to spray urine on their favourite bunny or person as a sign of endearment. They also tend to forget all litter training and are far too excitable. Desexing your bunny bunny stops all these annoying behavioural issuesa and also stops them from fathering more baby bunnies!!
*** Boy bunnies can still father babies until 4 weeks after neutering, so keep them separate from undesexed girl bunnies until it is safe
For the girls
Girls are best desexed between 6 months to 1 year. Girls can be the most aggressive of the bunny world so an undesexed girl can sometimes cause more trouble than a boy. As well as aggression, females also can have phantom pregnancies, meaning that they pull their fur out and make nests.
The risk with fur pulling is that rabbits can ingest large amounts of it and this can cause blockages in their digestive system that can result in serious illness and possibly death.
Many people also say that over the age of 3 a female rabbit has an 80% chance of uterine cancer.
Finding a vet
Now, you'll need to make sure that your vet of choice is available and willing to do the surgery. Your vet will need to give your bunny a checkup before surgery to ensure that your bunny is healthy and a good candidate for surgery.
If you're in Melbourne, we recommend the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic. If you are not in Melbourne, you will have to find a good rabbit vet near you. You will find that many vets who are not experienced with rabbits will not want to desex rabbits, particularly female bunnies.
Anaesthetics can be risky for small animals so your vet will need to know what they are doing. Spaying a female rabbit is a particularly delicate operation that should not be undertaken by a vet that is inexperienced. If your vet seems unsure, please find another vet that does know what they are doing. Please do not choose a vet based on price. A budget price usually means a budget surgery and this can be fatal for a rabbit.
We need lots of love and attention after our operation so please don't forget us or you may miss any problems that may need your urgent attention. After any surgeries, a rabbit should be kept indoors for at least the next 7 days. A rabbit needs lots of attention and a dry & warm area to recover.
Please make sure that you are not planning to go away on holidays after your bunny has had surgery. It is very important that you are there to care for your bunny and make sure they are recovering well and ensure they are eating, drinking and going to the toilet.
Keep it clean
When your bunny comes home from the vet, make sure they have clean, dry towels or blankets to sit on so nothing dirty could infect the wound. Give them a clean litter tray so you will be able to check on whether they are able to go to the toilet easily. If your bunny has a bonded partner, ensure they are happy to be with their friend after surgery. If there is any aggression, it might be better to separate them. However, bunnies will usually prefer to be with their bunny friends as recovery will be quicker than if they stress from being separated. If it's a boy bunny who's been desexed and his friend is an undesexed girl bunny, it would be best to keep them separated with a barrier until the girl bunny is then desexed to ensure they can rebonded at a later date (a boy bunny can still father baby bunnies 4 weeks after surgery).
Make sure we eat
All operations for bunnies are serious so it can take a while to get us back to being happy again. Rabbits need to continually eat so make sure your bunny is eating after its operation. If this means sitting in front of your bunny with his/her favourite food while you shove it in front of them until they finally eat something, then so be it. It does work in the end!
Your vet may supply you with post-operative pain relief depending on the age of your bunny. Older buns will take a little longer to recovery from surgery and pain relief may be recommended. Ask your vet.
Your vet should book a revisit for you a few days after surgery to ensure that your bunny has a checkup. Your vet will need to check the surgery site and ensure that everything is healing well and your bunny is healthy & happy. At any time after surgery you feel that your bunny is unwell, please visit the vet.