Rabbit Neutering and Spaying
Rabbit Neutering and spaying refers to the elimination of the reproductive organs, either all of it or a prominently large part of it. This practice is for male Rabbits whereas for female rabbits, the word spaying is used.
Care should be taken not to put male rabbits near female rabbits till after three weeks of getting them neutered as they can still have sperms in the ducts within the spermatic cord named as the vas deferens, that cannot be removed during surgery and the sperms can live up to two weeks.
The Neutering Age
The preeminent age to get either the female or male rabbit neutered is just before or soon after it reaches sexual maturity. The time of reaching sexual maturity and hence to get it altered essentially depends on the breed. This time can range from four to six months in the trivial to medium sized breeds and up to nine months in large breeds. Neutering rabbits younger than four months of age is not usually recommended as the surgery may be more challenging due to the size and the locus of the procreative organs.
Uterine and mammary gland cancers and diseases can be avoided if females are neutered before the age of two.
Healthier and Longer Life
Altered rabbits have been seen to have healthier and longer lives as they are not tempted to fight with other rabbits due to sexual aggressive behavior.
Altered rabbits will prove to be better friends with the owner as they are calmer, more affectionate, caring and reliable once the undeniable impulse to mate has been removed.
Prevention of Uterine Cancer
The most important scientific reason to neuter female rabbits is the prevention of uterine cancer which is reported to have reached to 80% in some populations of rabbits and is related to the genetic makeup of the breed. It is essential to take preventive measure of spaying as this cancer can rapidly spread to other body parts such as lungs, liver and also skin and once it is outside the uterus, it cannot be treated. So, it is best to get the female rabbit spayed before the age of two years since cancer is most likely after the age of two.
Prevention of Unwanted Kits
This is one of the most usual reasons of rabbit neutering, especially if both male and female pet rabbits are kept together. Breeding of rabbits just for fun or experience is not advised as latter there will be problems in finding caring homes for the kits, else the kits will suffer.
Altered rabbits will not add to the problem of rabbit overpopulation, especially since they reproduce quickly. These unwanted rabbits are usually killed or abandoned in fields, parks, or on the streets to survive on their own, where there are high chances of suffering from starvation, illness, and become an easy prey to other faunas or sometimes to traffic accidents. Also, these are sold without checking who the owner will be and what type of home will be provided to these. The dreadful state is when many of these rabbits are sold as snake food or as pets for small children who do not give them the care they need.
Avoidance of False Pregnancies
Female rabbits have a tendency to go into a hormonal state that is prompted by their ovaries where the female behaves as if she is pregnant but in reality, she is not. This can be demanding for the rabbit, although not dangerous medically, as she has to go through all the happenings of being pregnant which includes nest building, milk production and aggressive protection of her territory. The rabbit will be problematic to handle during this period and some rabbits facing false pregnancy will develop a reduced appetite and may have gastric turbulence as well.
Prevention of Urine Spraying
Sexually mature male and female rabbits can shower urine on upright surfaces in order to mark their territory. Mature males do this at least ten times more often than females. Also, the urine spray of a sexually mature male rabbit carries a strong odour that is spiteful to many humans. This behavior needs to be stopped from the start as it might be unstoppable after maturity. Therefore, it is advised to neuter them before or soon after they reach sexual maturity.
When sexually mature, both the doe and the buck have a tendency to show aggressive behavior. As babies, mostly the rabbits are sweet and fun to handle, but upon reaching the teenage at around six to twelve months of age, they can be problematic as they will avoid being picked up and will have an urge to destroy everything they come across. This aggression might be taken on the other cage mates. Neutering becomes essential to prevent such behavior.
Prevention of Mammary Gland (Breast) Disease
Although uncommon, yet the mammary gland cancer can be deadly and difficult to treat. It is usually associated with uterine cancer and is uncomfortable for the rabbit. It is best to get the female rabbit spayed before two years of age to avoid this condition.
Cost Savings in Long Run
Even though altering costs money, nevertheless one will save the volume of costs in the long run considering costs of genital and reproductive diseases or unwanted pregnancies as well as emotional disturbances to the owner if pet acquires a disease.
Avoidance of Myths
The owner needs to be aware of the myths that are present out there that might avert the owner from getting their Rabbit altered. These myths might include that altering makes the rabbit fat which is not true in reality; there is no effect on a rabbit’s well being if it altered at a young age.
One more myth that is essential to be repudiated is that neutered and spayed Rabbits become lazy; this is not true.
No aggressive changes in the Rabbit’s behavior occur as generally talked about; rather they become more calm and friendly.
In order to obtain healthy kits that possess desired traits and to prevent any complications, it is vital that special care is taken by the owner at each step of the breeding process.