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The Pros And Cons Of Spaying Female Pet Rabbits

What are the arguments for and against spaying female pet rabbits?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: May 27, 2009 7:30 p.m. EDT

Q: I was wondering if I should spay my female rabbit. She is healthy, but she is starting to get aggressive. What should I do? Is it necessary to spay a female rabbit? What are the pros and cons?
A: These are great questions. In my opinion, all female pet rabbits should be spayed. Real statistics are hard to come by, but likely at least 50 percent of female rabbits will develop cancer of the uterus if they live long enough. This is 100 percent prevented by spaying. Why would anyone who is not going to breed a rabbit, wish to keep the rabbit intact? This cancer, if not caught in time, is fatal.

Other benefits of spaying include less chance of territoriality and aggressiveness. Also, spaying prevents other uterine diseases as well as infection and aneurysms.

The cons are few. First, you cannot reverse your decision once the rabbit is spayed. So, your rabbit will not be able to breed. Second, a rabbit should be spayed by a veterinarian with experience in doing this procedure in rabbits. If this procedure is done incorrectly or the anesthesia is not monitored properly, serious complications can occur.

See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>

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Good luck with the rabbits.
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 6/18/2009 12:14:03 PM
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