This may seem like a silly statement given the website you’re on, but we don’t spay or neuter our rabbits around here.
We are of the belief that if we are raising rare breed rabbits to improve the breed and to provide for our family… we should actually breed the rabbits so spread the gene pool and cure the rumbly in our tumbly. (Logic, it’s a killer.)
However, there are several people around our area with some of our rabbits who keep them completely as pets and have ventured into the spay and neuter territory with their bunnies. While it’s a not a choice we will pursue, it has been the right choice for those owners.
There are a few behavior issues that come with sexual maturity in a rabbit. Bucks will spray or try to rub their scent all over anything they can touch (no joke – a friend had his rabbit trying to hump his feet!). Doe will become extremely irritable and even put out chunks of their fur in frustration. For some, the simple solution to these behaviors is to let the bunnies… breed like bunnies… but for others it might be a better fit to head to the animal hospital for a little snip snip.
Most rabbits fall under exotic pet veterinary practice. This might vary in your geographical region, however. If you decide to spay or neuter your rabbit you’ll want to check around to see if there is a vet who is familiar with rabbits. Many, many veterinarians are not! Rabbits tend to be sensitive to anesthesia, so you’ll want to have someone who is used to working with the lagomorphs or Fluffy Bun Buns might sink into sleep forever. My understanding is that you should expect to pay at least $100 for the procedure as well.
There is an argument out there that fixing your rabbit can extend their lifespan, however I’ve heard many rebuttals to that statement that rabbits are “cancer machines” and, as biologically evolving prey animal, they are going to pass on quickly anyway. I don’t have the personal research to weigh in on this matter myself, but I would definitely encourage anyone worrying about this to ask a LOT of questions of people before you make your final decision regarding the reproductive capabilities of a rabbit.
As I mentioned before, we have not chosen this route for our own rabbits, so if you have a personal story of success or disaster to tell, please do so in the comments!