Spaying Your Rabbit: Factors To Consider, A Guide For The New Bunny Owner
So you have a sweet female rabbit, and everything you've read tells you she should be spayed. You might be reluctant however, perhaps due to the fact that spaying rabbits may not be a common practice in your area. If this is the case for you, read on to discover the do's and don'ts of rabbit spays.
Depending on the country you live in, it may be difficult to find a veterinarian who is experienced with rabbits. Generally speaking, rabbit owners in the UK should not have too much trouble finding a veterinarian who is familiar with rabbits, as rabbits are a very popular pet in the UK. In other parts of the world however, it may be a little more difficult. I would advise you to definitely seek out an experienced vet however, as this can mean the difference between life and death for your rabbit.
Physiologically speaking, a rabbit is quite different from a cat or a dog, the animals that make up the bulk of small animal practice. Rabbits should never be treated with Amoxycillin, for example, whereas it is a perfectly safe drug for cats and dogs. A rabbit spay also carries with it more risk than a spay of a cat or a dog, due to the more delicate nature of a rabbit's system, and so you will definitely want to make sure that the veterinarian you are dealing with is well aware of standards and practices in rabbit care.
After reading all this, you might be thinking that you shouldn't get your rabbit spayed after all. However, on the contrary, the risks of something going wrong during surgery are relatively low compared to the near certainty that your rabbit will have her life cut in half through ovarian cancer should she not be spayed.
Perhaps you've heard that rabbits don't live very long, and this is true if they are shoved outside in a cage, fed lettuce (essentially a rabbit poison), and left to develop cancer. However with proper care, your rabbit can live between 8 - 12 years. Yes, you read that right, eight to twelve years. That's almost four times longer than many pet rabbits live.
Your rabbit depends on you to make the best choices for her, so keep that in mind when you make the decision to spay, and then find a suitable vet. You may already have a veterinarian who is great with your pet cat or dog, but be sure to ask them if they have rabbit experience. Most veterinarians who don't are only too pleased to refer you to another vet who is able to provide the standard of care required to perform this delicate operation that is essential to your rabbit's longevity and well being.