Last Thursday, Steve and I took Bonnie to the animal hospital to be spayed. While we only take care of one female rabbit, it is incredibly important that she be spayed. Female rabbits run an extremely high risk of getting cancer in their uterus and ovaries.
Someone with a rabbit or common sense may read this post and wonder why I am updating this blog to specifically talk about Bonnie’s operation. The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of people who just don’t know. I can’t blame them, I didn’t know either when we found Bonnie. However, for future owners, I think it’s imperative to remind them of how important it really is, as I’ve spoken to a lot of people who said to me, “Oh I had a rabbit when I was a kid, and she got a tumor…” in response to this information.
Some important reasons to spay your rabbit:
- For a female, the number one reason is to prevent cancer in her ovaries or uterus. They can get cancer by as early as 5 years old, despite having expected life spans of 7-10 years or more.
- Unspayed rabbits are harder to train, and manage. Often they can unlearn some habits over time when they hit maturity.
- Spayed rabbits can live safely together. Bunny companions are a great idea, and down the road we may want Bonnie to have a friend to keep close by her side. Spayed rabbits are most likely to be friendly to one another.
Being already around 3, we knew we needed her to be spayed as soon as possible. With a lot of research, we found an animal hospital in Monroe, NJ, that not only had stellar reviews, but featured a doctor who specialized in “exotic” animals such as rabbits and other small companions. Another tip we heard from a co-worker with two small boy rabbits told us that with a membership to the House Rabbit Society, you could get a steep discount on what is normally a costly surgery. We ended up saving well over 100 dollars. I believe this was specific to this hospital, so check with your own local animal hospital for the opportunity.
So we took Bonnie in the morning, and we were immediately greeted by Dr. Hornstein, who was beyond kind to Bonnie and helped us feel reassured that she was in good hands. He explained that the surgery would involved a laser incision, where he would then removed her ovaries and uterus and check for any signs of beginning stages of cancer, and seal up with sutures from the inside. We left her around 9 am, and picked her up in the evening.
Taking care of Bonnie was both easy and hard post-surgery. We were given anti pain medication to give to her orally, which was fine at first, but by day 3, she was very hesitant to take her medicine and we struggled to give the medicine to her. A coworker recommended smearing the medicine on food your bunny may enjoy.
Some things to expect with a female bunny post surgery:
- Rabbits cannot throw up, so they do not need to eat before taking anti-pain medication.
- However its extremely important that your rabbit does eat. If it doesn’t eat, that is a sign that something may be wrong.
- A female bunny will heal by resting in the corner of her pen. She will probably not want to move much (nor should she), so be patient with her.
Bonnie is just starting to get back into her child-like groove in our apartment. The only problem is we miss some of her pre-spaying quirks, like her little honks. She also used to be obsessed with these red balloons, but she has been ignoring them since the surgery. She is still as bubbly and funny as ever, though. I’m just happy to know we will have the little lady for as long as possible.