BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > dougal getting neutered and lady friend question!
Last Post by BB at 11/14/2006 10:37 PM (3 Replies)
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User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
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11/11/2006 9:23 AM
i haven't been on for a while - busy times - but i've booked dougal in for his neutering on tuesday 14th - i hope he will be ok! he is staying with my mum and going to the harpenden vet and my sister will then be able to stay with him for a few days whilst he recovers (not that i'm an overbearing mother or anything!)

i also wanted to ask - if i get him a little lady friend - does she have to be spayed or will she be ok until she is old enough to be spayed?

i have the option of getting a chocolate coloured 1 year old nonspayed mini lop from a rescue in greenwich, basically the only rescue in london that doesn't do house checks, and there are none close enough to do checks so they won't give me a 2nd bun otherwise. the other option is to go to one of our "garden centres" where they have some baby buns...

i'm unsure which way to go but the rescue couldn't tell me anything at all about the chocolate lop which i thought a bit odd - so i don't know whether she has any problems with health etc or emotional issues, whereas with a baby i'd be able to mould it more to the situation of being a house bunny with dougal (i think the chocolate lop was an outdoor bun)... i'm just a bit worried by not knowing anything about it...

so now i have decisions to make. this bunny stuff can be very complicated and of course, dougal has to like the new addition!

good luck to all the other bunnies getting done at the moment, and wishing you a pleasant rememberance day!

User is Offline qzobevmama
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11/12/2006 4:41 AM

i don't know where you live but...

i'm in northern california and i can tell you how we do things here.  i am a volunteer w/rabbit rescue so here is what we tell people when we educate them.

after a bun is neutered, it takes 4-6 weeks for the testosterone to go away.  during that time the bun can father a litter.  so if you get a non-spayed female before the 6 weeks postop, you will need to keep them in separate homes.  and remember that they can get pregnant thru the pen, depending on what type you have.  but you would want them close enuf so they can see & smell each other.  the safest thing would be to have the pens about 6 inches apart (i like to put in a board or something so that they don't rearrange the pens closer to each other.  this wouldn't be an issue if you have them in cages).

also, our bunz get antibiotics for 5 days after surgery, and for boys i like to give them pain medication the first night, and for a day or 2 after that depending on how individual bunz are doing.  this would require either you get the meds from the vet or get a prescription to take to a pharmacy.  i don't know what the practice is where you are, but this is what we do to prevent postop infections.  plus, you have to make sure that the bun is eating/drinking and thus peeing/pooping within 12-24 hours after surgery.  and they do this much more quickly if they have pain meds on board.  pain obviously causes stress, and stressed bunz don't eat.

keep in mind, also, that the bun needs to keep eating all the way up to surgery time.  it's not like dogs, cats & people.  bunnies must keep their digestive tracts moving along, they don't vomit so they have to keep eating.  do not take away food & h2o from him.  if you have a vet that tells you you must fast the bun before surgery, find another vet.  you need a rabbit savvy vet; rabbits are totally different from dogs & cats and their medical needs are completely different also.  currently, the best anesthesia is isoflurane, a tad more expensive but much safer for the bun.

i don't know what the situation is w/the girl bun that's in rescue.  if she needs to be rescued right away and you can do it, that would be a wonderful thing for her.

ideally, tho, to introduce a second bun we recommend that the first bun be completely recovered from the spay or neuther (6 weeks in the case of dougal) before bringing in another bun.  the process we use for matchmaking takes time, and oftentimes it takes much trial & error to see which bun dougal will bond with.  we "drive" potential matches around in a cart (neutral territory and also the new situation helps them to turn to each other for comfort).  if that goes well, we put them together in a big area with the family to see how it goes.  if that doesn't work, we try a different bun.

however, that is ideal and where you are that may not be possible.  so then you would have to introduce them slowly & gradually.  i suggest you check out house rabbit society's website for tips:

best to you and dougal!  if you have more questions please give a shout.  8-)

User is Offline qzobevmama
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11/12/2006 4:47 AM

p.s.  i forgot to mention, if the female is a year old she is old enuf to be spayed (keeping in mind pre- and post-op care as above, if applicable).  if she is in good health, of course.  once she has the surgery then she obviously can't have any babies so dougal wouldn't be able to get her preggers.  you would still need to keep them separate until they have both recovered from their surgeries.  then you could start slowly introducing them and get that process going, you wouldn't have to wait the 6 weeks for dougal to be sterile.  8-)

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
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11/14/2006 10:37 PM

You sure are right about bonding being complicated!

Another reason to make sure the female is spayed before introducing is because of the territorial reasons.  Even if Dougal doesn't care about territory, her hormones, as a non-spayed female may drive her to be possessive.   So this would be something you would have to watch for.

If the rescue group just got the lop in they may still need time to assess her personality and habits.   Are they planning on spaying her before they adopt her out?

I also caution you with the assumption that a baby bunny will be easier to bond with Dougal.  Baby bunnies will usually get along while they are babies,  but as soon as they reach sexual maturity, it can all change.   I can't tell you how many times I have seen this happen, where they bunnies were completely blissful, the baby reaches sexual maturity, turns out to be a bossy feisty teen/adult, and picks a fight over territory and hierarchy issues.  OR, the original adult bunny, smelling the new "change", is not happy with this and can pick a fight.  And they become fast enemies.

So there is no guarantee that a baby will get along in the future.

Is there a way you can take Dougal to the rescue group and do bunny dates?   I mean do they have other bunnies for Dougal to check out?


BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > dougal getting neutered and lady friend question!