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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Neuter question + dental work
Last Post by Beka27 at 9/01/2012 2:47 AM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Haymonster
16 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2012 12:00 AM

Hello all

My partner and I are having some trouble deciding whether or not to have our male rabbit, Dobby, neutered. None of the behavioural reasons for neutering - spraying, aggression, humping - seem to apply to him, as he's a very sweet bunny, with perfect litter habits and no sexual interest in his SPAYED female friend, Winky. 

I have read that the chances of testicular cancer are quite low, and seeing as Winky is spayed, and he's a house rabbit, so is unlikely to escape, population control doesn't seem to be a very strong reason for getting him spayed.

On the flip side, my partner has read that neutering can lower a rabbit's metabolism, which can lead to obesity. He's also worried that Dobby will lose his adventurous nature if he's been neutered. 

He has to go under anesthetic anyway, due to some dental work that needs to be done, but he would of course need to be under longer in order to perform the neuter. Anesthetic is also a risk to him.

So, all things considered (and maybe there's other factors that we haven't taken into consideration) is it worth neutering him?


He's also going under on Thursday for some dental work. This may be more of a wait and see kind of thing, but if anyone can tell me about their experiences with similar things, that'd be great.

We took him in today because he's been drooling a bit. He's had no other symptoms, but we thought he might have a mouth or dental issue. As it turns out, he has some pretty serious spurs on his back molars that need filing down/off. The vet also thinks that there may be other issues going on that she can't see while he's awake, but maybe once they get in there when he's under anesthetic, she might be able to see other problems. 


User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
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8/11/2012 2:59 AM
I had similar issues w/ my Lionhead, Leo.  He wasn't a humper & had no aggressions, he used the litterbox and overall was a great rabbit.  His bunny g/f was spayed so there was no worry of an oops litter.  He too had dental issues.  After weighing the options back & forth, we ultimately decided to neuter him.  You are correct risks of testicular cancer is low, however, w/ all sexes, breast tumors are high risk.  Our ultimate thought was that we would take care of the neuter to avoid any future, shoulda, woulda, coulda's.  We had him taken care of during 1 of his dentals.  Oddly enough we tried twice b/f to get him neutered.  The first time, he got an infection and couldn't go through w/ the surgery & the second time he had some excessive bleeding following the dental which made them not want to keep him under any longer than needed.  It's sometimes a tough call to make.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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8/11/2012 3:17 AM
Skunklionshow makes some good points. I would speak with the vet about his/her "comfortability" with neutering at the same time. If the vet is comfortable, and your bun is stable following the dental treatment, then I would go ahead and do it. Neutering is actually a very minor surgery, it's just a small incision in the scrotum. Spaying is obviously more invasive.

Although the cancer risks are small, life can take turns and you never know what the future will bring. You may end up acquiring or fostering another rabbit who is unspayed, and if both of your existing rabbits are spay/neutered, you can do so without worry.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Haymonster
16 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2012 3:37 AM
Thanks for the advice!

I suppose our main concern is whether it will alter his personality negatively, i.e., make him less adventurous. Did you notice a personality change in Leo after you had him neutered, skunklionshow?

We did discuss it with the vet today, and she's very comfortable with going ahead with the neuter if the dental work is minor. She discussed at length how if it's just seeing to the spurs that she needs to do (and not anything more serious) then she could do the neuter while he's under. If, once she gets in there and sees everything, she needs to do more than get rid of the spurs, then she thinks that he'll be under anesthesia for too long in one go and we'd have to leave the neuter for another time.

To be completely honest, if it were just up to me, I would go ahead with the neuter. My partner is quite conflicted about it, though, and I'd like us to make this decision together, with as much information as possible.

I'm also wondering about others' experiences with spurs, and whether this is something that is likely to be a problem for life (i.e., the spurs keep coming back) or whether it's something that, once seen to, is fixed.

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6568 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2012 7:45 AM
I do not think that fixing lowers bunny's metabolism. If your rabbit is on a consistently good diet, nothing should change. My girl has been spayed since she was 6 months of age and has always ranged around 4-4.5 pounds.

