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getting rabbits fixed?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My sister has 2 rabbits and she'd like to get them fixed. They are currently in the same cage (male and female) and she thinks they're too young to actually reproduce. I know nothing about rabbits- not sure she does either- but she has called around local vets to get them fixed.

The cheapest price is $300 per rabbit, and she was told it's extremely risky.

I've never even heard of getting a rabbit fixed- I've always had cats, or dogs. Is this the standard price?

In the meantime, I think she needs to invest in another cage so they don't make babies. :-)
post #2 of 14
Well, I'll leave the questions around neutering to others who know more than I (which wouldn't be difficult), but given the propensity of rabbits for making babies, I wouldn't be trusting that they're not old enough. I agree that a second cage would be a wise investment.
post #3 of 14
I know that rabbits can be spayed/neutered....and from what I've gathered $300 isn't a bad price. If I am remembering right, it's harder to fix a rabbit than say a cat/dog.

Here is a link I found, not sure if it's 100% reliable....but considering it's from the House Rabbit Society I would think it is.

post #4 of 14
I had two rabbits until they passed away. They were both fixed and male and female. For the female I paid $80 and for the male I paid $55 but Im also in a smaller area then you. It can be done and yes it is risky both of my rabbits recovered without problem. They were indoor outdoor rabbits I had them for 7 years. They were kept outside in a rabbit hutch during the summer days and I brought them in when I came home from school. My mom put them out one morning when I left for school and she didnt get the door latched back correctly and the neighbors GSD killed both my bunnies. I havent had the heart to get another one yet, not to keep anyway. Ive rescued a few but always found homes for them.

Edited to add that my female had some trouble with her spay she wound up being kept for 3 days but in the end she was fine!
post #5 of 14
I know my room mate recently fixed her male rabbit. I am unsure of the price but I do know it was a risky procedure for him. The day he was fixed she dropped him off around 9am and called by 1pm because he was supposed to be finished by then. The vet told her he still hadn't woken up. He didn't wake up till 3pm!!! And he wasn't doing well afterwards. It took a whole 24hours for him to stop being so sick.
So make sure she looks around and picks a great vet, with a great price and a good history. Rabbits are so small and can get affected by the medication.
post #6 of 14
Please have your sister immedately seperate the male and female from one another! They can reproduce at a very young age, if in fact the male has not already inpregnanted the female. Rabbits cost more to spay because they are considered exotic animals and can not be handled the same way a cat or dog would be. Many times the female rabbits will go into pseudo pregnancies or heats and that can cause the reproductive tissues to swell and make surgery even more complicated for the vet...so don't be alarmed to see a much higher price for the spaying/neutering of a rabbit vs. a common dog or cat.

Also, while some may say the surgery can be risky- keep this in mind, if she does not have her rabbits altared, the likelyhood of them developing and dying from reproductive cancers is VERY high.

The $300 quote to have them altared is actually right on the money for an exotic. It cost me close to $250 to get my rabbit spayed when I adopted her. The surgery is not risky however when done by a properly trained vet who knows how to handle rabbits.

You need to have your sister call around all of your local vets and ask them how many rabbits they treat in a month, how many they spay/neuter/ and if they're familiar with what drugs should and should not be used on a rabbit. Rabbits are exceptionally sensitive to certain medications that dogs and cats can typically have, so special care must be given that the vet and staff know what to use and what not to use on a rabbit or it could potentially be fatal.

The reason some inexperienced vets say the procedure can be risky is because of the anestesia that is used. An experienced vet will weigh the rabbit and know how to give just enough anestesia (and what kind) to knock them out enough to not feel anything, but still keep them light enough so they'll come out of the anestesia and not die. In the event they do have a hard time waking up from the anestesia, an experienced vet should always know to give the rabbit Yobine (it's a reversal). That should usually do the trick!

Following the surgery, I'd highly recommend that the vet give her pain meds to take home for the rabbit to ease the discomfort post op. Make sure the vet gives her ones safe for rabbits though! (you'd be suprised how much some vets know so little about rabbits!). Just because a vet may be good with cats or dogs does not mean they will be experienced with rabbits. My rabbit went to the most skilled vet in the city when it came to exotics....he was an expert on rabbits in our area and was so nice. My cats and dogs go to different vets though because their vets were not experienced enough with rabbits in my opinion.

