Spaying (female) or neutering (male) your bunny provides many benefits.
1. Life expectancy is increased.
When your bunny is fixed, they have less chance of developing life-threatening cancers in their reproductive organs. Fixing your bun can lengthen their life span to 8-12 years!
2. Improves the overall health of your bunny.
We have one fixed bunny, our pet Acorn (pictured), and he is in perfect health. His chestnut coat is thick and glossy, and he has never been sick before.
3. Helps immensely with litter training.
Fixed bunnies are a lot better at litter boxes than unfixed ones. It is possible to have a tidy intact bun, but most bunnies' litter habits improve when they're fixed.
4. Reduces hormonal behaviors.
Bunnies begin certain hormonal behaviors when they become mature and want to breed. These include the males spraying and humping, females humping and nesting, as well as both genders going from a sweet bunny into a nippy, grouchy teenager. Fixing, while not guaranteed to remove all these behaviors immediately, helps them disappear over time.
5. Provides bonding ability.
Bunnies MUST be spayed/neutered to bond. Otherwise, you risk accidental litters or unwanted behavioral changes due to raging hormones. Your bun could be super friendly to its partner one day, and try to tear it apart the next. Therefore, it's VERY important to fix before you bond!
So now you've decided to fix your bunny, what's the next step?
First off, find a bunny-savvy vet near you.
Knoxville: Emory Animal Hospital is the best; Dr. Skelley loves bunnies and is very affordable! Callahan Animal Hospital is also a good option; Dr. Hilla is amazing!
Nashville: I recommend Grassmere Animal Hospital. Although expensive, they have the most bunny experience out of vets in that area.
If you're finding a new vet, here's some questions to ask and answers to expect.
1. How many bunnies do you fix compared to cats and dogs?
My vet sees bunnies nearly as much as cats, even though dogs still top the list.
2. At what age do you spay/neuter?
A good range for the youngest age is around 4-6 months for boys, 5-7 months for girls.
3. Does my bunny require fasting before the surgery?
NO. Bunnies cannot vomit so do not require fasting. If you are told to fast your bunny, please reconsider your vet choice.
4. What's your typical post-operative plan?
This should include rest and a quiet, smaller area. Some vets send home pain meds.
That's it! Good luck with your vet search and spay/neuter. Reach out if you have questions!