Choosing a vet for your rabbit
1. How many rabbits do you see at your clinic each year?
This will give you a good indication as to whether the vet has had extensive experience working with rabbits.
2. How many rabbits have you desexed? Female & male?
Male rabbits are desexed more often than females as the costs are usually cheaper but as a responsible companion rabbit
person, females should also be desexed (see Peanut's page). Both are difficult to desex and need a gentle technique. With
any desexing, there is a risk but with an experienced rabbit surgeon, those risks are greatly reduced.
3. Do you remove the uterus and ovaries when desexing a female rabbit?
The entire uterus must be removed during surgery, otherwise the rabbit can still get uterine cancer at an older age.
4. Do you use stitches or glue when desexing a male rabbit?
Both are okay but some rabbits can be allergic to the glue technique so the stitches are preferable.
5. Should I fast my bunny before surgery?
If the vet says yes, then find another vet! Rabbits should NEVER be fasted before surgery. Rabbits can be easily stressed if
not fed for a long period of time and fasting could actually cause them great harm. Rabbits need to have access to food,
water and hay throughout the day to keep their digestive system moving. Rabbits do not vomit so there is no risk of choking
during surgery and if food is removed for a long period of time, this can cause the gut to stop moving and cause great harm.
6. Do you use ISO or injectable anaesthetic for rabbits?
Injectable anaesthetics are dangerous to rabbits as there is less chance of bringing them around.
7. How many people do you have monitoring a bunny during surgery?
It is imperative that at least one other person is monitoring the breathing of your rabbit during surgery. The vet should not be
performing this surgery alone.
8. Do you medicate rabbits after surgery?
Rabbits suffer stress and pain after any operation (as do all animals) so medication such as Metacam for pain relief is a
necessity. The vet should weigh your bunny and give you the correct dose to administer post operation. Prepulsid is also
recommended to administer to a female rabbit after a spay to encourage movement in the gut (stasis can occur if not
9. Do you consult with other veterinarians if you are not sure?
A good vet will consult with other vets (either in their own surgery or consult externally) if unsure of a diagnosis, medication
or action. It is always better to have a second opinion as in most cases, medication or surgery could assist recovery.
10. Do you have follow-up consultations after surgeries?
A good vet will want to follow-up their procedures with their client and the patient and make sure the rabbit it healthy and
happy a few days after surgery.
Rabbits can live into their teens with good treatment from their human companion and from a good veterinarian. Do yourself a
favour and do your homework to find a vet near you that is interested in rabbit care BEFORE you really need one!
Below are a few questions you can ask for peace of mind that you know your rabbit will be in good hands.
Do Your Bit