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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Not sure if I want to go through with the neuter....
Last Post by jerseygirl at 10/09/2012 1:23 AM (28 Replies)
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User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2012 6:41 PM

I don't know how to NOT make this long.


I've scheduled Boon's neuter for Sept 24th and I am freaking out about it, keep wondering if I should cancel.



As some of the regulars may already know, I had a dwarf bunny die during a routine neuter surgery last October, but it was performed by a vet who was not well experienced with rabbits, and he didn't intubate. 

Now I have Boon, who I rescued as a baby and he has intermittent Snuffles, chronic slow gut motility and has experienced full blown bloat (GI stasis) at least once every 2-3 months and he is one month shy of being 1  year old. He is on Bene-Bac every other day and a strict diet and this seems to help keep him from having another bout of Stasis. I try to stay away from the motility meds unless he is in full blown Stasis, and, as a last resort he has had to have an enema once. It saved his life. It was his worst bout, some months ago during a molt. He's been okay since but very sensitive to stress and diet.


He and my spayed little girl Phenom are totally in love. They kiss through each other's pens which are next to each other, he ... sprays her a lot... and their 3 story condo is built and ready for them to move in as a couple... but Boon needs neutered first.

My local rabbit wise vet, during his last bout of bloat which occurred in Springtime during a molt, advised against neutering him because of how sensitive his gut motility is. She said if I insist, she can refer me to an exotic pet specialist, but she doesn't feel comfortable doing it.

So we made the several hour drive to this famous exotic pet vet. He has an ego, an attitude and I don't trust him. He appears on TV a lot and seems more concerned with money and image than anything. He is very condescending. We spent almost a thousand dollars getting tests and procedures done on Boon, all which came out normal, except his blood serum albumin was slightly low, and I asked if that was okay, and the exotic vet said it was fine and from his gut problems. I am not even sure why all of these procedures were necessary (bloodworks, xrays/images/interpretations/, fecal cultures, etc etc)....In fact this vet wanted all this done at the same time as Boon's neuter and scopes and an overnight stay all paid for up front!!!!!  talk about stressing out a bun, I was NOT going for that! I told the exotic vet that would be too much stress, I don't think Boon would survive it. The exotic vet laughed at me and said, no, it would be too much stress for *me*. Ugh.

So we opted for the tests first and then consider the neuter later. All tests came back fine all for the exotic vet to say, "Give him more hay." Well, I'd already been doing that!!! That's all stuff I'm already doing. (and, I personally found that Bene-bac every other day seems to have kept him bloat free since June ). Also, he RX'd Baytril for his occasional bouts of Snuffles which did nothing.

Exotic vet said he would neuter Boon, just make sure he is not in a molt or a bloat at the time of neuter. Easy enough. But the ride there alone is so far away, that it stresses Boon out. Any little bit of stress and his gut just slows way down.

Exotic vet also said Boon's sexual frustration could be stressing him out and contributing to his upset stomach. This is entirely possible as Boon really works himself up... (although the exotic vet also really likes my hundreds of dollars of debt that I went into just for him to tell me to keep doing what I'm already doing   and really really wants to squeeze the last drop out of me for Boon's neuter)

Unhappy with this vet's attitude and invasive protocol, I consulted with a SECOND exotic vet via the phone, sent all medical records to him. This "other" exotic vet said he'd neuter Boon no problem, he said he's "so good at it" that he doesn't even need to intubate his rabbits. That didn't go over well with me considering my last little boy died during his neuter surgery of respiratory failure because he was not intubated.

So.................... I went back to my local rabbit wise vet who loves bunnies, neuters them once a week every month, is recommended by the small animal rescue shelter that I volunteer for, and told this vet that I just didn't know what to do. I told her I trust her because she actually cares about the animal, not just the money and ego trips. I told her I trust her because she knows Boon's history so well. I told her all that happened with the exotic pet vets. She was a little appalled to say the least at them. She said if those docs are willing to neuter him, then she can too, as she does intubate and uses gas and her techs are rabbit savvy....just make sure he is not in a molt or a bloat that day, and she will examine him prior to the surgery as well.

