The actual cost and fees to be paid for neutering or spaying surgeries vary widely. Rabbit owners report having been charged as little as $76 to as much as $600. Other places do not charge a dime. From responses throughout the United States, the average cost of spaying a rabbit is $273, while the median price is $205. We can comfortably say that it costs around $250 to fix a (female) rabbit.
The following sections are going to look at the nitty-gritty details of the procedures. Work your way until the end to know everything in and around the surgical fixes.
All About Rabbit Spaying/Neutering
There always comes a time in a pet parent’s life where they need to decide whether their pet will reproduce. If they feel that no more breeding should happen, it is apparent that they will consider spaying or neutering, depending on whether their rabbit is a doe or a buck. But hey – what exactly is this surgical and anti-sexual procedure?
Well, neutering or spaying are two sexual (or reproductive) surgeries for bucks and does, respectively. The primary purpose of getting a rabbit spayed or neutered is population control. The other reason is curbing unwanted behavior that is motivated by sexual hormones.
The question that titles this article is just one of the many in many rabbit owners’ heads. Other items interrogate the procedure’s safety, while others inquire about the cost and how the rabbit will respond. All the sections that follow from this point are guided by the FAQs posed by many rabbit owners. Read on.
The Surgical Details Surrounding Spaying And Neutering
As mentioned somewhere, spaying and neutering are reproductive surgeries. As you may already know, spaying is for female rabbits, and neutering is for male bunnies. Spaying is also known as an ovariohysterectomy. In the procedure, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and the rabbit’s uterus are taken out. Sometimes, not all the organs leave the body through the surgery. For male rabbits, neutering is performed through a procedure known as orchiectomy, where the vet surgeon takes the rabbit’s testes out.
After both the procedures get done, the rabbits cannot reproduce. When an ovariohysterectomy is completed, the female rabbit will stop going into heat since the surgery is a drawback to their sexual maturity. With the orchiectomy, the male rabbit will not hump at anything anymore. The heat times (when bunnies are sexually receptive) will die down.
Is Spaying Or Neutering Dangerous Or Painful?
While the rabbit may feel a pinch or pain during the neuter or spay surgery, a good vet will not let the animals or any other pet suffer before, during, and after the procedure. Before the vet sets themselves to do the surgery, they will give the rabbit some form of treatment to deal with the inevitable pinch or pain. The treatment may be a painkiller. Alternatively, the rabbit may be put under anesthesia. During the spay or neuter surgery of the rabbit, the anesthetic that is mostly used is isoflurane.
The anesthetic or painkiller will act on the pain by either dulling or erasing it. It would be cruel to do the surgery if the rabbit was conscious, so vets ensure that the doe or buck is first unconscious. This way, it won’t even feel the slightest discomfort. After the operation (post-op), the rabbit may feel some soreness or pain. That bit will be handled in a later section.
If you find a reputable veterinarian who will perform the neuter or spay surgery on your buck or kit, you have nothing to worry about in terms of danger and pain. While complications may arise, there is a slight chance of things going wrong. The following table captures the complications that you should aware of:
|Anesthesia sensitivity||Your rabbit may react to the anesthetic as if he were allergic to it. Some symptoms may follow, such as fever and joint pain.|
|Infection||The incision where the spaying or neutering was done may get inflamed, have pus, or become red.|
|Difficulty in breathing (nothing about COVID!)|
|Diarrhea or changes in the rabbit’s stool|
If your rabbit shows any of the symptoms tabulated above, you need to get them to the vet for emergency care. While urine leakage (one of the urinary issues) may not be considered a complication, it can be very problematic.
Above everything else and for your rabbit’s wellbeing, you need to ensure that the vet has experience in spaying and neutering rabbits, not just any other pet.
Can Pet Insurance Take Care Of The Surgery’s Cost
If you talked to a vet in your locality and found that the cost of doing the fixing surgery is way too high, you will find yourself at a total impasse. By that moment, you will strongly be leaning on the side that wants you to get your rabbit spayed or neutered. The only problem is that you don’t know how to meet the cost. When this happens, what do you do? Simple: you can always look into the pet insurance thing, and yes – it does exist.
Pet insurance is an excellent item to take off some of your shoulders’ financial weight if your pet has a severe illness or fatal injury or if it needs an expensive form of treatment. If you have any insurance of your own, you are familiar with deductibles, maximum payouts, premiums, copays, and waiting periods. All these concepts are applied in pet instance. If you haven’t signed your pet up for insurance, you can consider the following options:
2. Figo Pet Insurance
3. Embrace Pet Insurance
5. Pets Best
6. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation
7. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
A website like Pet Insurance Quotes should help you to get the pricing of the bulleted insurance options. Also, it will introduce you to other providers of pet insurance. Whichever option you pick, ensure that it covers the cost of neutering or spaying. This is because not all pet insurance companies will include it.
How Long Do The Neutering Or The Spaying Procedures Take?
