Post Surgical (Neuter) Instruction for Rabbits Print This Page
Major Surgery Was Performed on Your Companion Rabbit
When your pet leaves the clinic, you, the caretaker, play a vital role in the healing process. It is your responsibility to take the necessary steps to insure your rabbit a speedy recovery. Take your companion rabbit straight home after surgery in a carrier with a towel, and put him/her in a quiet, warm environment.
FOOD and WATER
Offer fresh water, a bit of fresh parsley or cilantro, rabbit pellets and hay immediately. Rabbits are not fasted before or after surgery as they cannot regurgitate and must have food in their digestive systems at all times. Males will usually eat the same day, while females may not eat on their own until 24 or more hours after surgery. IMPORTANT: your rabbit must eat something, if only a nibble or two, to keep the digestive tract moving. After 48 hours of anorexia the rabbit’s digestive tract will start to shut down and she will likely not survive.
RESTRICTIONS during RECOVERY
Keep your companion rabbit confined indoors in a bathroom, exercise pen or large crate and completely quiet for at least 7 days. Do not pick your female rabbit up unless absolutely necessary. Do not bathe your rabbit. Do not allow her to run about.
Wait at least 14-21 days, depending on your rabbit’s speed of recovery, before introducing him or her to other neutered rabbits. A male rabbit may be fertile for up to three weeks after the neuter and may not bond with other rabbits for up to two months after the neuter (it takes awhile for testosterone levels to drop).
MONITORING your RABBIT for COMPLICATIONS
Check the surgery site daily. After your male rabbit is neutered, the scrotum may swell with fluids; this is generally nothing to be overly concerned about. After your female rabbit is spayed, check her surgery site daily by lifting her front paws gently and peeking underneath.
Contact the veterinarian who performed the surgery if any of the following occur:
● the rabbit is chewing at the incision
● the incision opens, becomes painful, or has a discharge
● the rabbit has not started to eat after 24-36 hours
● the fecal pellets are soft or the rabbit has diarrhea
● the rabbit looks depressed, will not move, or seems weak
Do NOT attempt to medicate the rabbit yourself. Human pain medications can be fatal to other animals.
In some cases, there will be external metal stitches to remove. Contact the veterinary clinic where your rabbit was spayed or neutered to have them remove the stitches 14-21 days after the surgery was performed. Do not attempt to remove stitches yourself as a rabbit’s skin will easily tear.