A week later, one of the smaller rescue buns she did a spay for died of complications (the vet accidentally tied her ureters instead of her fallopian tubes). Apparently this is the first time it's happened in forever, and I know spays are much more difficult, but now I'm totally freaked out.


so Boon is scheduled for his neuter for September 24th with our local rabbit wise vet that we trust, and I am a COMPLETE AND TOTAL NERVOUS WRECK about whether or not I should go through with this. I tried to write Dana Krempels for her opinion but she is on vacation til Sept 1. In one way it would be such a relief for Boon to stop being so frustrated and spraying everywhere and aggressive, and he and Phenom can live hoppily ever after together in their new condo...but on the other hand I'm afraid that maybe our vet's original opinion is right, that he shouldn't be neutered (even though, after seeing his medical records and talking to me a second time, she changed her opinion and is now willing to do it and it's scheduled).


Thoughts?? What would you do?


User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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8/30/2012 12:57 AM
I can certainly understand why you are having doubts. You've dealt with a lot with losing your baby and with Boon's problems.

It's very frustrating and sad when you can tell that a vet is more interested in the money than the animals. I've been there. People like that should stay out of the veterinary field.

While we can give advice here, the decision is ultimately yours. That being said, I think that I would go through with the neuter but I would definitely get pre-neuter blood work done right before just to make sure nothing has changed and he is healthy enough for the procedure. It does worry me some that your vet made a mistake during a routine spay. This is the same vet you have an apt. with for the neuter?

I do think Boon will be happier neutered and it may, indeed, help relieve some digestive problems if they are due to hormonal stress.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2012 8:41 PM
It worries me too about the routine spay - to answer your question, yes, this is the same vet who will be neutering Boon. Incidentally, she is also the same vet who spayed Phenom without complication (and Phenom is TEENY weeny tiny!). After y baby boy died during a routine neuter last October with a completely diff vet, I have done research and I personally find that there are no differences in protocol between the exotic pet vets and my local rabbit wise vet - in fact Boon/Phenom's local rabbit wise vet is one of three rabbit savvy vets who work in the same vet hospital, with several other vets who have their personal "interest" - for example, some of the vets at that hospital prefer to see birds, some prefer to see rabbits, some prefer cats and dogs. Myself, and the owner of the local rescue that I volunteer for, has built up a good rapport with these rabbit wise vets and have had great experiences with them. The only differences I've found between our local rabbit wise vets and the exotic vets is that our local rabbit wise vets actually care about the bunnies and are not at all concerned with ego, image, and excessive invasiveness. Oh I guess they also don't have that "exotic specialty" label under their veterinary medicine degree either. They just love seeing bunnies at their practice.

I do not understand why now, all of a sudden, the vet that we trust, the vet that cares about buns, the vet that we usually take our special needs and tiny buns to, made such a completely BAD mistake with a routine spay, ending the little bun's life quite painfully. (and recently - my luck or lack thereof strikes again)?

I agree that a neuter would relieve a lot of Boon's sexual frustration and stress, in fact would make him a very happy boy to move into a 3 story condo with his lover, hehe.
But then I wouldn't know whose poop is whose, who is eating most the pellets (may have to have small but frequent separate feeding times through out the day).

I don't think I'm going to cancel. I am, however going to request that bloodwork and thorough exam be completed before he goes through with it. When Phenom was spayed there, I was amazed at how well taken care of she was - they wouldnt let her go home with me until she ate something. So I spent 8 hours waiting for them to come out and tell me she nibbled on a carrot. Her incision was perfect, both stitched and glued, although the tech nicked her skin when shaving her fur and so they medicated it. Other than that, no complications, but she also lost her appetite for a few days. This is where I get nervous with Boon. His appetite slows down and he is in trouble.

Though I've heard boys usually don't lose their appetite as often as girls do after getting fixed bc they are in less pain?

