; Skip to main content

Keeping your rabbit healthy

As the 3rd most popular pet in the UK there is now lots of excellent health information out there for rabbit owners. We offer annual vaccinations for pet rabbits against Myxomatosis and RVHD (including the new variant RVHD-2). We also offer health checks, nail clips, neutering and rabbit dentistry.  You can read more about how to keep your bunny healthy in our fact sheet, and about the common problem of dental disease in rabbits in this article.

Neutering of pet rabbits
Rabbits are sociable animals and should be kept in pairs or groups to ensure their best welfare. To enable this, but avoid behavioural issues, stop them ‘breeding like rabbits’ (because that’s what they are after all!) and prevent life threatening disease, it is necessary to neuter rabbits. In fact, neutering is considered to be vital for a long and healthy life by the Rabbit Welfare and Fund (RWAF).

Generally speaking males can be castrated from around 10-12 weeks of age if their testicles have descended i.e. when they reach sexual maturity. There is a high risk of potentially life threatening uterine neoplasia (tumour/cancer formation) in unspayed female rabbits – as high as 80% by the time they are only 3 years old (for some breeds) – this can be prevented by neutering females rabbits, which can be done from 16 weeks of age.

Neutering is performed under general anaesthesia. We routinely aim to intubate (pass a breathing tube into the windpipe for oxygen delivery) in rabbits for general anaesthesia, as this benefits your pet by reducing the risks/problems associated with anaesthetics. To make this more practicable, we recommend that they are at least 1kg in body weight at the time of their operation.

After they have recovered from neutering it is usually easier to bond pairs/groups.  For advice about bonding rabbits, check out this linkRemember, a male rabbit may still be fertile for 4-6 weeks after castration, so do not pair/allow contact with an entire female until this time has passed.

The RWAF have produced a useful neutering guide if you would like further information.

We are pleased to be listed on the RWAF rabbit friendly clinic site, as a ‘silver’ accredited practice – you can read more about what this means on their website.

Leave a Reply