As captured earlier in this guide, neutering or spaying your pets is very common. This also includes surgery for the bunnies. In that case, most veterinarians who do the procedure have it down pat. If the physical and history exam of your rabbit says that he or she is healthy enough, the spaying or the neutering surgery will take several minutes. This does not imply that the surgical fixes are minor surgeries. It will take less time than you may have expected.
The period that is likely to be longer is the pet recovery time or the post-op time. Don’t worry; we will address post-op care for a spayed or a neutered rabbit. Keep reading the guide.
The Reasons Behind Spaying Or Neutering Your Rabbit
Now that you know that the surgeries can be fast procedures, it is essential to understand why spaying or neutering is needed. On the one hand, the procedure has benefits, and on the other, there are a couple of downsides. Let us look at both of those hands (get it?).
There are so many reasons for getting your male bunnies neutered and their female counterparts spayed. They include the following:
1. Lower Cancer Development Rate – like many other pets, rabbits are susceptible to getting cancer. Some types of cancer that are likely to manifest in female rabbits’ lives include ovarian, uterine, and mammary cancers. If you spay your female rabbit, there is a great chance that she will not develop these cancers. On the other hand, there will be a reduced chance of getting testicular and prostate cancer for male rabbits.
2. There Will Be More Space And Room In Animal Shelters – rabbits reproduce frequently. If an animal shelter does not perform reproductive surgeries on rabbits, there will be a rabbit overpopulation. If the rabbits are fixed, there will be control and more space to take care of the existing rabbits.
3. Few Rabbits Will Get Euthanized – the previous reason introduces the problem of rabbit overpopulation. When there are too many rabbits anywhere, animal-shelter operators usually go for gruesome methods of taking down the figures, that is, by killing the rabbits. If any of the bunnies are neutered or spayed, there would be few kits. This means that there would be no overpopulation that can trigger euthanasia.
4. You Won’t Have To Take Care Of A Pregnant Doe – when a female rabbit gets pregnant, it means that her pet parent, who is you, will direct their attention (time) and money towards the nursing. Spaying will help you avoid giving special attention and making those frequent trips to the veterinarian.
5. The Rabbits Will Behave Better – sex hormones cause some of the aggressive behaviors exhibited by rabbits. The surgeries will rid the rabbit of these hormones. Then, you will not have your pet mounting, lunging, spraying, or boxing.
6. You Can Have More Rabbits – if you want to bring in a male bunny to be a companion for your female bunny, you first need to spay the female. This way, she will not get pregnant, no matter how much the male tries to mount her. They will have a good platonic relationship that will not bring about a litter epidemic.
So that the information is balanced, here are some of the caveats of getting your rabbit fixed:
1. Pre and post-op care – if you’re going to do this for the first time, you will most likely get worried. This is because complications that arise may lead to a fatality. But don’t be scared. The care section is coming right up.
2. The surgery is a health risk for old rabbits – if your rabbit is six years and over, it should not be subjected to the procedure. Spaying or neutering will be risky for such a rabbit since it has a shaky state of health. If you’re not sure about your rabbit’s cage, mentioned your concern to the vet to get their medical opinion.
3. The Process Cannot Be Reversed – if you ever want your rabbit to mate again, it will be too late. You cannot change a spay or neuter. It would be hilarious to think that the vet will put the missing parts back. If you want baby rabbits, you will have to buy another bunny that has not gotten fixed.
The Post-Surgery Situation
At this point, it will be assumed that your doe or buck went through the surgery successfully. Congratulations! When the fixing happens, you will need to administer post-op care for your neutered or spayed rabbit. To make the post-surgery period of recovery smooth, here are some of the things you need to do:
1. Ensure that your patient rabbit has enough food to eat. Once they are out of the immediate anesthetic effects, you need to start them off with light eating. If you can, get the hay, food pellets, and some herbs. You need to do close monitoring to know if the rabbit is indeed eating during this entire time.
2. As you monitor their feeding, make sure that they stay warm. You can get a bottle, fill it with warm water, and cover it with a mini towel. When you put it near the rabbit, they will respond by snuggling up to it. Avoid using any direct heat sources and electric blankets.
3. Since it is nursing the incision, avoid picking the rabbit up. This will keep them away from the pain and uncomfortably. Completely stay away from handling them as it will make the situation worse.
4. Be on the lookout for any post-op complications, and specifically, any infections. If there is bleeding, swelling, or redness, you could be looking at a brewing infection. This will require the intervention of a veterinarian.
5. If your neutered or spayed rabbit has a partner in its cage, you need to ensure that there is calmness. If the patient rabbit is being shown aggression or strong play by the other, you may need to separate them. These behaviors can stretch the rabbit’s muscles and open up the wounds.
6. Familiarize yourself with ileus. Ileus is a post-op complication of sexual surgeries that affects pooping. The rabbit may stop defecating for up to 36 hours. Since ileus can lead to a fatality, you need to consult a vet immediately.