Also, I wonder what veterinary-error risks are associated with neutering as opposed to spaying? (e.g., in spaying the ureters may be tied together instead of the fallopian tubes. what kind of errors can a vet make in a male neuter?)

These are all questions I'll ask my vet, and I will also keep you updated on when I write to Dana Krempels, but if you happen to have any advice, it's greatly appreciated.... I really appreciate you discussing your personal thoughts with me. I'm a bit back and forth but haven't cancelled yet as Boon is doing pretty good lately... 


Do you think I should write to BB herself? I have soken to her on the phone before, she is so compassionate and helpful (As are you, LPT). You both are very kind and helpful to me.





User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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8/31/2012 10:08 PM
I am confused... is her version of a spay to tie the tubes? A regular spay should be removal of the uterus and the ovaries, so there is no issue with hormones as well as no uterine cancer... hmm.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/01/2012 1:53 AM
That's good that you are going to get an exam and bloodwork done beforehand.

Yes, it's true that most boys don't take as long to recover as females and my boys were pretty wiling to eat after their neuter. However, anesthetic can cause tummy upset in some buns and messy poops are common for a day or so after any surgery. I would definitely have a good supply of Critical Care handy for after the neuter, just in case he is unwilling to eat. With his GI history, even if he's eating veggies but no hay, I would still give the minimum daily dose of CC to make sure he's getting plenty of fiber.

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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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9/01/2012 2:56 AM
Posted By Monkeybun on 09/01/2012 01:08 AM
I am confused... is her version of a spay to tie the tubes? A regular spay should be removal of the uterus and the ovaries, so there is no issue with hormones as well as no uterine cancer... hmm.

I'm confused by this too.  I've never heard of fallopian tubes being "tied", the ovaries and uterus is removed completely so there are no eggs to go down the fallopian tubes, AND no uterus for implantation.  The cancer risk is only eliminated by complete removal of both the ovaries and uterus.

I'm actually less concerned about the upcoming neuter than I am about the "spay" that was already completed.  Can you clarify this for us , please?

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
9/08/2012 2:26 PM

LPT - thanks for the rec. I definitely am stocked up on the CC. I told his vet, the one who will be doing his neuter, that I was concerned about his nutrition since his bloodwork came back with "slightly" low blood serum albumin. This is because he doesn't eat as much when his tummy hurts, obviously, and I also think his hay is so high in fiber that it's not high enough in protein. He gets a half of a 1/4 cup of Oxbow pellets 2-3 times daily (and so does Phenom), the rest is hay and occasionally veggies.

The vet recommended I add in some Alfalfa a few times a week to try and increase his protein. Good idea. but not to overdo it as he just turned a year old this month  I hope this will also give him a good boost of nutrition before his big day. He's been getting his daily Bene-Bac too.


Good question regarding that spay. The shelter owner MAY have made a typo when she explained what had happened. When everyone asked, she said "Unfortunately the vet at her spay two days ago accidentally tied her ureter... " ---- I'm wondering if she meant cut her ureter?


I'm pretty sure I asked this vet if she was able to "get everything out" with Phenom and she said yes. But yeah, this warrants more questions. I'm a bit of a pest to the reception at this vet's office, but I'll ask anyway and willlet you guys know. Also, I think Dana Krempels might be back from vacay, so will write her too.



User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/09/2012 2:52 AM
I would definitely inquire further. Sometimes I feel I'm a bit of a pest too at my vet's office. Bunnies are so sensitive that it's normal to want to be extra cautious.
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User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
9/09/2012 4:24 PM

Unsurprisingly, the vet's office wouldn't let me inquire about the unfortunate little girl whose ureters got either tied or snipped on accident. However, it is confirmed that Phenom's ovaries and uterus has been completely removed, so I'm hoping to chalk this one up to perhaps the rescue owner misunderstood the vet regarding the ureters, or made a typing error when explaining what had happened. I am walking on eggshells at this time. Been calling excessively. Should probably take a break.

