Castration of Rabbits – Care and Tips
Many of the people who decide to share their lives with a rabbit, picture a small “Drum” in their hallway, but are soon surprised to see that little hairy beast marking territory or biting as they pass by.
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To avoid this type of situation, in the Expert Animal we will tell you about the castration of rabbits , its benefits, some advice and the care it requires. Because of the convenience and health of your rabbit, castration is something you should consider necessary.
Why is it necessary to castrate a rabbit?
- Upon reaching sexual maturity, it begins to manifest dominance and marking of territory . This means that it can become aggressive (riding the owner’s legs, biting, bumping into the ground over and over again with hind legs and making distinctive sounds), urinating around every corner of the house, and being more nervous than usual in them.
- At 6 months of age, we usually see some sign that it has reached “puberty” and it is advisable to perform the surgery as soon as possible. After the surgery, the hormones still take a few weeks to disappear from the blood, so you can continue to act that way for a little longer. The ideal age for castration is between 6 and 8 months .
- Rabbits are very sensitive to stress . Fainting is often seen after intense exercise or exertion. For example, many breeding males disappear seconds after mating. Having our rabbit in constant alert, waiting a moment to reproduce or fight for territory, does not benefit in any way its stressful nature.
- Female rabbits suffer (as do bitches and cats) from the inevitable infections of the uterus . Its reproductive cycle is more like that of cats, with ovulation induced, and equally complicated. In addition to breast tumors, ovarian cysts that cause permanent cysts and lead to uterine infections.
- They can urinate all over the house when they are in heat, leaving their trail in case some interested male appears.
- An advisable age to castrate a female is between 6 and 8 months of age . They begin their reproductive function first, but their light weight and other peculiarities make it advisable to wait until half a year of life.
It is possible that before the surgery the veterinarian asks that his rabbit take a stimulant of intestinal motility. In other situations, it is injected into the intervention, but this is something that will depend on the preferences of the professional.
Why do they need a stimulant?
The anesthesia in all species slows gastrointestinal transit , but because of how peculiar is the large intestine of rabbits in them should be extremely careful about their proper functioning.
A fasting of only two hours is also required . It is a small animal, so we can not leave it without eating more time, moreover, without food intake there is no intestinal transit. Therefore, you should have access to water and food up to two hours before the intervention. Remember that the basis of your diet is hay.
Pay attention to…
If you notice sneezing, the presence of secretions in the eyes, or any other changes that do not seem too relevant, but out of the ordinary , you should communicate or take the animal to the clinic. Many diseases of rabbits that are “controlled,” or in a form that is called subclinical under normal conditions, can be aggravated by stressful situations.
Check with the specialist for any details you consider relevant.
Care after castration
After the intervention, it is essential that the rabbit returns to eat as soon as possible . While you are recovering, you will be offered fibrous food (hay) and water, and if you reject any food after a few hours, you will have to force something with a syringe. Sometimes baby fruit potsare useful when there is no chance of giving anything else.
Homemade trick to encourage them to eat
An alternative is to add three tablespoons of water to a handful of hay, a few strips of green pepper, and a small piece of apple in the shell, and mash until you get the juice from the mixture. This liquid contains plenty of fiber and nutrients, and often the rabbit just needs a little boost to whet the appetite and start eating alone. Giving it in small doses, this usually results to start eating. Some extra advice is:
- It is recommended that you stay in a quiet and safe place , for example in your transport box for a few hours. When you recover from anesthesia you may become clumsy and may get injured for not controlling your movements once you wake up, remember that there are still traces of sedatives in the body.
- We must avoid excess light and noise in recovery and avoid drafts that cool the place. The loss of temperature is something that is controlled a lot during the surgery, and even when they are already awake, it is necessary to keep watch in the hours after.
- In the following hours, we must verify that there is formation of urine, of hard and soft stools . Often we do not see rabbits ingesting their fluffy stools, but it is important to control them within two days after surgery.
- Sometimes the vet may recommend a probiotic . It promotes rapid restoration of intestinal flora and correct motility. It is usually pleasant to take for them and it may be advisable to prolong your intake for another 4 or 5 days after the intervention.
- Rabbits, like their fellow herbivorous horses, do not tolerate pain well, so the veterinarian will prescribe a painkiller for a few days after surgery. It is usually given orally, it is complicated to mix a medicine with hay.
- Do not forget that the males will continue to be fertile for a few days , and the hormones will be high for a few weeks. Therefore, they will continue to express this territorial behavior and sometimes, a little aggressive for a few more days. If you live with females, you have to separate them until you relax and you can no longer fertilize any female.
- Female rabbits that show signs of heat at the time of surgery (for example, if they have cysts and are in continuous heat) may continue to attract males a few days after the operation.
- The substrate on which both males and females are present is important, pressed paper pellets may be the best to avoid clinging to the incision of the scrotum (sac in which the testicles are), in the case of males, or the abdomen of the females. You should never choose to use cat litter, and it is not advisable to use strips of newspaper.
- You should check the incision every day and talk to your veterinarian about any changes you may encounter: bruising, swelling, redness, hot or sore spots …
Once the rabbit is back in its environment, its recovery will be much faster by leaving behind the stressful but fundamental experience of castration. These tips on castration in rabbits , their care and some advice can complement the indications that your veterinarian will give you.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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