Rabbits are adorable, but they do have a reputation for multiplying rather quickly. So, you may want to neuter them to avoid being overrun and taking on more than you can handle! But how much does it cost to get a rabbit neutered, and what do you need to consider in regards to the procedure? Here’s everything that you’ll need to know.
So, how much does it cost to neuter a rabbit? It can cost anywhere from as little as $75 to as much as $700 to get a male rabbit neutered. The average cost across the United States is about $205, according to consumer surveys. Other costs can crop up during surgery because some vets may wish to fix any other issues while your rabbit is under anesthesia.
Some vets may want to add other options that can drive the price up, such as full blood analysis or additional pain medication.
At the same time, digestive problems within surgery can also incur extra charges.
So, get your bunny’s health checked before and consider whether everything is really necessary before taking your rabbit in for surgery.
Now, neutering applies only to male bunnies – but if you have a female rabbit as well, you’ll want to consider spaying her.
Just so you know, neutering a male rabbit is roughly 10-25% less expensive than spaying a female rabbit: spaying is a more invasive procedure in females and therefore costs more.
Because of the cost and the possible complications, you’ll want to be as well informed as possible before booking your bunny in for an appointment.
Let’s look at all of the factors around neutering a rabbit.
Should You Get Your Rabbit Neutered?
Whether you should get your rabbit neutered depends on their age, health, and of course – if you ever wanted to breed them or not! That being said it is generally considered a useful thing to do with a number of benefits should a rabbit be able to successfully go through such a procedure.
There are several factors to consider if you want to decide if you should get your rabbit neutered.
Of course, first and foremost – you need to ensure your rabbit can get through the surgery.
Surgery is inherently stressful, and takes recovery – so they should be in good health and of the right age – but more on that later.
Here are some benefits of neutering your rabbit:
Fewer Behavioral Problems
Rabbits who have been neutered are less likely to engage in behavior that marks their territory, such as aggression towards other rabbits, mounting, or urine spraying.
A calmer and more social bunny. Without the stresses of sexual tension to deal with, your bunny can be easier to handle and more docile.
In addition, rabbits are social creatures, and they enjoy the company of other rabbits. They’ll get along with each other better if they’re neutered.
Easier Litter Box Training
Neutered rabbits tend to use their litter boxes more regularly, as they aren’t driven to mark territory.
Potentially fewer health issues. Neutered rabbits can run less of a risk of problems with their reproductive systems as they get older, notably testicular cancer. Reproductive cancers are apparently common in rabbits.
No unwanted pregnancies among the female rabbits. Baby rabbits are adorable, but you have to find homes for them, which can be easier said than done.
Although there are potential risks when neutering a rabbit, these can best be avoided by following your vet’s instructions before and after surgery.
There are, however, two myths around neutering that we want to address for you:
Myth 1: Rabbits Become Fat And Lazy After They’Re Neutered (Or Spayed)
Your bunny will not become a couch potato after neutering!
As long as your rabbit is eating well and exercising, their weight and activity levels will be as they were before.
It’s a lack of food and exercise that makes for overweight rabbits, not neutering.
Myth 2: Rabbits Become Less Friendly After Neutering
Your rabbit will still want your attention after surgery: the main changes you’ll see are in behaviors that come from sex hormones.
If you have a good bond with your bunny, that bond will still be there!
What Age Should I Neuter My Rabbit?
Most vets recommend that your rabbit be at least six months old, though some vets will do the procedure at four months. 6 months seems to be the optimum age for neutering, as surgery carries higher risks on very young rabbits.
Once you’ve decided that neutering your rabbit is the best thing to do, it’s essential to take into account the best age for your bunny to have this procedure.
Not all rabbits, of all ages, should be neutered.
That being said, once the male rabbit’s testicles have descended, which can be from 3.5 months old, they can have the surgery.
If you have an older rabbit and you’re concerned about the procedure, the main risks are around the anesthesia rather than the surgery itself.
Even then, there is only an element of added risk if your bunny is over six years old.
Just as with humans, rabbits have lower levels of vitality and recuperative powers if they are older – so check with your vet and see what they advise.
For any rabbit that is over two years old, it’s a good idea to get a thorough health check done – including full blood work – before considering surgery. You want to make sure your rabbit is in excellent health.
According to the Rabbit Society, a full health check for older rabbits is especially important if your vet will be using anesthetics other than isofluorane.