However, during my next appointment with her, I'm going to ask her and maybe she might then tell me, since we'll be face to face and in private.


will keep you all up to date...


User is Offline LBJ10
5058 posts Send Private Message
9/09/2012 5:13 PM
Isn't the ureter the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder?

User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
9/12/2012 6:39 PM
In theory, yes, and hopefully the rescue owner just misunderstood the vet when the vet meant to say snipped it instead of tied it

User is Offline Stickerbunny
3230 posts Send Private Message
9/12/2012 7:22 PM
My vet had some concerns about my boy being neutered as well due to age and muscle weakness from being cage bound with no exercise for so long. I waited on his surgery due to that. Sexual frustration did make bonding impossible though and would cause tummy issues in him (bad droppings) when he got too much of a sniff of Stickers (my female, spayed). So it is possible that stress is lending a bit to his tummy issues.

Powder made it through ok and is now a totally healthy, happily married bun. However, there were some issues during recovery. He refused water for three days, leading the vet to have us dropper water into him for hydration. He did eat, but only a small amount of greens and his pellets were of little interest for a week. So for me, my boy was a much slower recovery than my girl, so the vets concern for him was warranted. I am glad it was done though because the stress he suffered knowing his girl was there but untouchable did bother him and he is much happier with her (even with all her bullying ways). But given your boys health my recommendation is have all medicines ready, critical care on hand and be sure your vet will be available for questions / someone is available in case of emergencies. Likely you wont need it, but best to be prepared since your vet had concerns.

I am not trying to scare you, most likely your boy will be fine. Just wanted to share my experience with my boy since he was deemed riskier than normal by our vet.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
9/13/2012 2:51 AM
I would not go back to the vet that made a fatal error last time, as well as said she is not comfortable doing it.

I know the guy was expensive and you didn't get along with his ego, but frankly if he was the closest exotic vet around, I'd go to him. Your current vet sounds awful, they wont talk to you about their screw up and probably aren't even trained in exotics.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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9/13/2012 3:03 AM
I can understand why they won't discuss someone else's rabbit with you - vet offices should not be discussing other people's pets with you just like you wouldn't want it discussed about your pets with other people - perfectly understandable - it's a privacy issue and quite frankly starts rumors that may or may not be the truth. And it is best to discuss it upfront with the vet and find out what really happened if she is inclined to discuss it with you.

At that time then you should discuss your concerns about your own rabbit and she can help you figure out the pro's and con's on neutering him at that time.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
9/13/2012 3:06 AM
Oh I apologize, I thought it said it was the same vet who had an issue with her bunny previously.

But on another note, Alfalfa over 1 wont hurt the bun, it'll just make him fat if its the only hay fed. My girls get a bit of alfalfa mixed in with theirs on occasion.

User is Offline Brandy
30 posts Send Private Message
9/13/2012 5:19 AM
That is a hard choice, but I think the neuter will make him feel much better. It sounds like they probably niped the tiny tube that runs from kidnies to bladder. While unfortunate, I can see how it could easily happen. It is in the same membrane as the reproductive organs, so they have to cut along it to get the ovaries and uterus out. Perhaps the rabbit had slightly off anatomy- no one looks like a text book on the inside. Unfortunately even with good surgeons there is still a degree of art in the science.

As for the alfalfa, 5 out of my 6 get it occasionally as adults. Sophie can't have it because she tends towards sludgy urine. Becky gets it daily because I have a hard time keeping her weight up, but she also gets oats, seeds, and extra fruit too.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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9/13/2012 7:21 PM
Oye! You have really been through the works. I would be as confused as you after all you have been through. You had said that Dana Krempels was on vacation until September 1st, but have you been able to contact her since? I wish I had something that would comfort you as I can see why something about each of the three vets makes you nervous The neuter date is still 10 days away, you have some time to think it over. I think it definitely is a smart move to talk to your vet directly about what happened. I know I am no help as though I know it would make it easier to you and his mate not to have to deal with behaviors such as spraying and so I hope that the neuter can happen, but I also know why, in your situation, neutering has been made more challenging,

Keep us updated - sending peace vibes for whatever decision you decide is best.

