Spaying Pet Rabbits

Posted by Stacey Wilkinson, DVM, DABVP
WARNING!  Surgery pictures ahead!

While most people know that you have your animal spayed or neutered to prevent them from
reproducing, there are often other reasons veterinarians recommend the procedure.  In the
case of rabbits, cancer of the uterus is extremely common.  
Rabbits can develop precancerous and cancerous changes as early as age 3-5.  If uterine cancer
develops, it will often cause blood in the urine as the first sign.  Sometimes it can cause them
to stop eating or have episodes of gastrointestinal stasis.  Late in the disease, this type of
cancer can actually spread onto other organs in the abdomen or through the bloodstream to
the lungs.  Spaying a female rabbit  when young prevents this from developing, and it also
greatly reduces the incidence of mammary cancer as well.
 RabbitSpay1  RabbitSpay2
The uterus is the dark pink tubular structure while the yellow material is fat.  Normally the
uterus should be uniformly bright pink and a small tube shaped like a Y, about as big around
as a pencil.  The large dilated areas are abnormal as are the dark red areas.

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