My daughter loves rabbits, and when I considered getting her one for her birthday, I decided to first weigh up the costs. What worried me most was the cost of neutering or spaying a rabbit and whether a rabbit could even survive such a costly surgery.
The average cost of neutering a rabbit ranges between $75-$600 and more, depending on the rabbit’s sex, age, and whether there are any post-operative complications.
The location and use of technology at the veterinary practice also influence the cost as a local country vet will charge less than a specialist veterinary surgeon.
Average Cost for Neutering a Rabbit
In terms of the cost of the surgery to neuter a rabbit, the average cost is $75-$600.
The difference between the lowest cost and highest cost is dependent on several factors that my research pointed out.
I also discovered that the cost of neutering a rabbit extends beyond the initial surgery.
For starters, there should be a thorough pre-surgery exam by the vet to check for any health issues in your rabbit that may complicate the surgery or risk the bunny’s recovery.
Following the surgery, there may be costs related to caring for the rabbit that your average online survey won’t dive into, but I was thorough and thought of everything that may be involved in the neutering cost.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Neutering Your Rabbit
As with the neutering of dogs, there is a substantial price difference for spaying or neutering your bun based on the bunny’s gender, size, age, and where you are having the procedure performed.
Some breeds of rabbits will also require more extensive preparation and aftercare to ensure the procedure is a success.
Rabbit Size and Gender
The size of your rabbit will influence how much you will pay for the neutering based on two aspects: How delicate the surgery may be, and how much anesthetic the vet needs to use.
Giant size rabbits will require more anesthetic to sedate for the surgery. This means your bill will include a bigger charge for medication.
Rabbits are usually anesthetized with isoflurane inhalation or lidocaine, which is administered via the veins in the ears.
This is not as cheap a method to anesthetize an animal as some drugs used during surgeries for dogs or cats.
Rabbits are sensitive, and there are limited options on what drugs are safe for them.
Miniature or dwarf size rabbits will require less anesthesia based on body weight, but the surgery to neuter them may be much more delicate and specialized.
So, surgery may take longer than neutering a giant rabbit may take, requiring more isoflurane than the rabbit’s weight may dictate.
The gender of the rabbit will also factor in as male bunnies are easier and quicker to neuter than female bunnies.
The buck’s neutering requires a less invasive procedure, while the doe’s neutering may require cutting through several layers of skin, fat, and muscle.
Since a male rabbit can be neutered much more easily, their surgery will cost less than spaying a female rabbit.
Depending on the age of your rabbit, you may require a more specialized surgery to neuter an older rabbit.
Very young miniature rabbits may also mean a more tricky surgery.
Older rabbits may not heal as swiftly as younger rabbits do after surgery, so your post-operative care may be higher.
Your vet may keep your older or very young rabbit for a day or two after surgery for observation and to monitor their vital signs.
Location of Veterinary Practice
Where people are will often determine how expensive things are.
Living in a small town is cheaper than living in the city, and the services of a veterinarian in the country will cost less than a slick city vet’s practice will charge.
If you live in the country, you may not be close to a veterinarian who is qualified to perform specialized surgeries on rabbits.
This may mean you would need to include travel costs in your overall budget for neutering your rabbit.
Level of Expertise in Neutering
Not every vet can perform neutering or spaying on rabbits.
It may be a procedure that is beyond the vet’s training and expertise.
Before booking your vet, ask them whether they have spayed or neutered rabbits before and what their success or survival rate is.
A vet needs to be aware that spaying or neutering a rabbit is NOT the same as neutering a dog.
These differences include pre-operative care, sedation, anesthesia, surgery, post-operative care, and knowing what to check for before even considering the procedure.
Rabbits may require special medication and blood tests to ensure they are in perfect health before they are sedated or given anesthesia.
Rabbits can easily have an undetected infection, respiratory condition, or digestive issue that may flare during surgery.
The blood tests, scans, and even x-rays that may be taken as part of the preparations for the neutering all add to the final cost.
While some vets may comfortably opt to simply perform the surgery (and leave the risk up to the bunny), this is not fair to your rabbit.
Rabbits are sensitive animals, and they can easily sicken and die as a result of the stress and trauma of surgery.
Complications During and After Surgery
So you have brought your rabbit for neutering, but a day after the procedure, you notice they are even more lethargic and don’t want to eat. Now what?
Post-operative care extends beyond the veterinary practice, and follow-up checkups may be required within hours of their neutering.
Be prepared to pay for additional medication to prevent GI stasis from setting in, reduce the risk of sepsis, and boost the rabbit’s chances of recovery.
Again, this all costs money, and some of this medication can only be administered IV, meaning more vet visits.
Complications From Surgery
Some of the complications that may occur during and after surgery include:
- Respiratory Distress
Rabbits may go into shock while being anesthetized with an aerosolized anesthetic like isoflurane as they panic in the nebulizing mask or sedation chamber.
Since their respiratory systems are weak, rabbits become vulnerable to airway infections, pneumonia, and irregular heartbeat.
- Fatty Liver
When rabbits feel distressed, they may develop metabolic issues, which can lead to fatty liver buildup.
This can negatively affect the rabbit’s blood production, leading to anemia.
- GI Stasis
You don’t have to starve your bun before surgery, as rabbits can’t vomit, but they can develop GI stasis.
This is a dangerous condition where their gut stops working effectively. If left untreated, your rabbit will likely die.
Any surgery runs the risk of introducing bacteria into the rabbit’s body, which can lead to septicemia setting in.
Your rabbit has a delicate immune system, and if they become septic following surgery, they will likely die if not treated quickly.
All four of these complications (and there are many more) will require veterinary intervention and push up your vet bill a lot more.
So while you may budget for $100-$200 at your local vet for neutering your bun, you may pay a lot more because of complications that arise.
Aftercare for Your Rabbit
Before and after surgery your rabbit should continue with its regular, balanced diet.
However, if there is any sign of your rabbit’s appetite waning, you may need to consult with your vet.
Several follow-up consultations may be required to ensure your rabbit is healthy and healing well after neutering, which can make your checkbook cringe.
Some FAQs about the Cost of Neutering a Rabbit
What is the best age to neuter a rabbit?
At the age of four to six months, a rabbit has grown sufficiently to recover from surgery quickly.
This is also the age when there is less potential for costly complications.
Older rabbits can be neutered, but there may be complications like GI stasis that could lead to death.
How long does it take for rabbits to heal from neutering?
The average time required for correct healing to remove external stitches is 10 days for rabbits.
The bucks may already have recovered in that time frame, but does may need more time.
Vets recommend female bunnies are separated from males following spaying for up to eight weeks as there may be internal damage if does get mounted by the bucks before fully healed.
How can I afford the cost of neutering my rabbit?
Some vets will offer a payment plan for loyal customers, but if you can’t afford the cost of neutering your bun, you can approach local animal welfare groups for assistance.
Final Neutering Thoughts
Rabbits are wonderful companions, but neutering them is a vital part of the commitment to keep them healthy.
The cost of neutering rabbits depends on numerous factors like the type of rabbit, age, gender, health, and post-operative care.
Whichever vet you choose needs to have the necessary experience to safely and successfully operate on your rabbit.
So while you may cringe at the thought of paying $250+ for the surgery, it’s your rabbit’s life and health that are at stake.
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