Magoo's desexing day

This is little Magoo. He is a 13 month old Netherland Dwarf rabbit. Last month, little Magoo had his desexing operation. This surgery involved the removal of both of his testicles under a general anaesthetic.

There are many good reasons to desex your pet rabbit. It gives you the freedom to keep a mixed sex pair of rabbits without having to worry about unwanted litters. Rabbits love company so it is always best to keep them in pairs if possible. Desexing also protects your rabbit from certain cancers and diseases, as well as reducing unwanted, hormonal behaviours such as urine marking and territoriality.

On the day of his surgery, Magoo's owner brought him to the clinic with some of his usual food. Unlike cats and dogs, rabbits should not be fasted before their surgeries. In fact, we want them to eat right up to the time of the operation and as soon as possible after the operation. Their long digestive tracts need a constant supply of fibre to keep them moving along.

Rabbit anaesthetics are different from cats and dogs as rabbits are very different creatures. Dr Raj placed Magoo under general anaesthetic with a special tailor-made dose of drugs. He was then placed on intravenous fluids (a tricky procedure on such tiny veins!)

Magoo was also placed on oxygen therapy throughout the surgery. This made sure that he had a plentiful supply of oxygen whilst asleep. Nurse Dee monitored his vital signs throughout the short operation, paying careful attention to his heart rate. When the surgery was complete, Dr Raj used a special skin glue to close up the surgery site. Rabbits have delicate skin so it is better to use this glue than to use conventional sutures. Dr Raj then gave Magoo another injection to reverse the effects of the anaesthetic drugs. This meant that Magoo woke up smoothly and was soon hopping about his cage again.

Magoo's owners took him home that same afternoon and made sure that he was eating his food well. Sometimes we need to feed Critical Care, a special rabbit food that is made into a paste and syringe fed, to stimulate the digestive tract. He was also given some pain relief to go home with to ensure that he was kept comfortable over the next few days.

If you have any questions about rabbit care or desexing, please contact us for more information or you can read our articles on rabbit care here.