Of course, I have a female, who are at a high risk of getting reproductive cancer, so spaying became a procedure I wanted to get done as I want her to be with me for a long time She was A HUGE ball of hormones, so after her spay, she chilled out. It all depends upon the rabbit and how their personality is.
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User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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8/11/2012 9:34 AM
I like the sound of your vet's take on it. If it's going well then I would say to give her the OK to have it done then and there. My qualm was what she stated, which was if there was any kind of complication that may mean he's not healthy enough to withstand both procedures.

I wouldn't worry about his changing his nature. Part of his adventurousness is due to the hormones, but all bunnies mellow after about a year or two, even without a neuter. You may find that after getting him neutered, he is more predictible in his personality and less subject to erratic behavior brought on by hormones. It is so good for his health that I wouldn't worry about a radical change to his nature. Other factors apply, such as discomfort from his teeth, changes to his environment, the other bunny's moods and your own, weather conditions, etc. So I'd encourage you to give him the chance to be as healthy as possible, and be able to meet another companion someday without worry. He'll still be the same little guy you love now. And obesity is totally under your control. Feed him right, let him exercise and play and he won't get that way.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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8/12/2012 7:21 AM
Just curious how old your male is?
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1247 posts Send Private Message
8/13/2012 7:40 AM
We saw NO personality changes w/ Leo after the neuter.  He was an awesome rabbit, who loved people & life.  He was a great boy!  Leo had chronic tooth issues.  Our vet ultimately thought that he had a congental issue w/ his jaw and it was misaligned.  His teeth would not file down on their own, so we needed to constantly have his teeth trimmed (front & back).  My guy, eventually died of a tooth abcess that had gone into his jaw.  By the time I noticed it he was too far gone.  He died in my arms on the way to the vet.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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8/13/2012 7:51 AM
I have several rabbits now and several in the past who have had to have regular dental work done.

I had a rabbit named Pepe who had to have dental filings every 2 weeks - he eventually passed away due to an enlarged heart.

Two of my current rabbits, Bobby and Toffee have regular dental filings. Bobby lost all his lower molars due to an abscess and needs regular filings - he is about 4 years old. Toffee is 10 years old and for the past year has to have regular dental filings as well.

In my own experience, it seems that once rabbits have dental issues, it's always an issue.

User is Offline tanlover14
3385 posts Send Private Message
8/13/2012 5:25 PM
I have two baby boys -- both neutered -- and 5 months old and NEITHER got any less adventurous after their neuters. They are crazy and playful and always trying to find places to explore while at the same time climbing on top of everything. I don't think you have much to worry about in that department! Unless yours is totally different from my buns.

But another thing for your partner to consider is as he gets older (some buns are only this active during their baby/teenage years) and will likely get less active and crazy anyways..
 photo f7a948e4-51c5-4191-9c54-d543ef2be477_zps834141e2.png

User is Offline Haymonster
16 posts Send Private Message
8/25/2012 2:46 AM
Thank you everyone for your responses and advice!

We did end up getting him neutered. It all went very well and he's moving around normally etc.

As for how old he is, I'd put him at about 2 years, possibly older. He came to us as a very friendly stray last November, and grew slightly after that. We're not really sure if the "growth" was just him putting on weight after not being on a very good diet, or if he actually grew.

Thanks for the advice re: his teeth as well. I really hope that we don't have to deal with lifelong dental problems, but we will be taking him for regular teeth check-ups to make sure that he doesn't end up with serious issues. I worry about the stress of regular filings - mostly with the anaesthesia. Though of course regular filings are preferable to not being able to eat.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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8/25/2012 3:44 AM
Congratulations on having him neutered. I'm glad you had it done, since it takes that off the table as a future procedure, and you can have him around all other bunnies now without worry. His teeth may be ongoing, but I think only time will tell.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline tanlover14
3385 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2012 7:11 AM
Glad his neuter went well for you! And him!
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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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8/30/2012 1:17 AM
Happy to hear all went well.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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9/01/2012 2:47 AM
Glad to hear everything worked out! As far as the teeth are concerned, you know what to look for, so just keeping a close eye on him should help.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Neuter question + dental work

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