Not every owner knows, but it's a good idea to sterilise your rabbit. The main argument is to ensure your rabbit doesn't, well, breed like rabbits, but there are a number of other health reasons as well.
Before deciding whether to sterilise your rabbit or not, it's important to research details about the operation, cost, benefits, and recovery process for your rabbit.
Sterilisation, what is it?
Sterilisation is an irreversible surgical act that removes the reproductive organs of the animal - in this case, the rabbit's ovaries / uterus (female) or testes (male).
The cost of the operation usually depends on the vet, but allow for approximately £120 for a female and £70 for a male.
Why sterilise your rabbit?
Unlike other domestic animals, rabbits do not have a defined breeding season so can procreate at any time - or "breed like rabbits".
If you choose not to sterilise your rabbit, and if you choose to have it reproduce, this can be done frequently. However, if you do not wish your rabbit to reproduce, sterilisation is recommended to curb the abundant and constant flow of hormones. This can help to reduce stress and frustration in your animal.
In fact, the animal's frustration should not be taken lightly as it can lead to depression, phantom pregnancy, and other poor health symptoms. Additionally, sterilised rabbits are calmer and more peaceful, so if you have two rabbits who are aggressive towards one another, sterilisation can help improve their relationship.
Sterilisation is also beneficial to female rabbits as they are prone to uterine or endometrial cancer.
It is recommended to sterilise your rabbit after six months once they are more developed to cope with the procedure.
How to take care of your rabbit after the operation?
After your rabbit's operation, there are some things you will need to do help your rabbit make a quick and full recovery.
Above all, it is vital to ensure they are regularly eating and defecating. If your rabbit does not eat, try feeding them yourself as they may feel too weak to eat alone. This is crucial as rabbits have complex digestive systems and need to eat very regularly.
Plenty of love and care, fresh food and water, and gentle handling will be required. Your vet will also be able to guide you in best managing their recovery.
The well-being of your rabbit will be greatly improved following sterilisation. Although there are some risks associated with the sterilisation procedure itself (normal risk of anaesthesia, complications, etc), it is a common procedure for vets and the benefits are proven for domestic rabbits.
Did you know about the health benefits of rabbit sterilisation?