You’ve heard the phrase “breed like rabbits”. It’s not exactly a good thing. In fact at SaveABunny, we know just how counter-productive a rabbit’s skill at reproduction can be – we save the cute, yet unwanted consequences from shelters every day. This is the main reason we neuter all our rescues, and recommend neutering for all pet rabbits. But there are other reasons, too – ones that other kinds of pet owners don’t have to worry about.
When I got my first rabbit, Ellis, from SaveABunny a few months ago, he was already nuetered – and he’s extremely well-behaved. Of course, I didn’t have anything to compare him to until I got my second bunny, Linda. She was just starting that obnoxious teenage phase when I got her, hormones raging. As social animals, rabbits go through developmental stages similar to the way dogs do, and if you’ve ever had an adolescent puppy (which I did, briefly,) you’ll understand how hard it is to train a young rabbit.
Let’s just say I’ve gone through a lot of stain remover since I got her. I’ll admit I’ve also been kind of lazy about following the training guide and doing it properly. But I got her right before Thanksgiving and the whole holiday season just makes me want to hide away in a dark closet and drink. No excuse though. I’m just a mediocre bunny-keeper. But the point is that rabbits are harder to litterbox train before they get neutered no matter how mediocre or determined you are.
Plus, female rabbits have a distressing tendency to get cancer if they’re not neutered. It’s the downside of that amazing ability to produce offspring.
Linda finally had her spay appointment yesterday, which means 1. I’m really excited to see if she’s easier to train now, and 2. I can tell you how it went so you’re prepared when you take your bunny in. Girl bunny, of course. Can’t tell ya how it went with Ellis, cause I didn’t know him then.
Firstly, the vet asked me to stop feeding her at 10 the night before. I then totally forgot to take the hay out of her pen and when I came out in the morning, she was munching away. After some cursing, I called the vet to see if it would be ok, and she said they could just do her last and it would be fine.
UPDATE: As it turns out, rabbits should NOT be fasted before surgery. If your vet, (or veterinary assistant, in my case,) tells you to fast your rabbit, it would be a really good idea to let them know, and maybe start looking for a new vet. Thanks to our readers for commenting on this and letting us know! But back to the story.
So I dropped her off, declined the vet’s offer to tell me exactly what they were going to do to her in the procedure (sorry, in retrospect it would have been nice for this blog, but I hadn’t eaten yet, and I’m not super functional mentally before 11), and went to work. They called me after lunch to tell me it had gone well and that she was fine. Yay!
When I picked her up after work, they gave me some pain meds for her and said to make sure she is eating and pooping.
Pain meds: What the – they sort of look like syringes but they’re oral? I was pretty certain these were a terrible idea and she would never go for it, but apparently metacam is delicious and giving it to her was really easy.
The only real problem was that when I brought her home, Ellis decided she was no longer cool enough to be his friend now that she was missing an internal organ, and started chasing her around and biting her. Soooo yeah. Had to keep them separated for a few days. They’re mostly friends again now though. Note to self: take advice of blog comments! I should have stuffed him in the carrier with her and made him spend the day at the vet, too, then at least they would both smell equally funny to each other.
So, Linda is doing well, she has a funny shaved spot on her belly and a big ugly scar, but time is especially good at healing those kinds of wounds. I’ll let you know if her manners improve.
One last thing though. At SaveABunny, we spay and neuter all of our rescues, and that bill adds up fast. Really fast. But by doing it, we help make sure shelters everywhere end up less crowded. We have a whole slew of new rabbits that we’re scheduling appointments for, so if you can help out, please donate! Even small amounts make a big difference. Thanks!