Where to Take Your Rabbit To Get Neutered
The best places to take your rabbit to get neutered are with experienced vets who do this procedure regularly.
The Rabbit Society has a list of veterinarians across the country who have excellent success rates, along with important questions to ask any potential vet before signing up your rabbit for the procedure.
You want to be sure that your vet has a success rate of MORE than 99%.
Some vets boast a success rate of 90%, which is too low.
Rabbits are highly sensitive and delicate creatures, and you want the very best for your bunny, right?
Check whether your chosen vet does ‘closed’ or ‘open’ neuters (closed neuters are better. Ask them to explain this to you).
Ask your vet if they make the incision through the scrotum or pre-scrotally to get to the testicles.
Ideally, you want a pre-scrotal incision since these lead to less swelling and less temptation for your bunny to lick at the incision.
Make sure your vet does NOT require fasting before surgery – if they do, go elsewhere!
On the contrary, feeding your rabbit before surgery helps keep their intestinal tract active, and this will help your bunny recover more quickly.
Even 24 hours of not eating can cause liver damage in some rabbits.
Bunnies need about 12 hours to digest their food, and their digestive tract is never empty.
In fact, it’s even a good idea to bring their favorite hay to the surgery and request that your bunny is fed when they come out of the anesthesia.
The faster they start eating again, the more quickly they’ll recover.
Check what anesthetics are used: if your vet uses something other than isoflurane or sevoflurane, your bunny could be a bit ‘hung over’ after surgery.
Bunnies who are a bit lethargic after surgery are less likely to start eating again quickly, which can lead to serious problems.
What Happens When A Rabbit Is Neutered?
You’ll want to understand what happens when a rabbit is neutered so that you can best look after your friend post-neutering.
The basic neutering procedure involves removing your male rabbit’s testicles: this procedure is also called castration or orchidectomy (nothing to do with orchids!)
Be sure to continue to feed your rabbit! Neutering is carried out under general anesthesia.
Unlike other animals, rabbits don’t run a risk of vomiting during the procedure, and it is dangerous for rabbits to have an empty stomach.
So do NOT fast your rabbit before the operation!
Your vet may wish to carry out some blood tests and other health checks, including a full physical examination before the surgery.
This is to make sure that your bunny is well enough to have the procedure and that there are no underlying problems that might put your bunny’s health at risk.
During the procedure, your vet will make a small incision, either just in front of the penis at the base of the scrotum or in the scrotum itself.
Your bunny’s hair will be shaved in this area and prepared.
Your rabbit’s testicles will be removed, and then the incision is closed up with some sutures.
Most bunnies can return home within 24 hours of the procedure.
Caring For Your Rabbit After Surgery
After the surgery, your vet will most likely provide your bunny with some pain medication and give you additional medicine to last over the next several days.
You’ll want to keep your bunny in a clean and calm environment (as little noise as possible).
Try to avoid running, playing games, or jumping, as this could put undue stress on the sutures and the incision.
Feed your bunny as you normally would, and expect your friend to be eating and drinking within 12 to 24 hours.
Perhaps offer some alfalfa hay along with your bunny’s favorite treats to encourage eating at first.
Check your rabbit’s incision several times a day.
Sometimes rabbits will chew on the sutures and open the wound.
If your bunny does this, take them to the vet right away to prevent infection.
If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s behavior, drinking, eating, urinating, or defecating, this is also a reason to call your vet quickly.
Usually, your vet will be able to remove the sutures from your bunny within 7 to 10 days of the surgery (at the clinic or hospital).
It’s not particularly cheap to get your rabbit neutered – you are looking at $75 on the low end!
But spaying is advisable for most healthy and sufficiently aged rabbits.
That being said, like any surgical procedure – it is essential that you do your research and due diligence ahead of time.
Ensure that you only book your rabbit in at a reputable vet, and be sure you know exactly what to expect in regards to process ahead of time – like what you need to both before and after surgery.
Unfortunately, vets have been known to try to resolve numerous issues when rabbits are under anesthesia.
And while this can be beneficial, it can be costly. Sometimes, it’s not always necessary.
So, getting a health screening on your rabbit beforehand can help prevent this situation from arising – or from receiving any unexpected or inflated costs.
Besides, this is generally a good practice – it will ensure your rabbit can handle and go through such surgery.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.