When she has them altared, they will need to wear an e-collar and be kept in a single-story cage until the stitches come out, because rabbits are quite hard to keep still, let alone prevent from messing with their stitches. The best way to get an e-collar on a rabbit is to put a regular small dog collar on them then poke holes in a small e-collar on the bottom of it and attach it all the way around the regular collar to secure it. Make sure it fits them properly so they do not get any feet cought in it. (Cut off any excess.) Also, is she keeping them inside or out? Rabbits live much longer,healthier lives if they're kept indoors.

While the vet has the rabbits out under anestesia that is a great time for them to have their teeth examine and filed if need be. Do you know what your sister is feeding them? They need to be eating a Timothy Hay based pellet, and given fresh fruits and vegetables, salt blocks, and unlimited Timothy Hay daily. Make sure she is not giving them too much alfalfa as that is not good for rabbits to have in excess (if they're babies it's ok for a while...but once they're larger, alfalfa should only be an occassional treat. Timothy hay on the other hand should be offered in an unlimited fresh supply every day to keep them healthy.)

Please feel free to pm me if you have any questions!

(The house rabbit society's website has some excellent info- please have her check it out! http://www.rabbit.org/ )
post #7 of 14
Scroll down to the bottom of this link and they have a list of questions she should ask potential vets and lots of good info on why spaying/neutering is soo vital in rabbits!
post #8 of 14
My rabbit hasn't been fixed, but she hasn't been in contact with others either. She is perfectly fine, but having them speyed or neutered it is a very risky thing to do.
post #9 of 14
years ago I rescued rabbits. I had over 20 and all were spayed or neutered. They came from a BYB and I only lost one rabbit from a neuter. It certainly beats the alternative of going from 20 to 50. Eventually they went to live at a rabbit sanctuary and were living outside in grand style on 7 acres fully fenced.
post #10 of 14
80% of unspayed female rabbits are at risk of cancer before the age of 5, and not only can they get pyometra, but they can get another kind, which is where the womb fills with blood rather than pus, I forget the name of that one though. My neighbour ignored this from me every spring, until this year when at the age of 5, both her female rabbits developed cancer and had to have emergency spays, whcih were obviously harder on them as not only where they older, but they were both ill at the time. She had thought that the risk of anaesthesia wasn't worth it until then.
post #11 of 14
Rabbits bred at a young age (I think around 4-5 months old) - so keeping a male/female in the same cage is NOT a wise thing to do. From what I've heard its darn expensive for neutering/spaying rabbits.

I bred Dutch rabbits long time ago and we never had them fixed - didn't know you could/should. Honestly I'm not really sure I'd have them done now if I got another baby Dutch rabbit.
post #12 of 14
I had a rabbit (this was almost 10 years ago) and took it to be neutered because it was the right thing to do. Turns out it was a female and not a male so they refused to spay her because of the risks. Apparently neutering isn't as hard since it's not as invasive, but still dangerous because of the anathesia. But, this was in a place that didn't really keep rabbits as pets...they were more thought of as dinner so the vet wasn't very experienced in health care for rabbits.

It can be done. Until it is, I would agree with other people and get a separate cage for her.

To find a good vet for rabbits...do you have a 4-H club that is local and raises animals? I see you are in New York state, but that doesn't say if you (or your sister) are in a rural area. That is where I would start if possible. It's hard to call every vet to see what they know about rabbits but if you call an organization that focuses on this, you may get some good leads for vets.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. I've forwarded this all on to my sister and she found that one of the vets she contacted was listed on one of the linked sites.

I think she's going to get another cage ASAP, and then try to determine what to do.
post #14 of 14
Desexing bunnies is common over here, we have rabbit problems so maybe that's why (it's illegal to own them in some states.)

Usually fixed at 4-6 months, and just like male cats, boy rabbits can still impregnante a girl for at least a month after surgery.
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