Spaying or Neutering Your Rabbit or Guinea Pig
When you have a pet rabbit don’t forget to have them spayed or neutered. Rabbits reproduce much faster than cats and dogs.
The female rabbit does not come into heat like other animals. The female will accept the male at any time of the year.
Females are mature and can breed at 5 to 6 months of age and can continue to have young for 4 years.
The gestation period is 31 days and can result in 1 to 12 young in each litter. The female rabbit can become pregnant again within a few days of giving birth.
Rabbits are social creatures and like to have other rabbits around. In order to give them a playmate of either sex they should be Spayed or neutered to avoid reproduction or aggressive behavior triggered by hormones.
Benefits of spaying or neutering your rabbit(s):
• Altered rabbits live longer and healthier lives.
• Spayed females risks of ovarian, uterine or mammary cancer are virtually eliminated.
• Neutered males won't have the surge of hormones which leads to fighting and injuries. It also reduces/eliminates prostate and testicular cancers.
• Altered rabbits are more calm and loving.
• Altered rabbits are less prone to chewing and digging. It also makes them less prone to aggressive behaviors such as biting, lunging, circling and growling.
• Altered rabbits are much easier to litter train and more reliable after training.
• Eliminates spraying in males.
Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend, usually around 3-1/2 months of age, but many veterinarians prefer to wait until they are 5 months old.
A rabbit is considered too old to spay or neuter after 6 years old due to the risks of anesthesia.
It is a good idea if your rabbit is over 2 years old to have a complete vet check done prior to the surgery.
A knowledgeable small animal veterinarian can spay or neuter your rabbit with very little risk to a healthy rabbit. The major risk with rabbit sterilization is the anesthesia. You will need to check with your veterinarian to make sure that they have experience with rabbits. This will ensure that they will be able to spay or neuter your rabbit safely.
Generally, females are not spayed due to the risks associated with such an invasive surgery on such a small animal.
Typically, if two opposite sex guinea pigs are kept together the male is neutered. This is the only non-medical reason to have your male neutered. Neutering does little to change the behavior of aggressive guinea pigs, unlike the effect it has on other types of animals.
Likewise, neutering does little to curb mounting or mating behavior. It will only prevent unwanted pregnancies. There is no need or reason to neuter two males living together. If they don't get along now, neutering won't help.
It can be difficult enough to find a vet who is experienced and has a good success rate with guinea pig spays or neuters. Guinea pigs are usually treated by an "exotic" or small animal vet.