User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2012 9:23 AM
Hi everyone, and just can't thank ya'll enough for talking me through these few weeks.

Firstly - I have some bad news. Boon has been getting constipated daily for the last 4-5 days, but usually at nighttime after his benebac he starts pooping and eating again.AT FIRST I thought this was from the alfalfa hay - I mixed a bit in with his regular hay, and it seems like it really bound him up. NO MORE alfalfa for Boon.

But then the constipation issues never really went completely away....

I began to wonder if he is heading into a molt -
Petted him with a pulling motion and - yeah - Boon is heading into a molt.

GREAT. Not  


So not only did I have to stop the alfalfa, but he's barely eating any pellets. The goal was to put weight and nutrition on him this month so he can be strong for his neuter---- but the alfalfa was a bust and now he's freaking molting. Mildly, but molting.

His neuter is just over a week away, and, if he is still molting at that time, I have to reschedule. The bad news is that our vet only does neuters and spays on Monday mornings, where both my fiance and I are unavailable, so we had to do some serious schedule rearranging for the 24th, and now it's looking like that date is going to have to be pushed back. Worse, I've been waiting for Boon's surgery to be over with before I have a medication change for my seizures which always makes me sick. Time is not something that is on my side here.

How long shouldI expect him to molt? It's not like a full blow out - very subtle - but who knows, maybe it'll clear up by the 24th or maybe it'll go into full swing.

Heading over to the experts to write Dana now, will let you know what she says... 


I do think he needs to be neutered. He is spraying a lot, he hyperventilates and humps everything, and I'm hoping that a neuter will actually help his stress levels so that he won't have to deal with bloating as often as he does now.

Oh, about the vet who made the fatal error with the littl girl bunny - she did say she wasn't allowed to talk about that but that she said it can happen, not often but it can. she didn't say what kind of error she made... the info I got was from the owner of the bun. This vet spayed my little girl Phenom without any complications to speak of. The exotic specialist is not only 3 hours away and a jerk, he is only in this for the money - he doesn't lose sleep at night when he loses an animal I don't think. Boon's vet does. She cares, she trains her techs to be rabbit wise, she trains her office staff to tell people to not withhold food and water from the bun (whereas the exotic specialist office DID instruct us to do that - red flag!)---- she was just not readily able to talk about someone else's rabbit.
she is rabbit wise (maybe not an exotic specialist, but very rabbit wise) and I trust her. She did make a fatal mistake with the other woman's little girl but I'm pretty sure it's the first one in a very long time, and she spayed my little Phenom without complication and Phenom is tiny. Barely 3lbs.
The major issue I have when it comes to bugging her with questions is getting ahold of her - the secretaries/office staff. They're jerks and sometimes don't even tell her that I called or will brush me off as fast as they can. But she does always call me back. And I'm sure if I spoke to her in private, in person, she probably would tell me about what happened with the other woman's bunny spay - but she is a good half hour away, and I haven't been able to speak withher in private.

As for now... I'm wondering how long Boon's molt might last. I won't cancel until the last minute. If he is still in a molt and dealing with constipation on sunday, then, Monday morning I'm rescheduling.
But when should I reschedule for? A month? Not sure... and is it possible he may be over this mild molt before the 24th?

And if we reschedule, it's gonna be difficult with my fiance's boss to rearrange the schedule again (my fiance will have to beg co-workers to switch with him).

This sucks.




User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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9/16/2012 9:38 AM
Why can he not be neutered if he's shedding? Is this something your vet requires? I've never heard of this before.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Nova
219 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2012 2:33 PM

When he molts, his gut slows down significantly. Sometimes he gets a hairball. Boon suffers from chronic slow gut motility, which is why he is high risk, which is why I am so dang nervous over getting him neutered.


I am hoping getting him neutered will improve this problem among other issues he has.

Just want him to live through it

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