What do I need to know about neutering a pet rabbit?

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Answered by: Kyle, An Expert in the Pet Rabbits Category
Above all other issues concerning the world of rabbit owning, none should be more considered and applied than neutering a pet rabbit. I acquired my first unaltered female rabbit about a year ago, and as happy as my new roaming rabbit was to be in a comfortably carpeted home, I quickly noticed urine and poop flying out of her like deranged party favors at a “welcome home!” event. The bed sheets became urine soaked and the site of football training camp, as she practiced hiking objects between her legs and across the room, all while attempting to make a cozy home somewhere between the mattress and the boxed spring. On the floor, carpeting turned into frayed strands of loose fiber that made the floorboard look like it was ripping its hair out. Eventually, my hands began to resemble raw hamburger with each attempt to calm her down and coax her back into her habitat, as she took on the personality of Mike Tyson; both boxing and biting in the ring. This was all relatively new to me, as my neutered male finds great enjoyment in relaxing under a table, exploring the living room and then finally receiving his nightly massage on the bed. Compound all of these events that gave me a full-time janitorial position in my own home with the fact that she absolutely would not get along with my neutered male rabbit, and it was easy arriving at the conclusion that she needed to be altered. Neutering a pet rabbit will take away a good amount of the destructive digging, chewing and territorial tendencies that wild rabbits exhibit, and replace them with a more domesticated, relaxed disposition without getting in the way of the curiousity and explorative notions that make all rabbits adorable and an absolute joy to watch. For medical reasons, spaying your female rabbit is absolutely essential, as unspayed females have an 80% chance of developing uterine cancer by the age of two. Meanwhile, If you're lucky enough to have another rabbit residing in your bunny-accompanying abode, both of them will get along much more successfully, and quickly, if both are altered. Unaltered rabbits become extremely territorial, and it's not uncommon for two raging hormonal rabbits to fight one another for the perceived prime real-estate within their habitat, or within your home. These skirmishes can result in emergency trips to the vet with a bleeding bunny in need of stitches, and your wallet becoming significantly lighter. Another curious aspect of the unaltered female is a strange phenomenon called false pregnancies, in which she will extract the hair from her dewlap, create a nest, and then defend it to the death while you're attempting to clean and organize her habitat. As adorable and harmless looking as rabbits are, a swift lunge and grunt can result in you quickly throwing a band-aid on your hand; and nobody should have to wear gardening gloves when they approach their pet! Finally, it should be common knowledge that rabbits suffer from over-population. They have a gestation and breeding cycle of just under one month, and can actually become pregnant AGAIN while they're already currently pregnant. Countless rabbits find themselves on death-row and euthanized within a matter of weeks, or months, of being born for no other reason than that they exist. There are enough domesticated rabbits in the world to go around for all of us, so take the responsible action of altering your pet rabbit to help reduce the breeding cycle and ensure it a healthier, happier lifestyle; not just for them, but for you as well!

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