How To Take Care Of A Rabbit After Neutering (or Spaying)?

Fixing your rabbit is essential for its healthy life span. It reduces the risk of uterine or testicular cancer and hormonal behavior such as aggression, territorial marks ( spraying urine ), and mounting in rabbits. But the question is, what do you need to do after taking your neutered or spayed rabbit home? How to take care of a rabbit after neutering or spaying? What are the things to consider before and after fixing a rabbit? Let’s find it all in this article.

Providing a warm and comfortable environment for a fixed rabbit is essential. However, restrict your rabbit’s exercise and area for a week to avoid the wounds from opening. Provide plenty of water, food, or critical care so your rabbit can urinate and produce droppings within 12 hours after surgery.

This article will briefly discuss how to take care of a rabbit after being fixed, when you should neuter or spay your rabbit, and how long a rabbit takes to recover from surgery. So, let’s get into it.

Taking care of my rabbit after neutering or spaying

The procedure to spay or neuter a rabbit usually goes without any problem.

Your rabbit will be sleepy for a few days, but little more care is required until they fully recover.

It is vital to provide fresh food like unlimited hay, leafy green veggies, pellets (if you are using them from the beginning), and water once they return home.

In addition, you must provide this fresh food as rabbits should eat, poop, and urinate by the following day of the surgery.

However, if your rabbit refuses to eat anything, it is essential to provide critical care to them because providing energy by food is necessary after surgery to prevent complications.

Although Within 10 or 12 hours of getting home, if they haven’t resumed eating, call your veterinarian immediately.

After surgery, some rabbits, particularly males, will feel fine and be prepared to resume their regular diet immediately.

Provide your rabbit with easy access to everything, including the water bowl, hay, and pellets they need, so they don’t have to roam around as much.

Also, providing your rabbit with a quiet, warm environment to rest comfortably is essential.

Similarly, do not allow your rabbit to roam, jump, hop or do other roaming activities for a week after surgery.

Again, if you have more than one rabbit, in that case, you should keep the neutered or spayed rabbit under an isolated area so that other rabbits won’t be able to injure your rabbit during recovery time.

Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Not Eating?

When should I neuter or spay my rabbit?

Usually, rabbits can be neutered or spayed once they reach the age of 4 to 6 months.

You can neuter a male rabbit under age between 8 to 12 weeks when its testicles descend.

Whereas in female rabbits, you can spay them after they become sexually mature at four months of age.

However, some veterinarians recommend spaying female rabbits when they become six months old, as fixing them at a young age is risky and cause complications.

Spaying a rabbit prevents the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer development in females.

In addition, when rabbit ages, it is more likely to develop uterine cancer if they are unspayed.

Similarly, in male rabbits, neutering prevents the risks of testicular cancers.

In addition, neutered rabbits are substantially less likely to exhibit unfavorable hormone-induced behaviors such as mounting, aggressiveness, and territorial marking with pee spray.

However, it is vital to spay or neuter your rabbit at an early age until they become too old for surgery.

Anesthesia and surgery are often riskier after a rabbit reaches the age of six, but still, there could be chances to fix them.

As a result, when rabbits become 5 to 6 years old, they are considered too old for spaying or neutering.

Also read: Should I Neuter Or Spay My Rabbit?

What to prepare before neutering/spaying your rabbit?

If you are preparing to neuter or spay your rabbit, keep their daily diet routine the same; do not change their diet before the surgery.

In addition, some owners give their rabbits acidophilus a few days before surgery to keep their digestive system working properly, but changing their diet is not required.

Also, some veterinarians suggest bringing your rabbit to the vet hospital or clinic before the fixing surgery for health checkups.

From this, you can ask about your rabbit’s surgery procedure queries from the vet, and they will understand your rabbit’s health and other information before the surgery to avoid complications. 

Similarly, your vet may suggest blood tests before scheduling the surgery if your rabbit is too old ( above two years old ) to be neutered or spayed.

Taking a blood test and other health checkups of your rabbit will make it easier to identify any underlying issues earlier so that there will not be any complications after or during the surgery.

Also, other things that you need to prepare before taking your rabbit for neutering or spaying are as follows:

  1. Take your rabbit’s favorite food, such as hay and treats, as a snack to the hospital.
  2. Try to reduce your rabbit’s stress before taking it to the hospital.
  3. Bring edible chews as a toy to the hospital.
  4. You could also bring their favorite things, like their blanket, to the hospital.
  5. Bring a large carrier by lining it with puppy pads.
  6. And a pack of hay.
  7. Do not change the diet of your rabbit.
  8. DO NOT restrict your rabbit of food before surgery as they can’t vomit like dogs and cats. 

It is vital not to restrict your rabbit’s food before the surgery as it could make their stomach empty, leading to the risk of fatal conditions known as gastrointestinal stasis after surgery.

Another thing to remember is to bring another rabbit ( if you have more than one rabbit ) to the hospital if they are bonded.

Taking your rabbit with its companion could destress your rabbit before surgery because separating them can be traumatic for them.

In addition, it is essential to separate your rabbit after neutering or spaying with another one to avoid accidents.

Instead, you can keep your neutered or spayed rabbit in a separate pen where they can smell and see each other. 

Also read: How To Choose A Second Rabbit?

How do I take care of a rabbit after neutering?

Fixing your rabbit is necessary and beneficial for its healthy life span as it reduces territorial or hormonal behavior and prevents the risk of cancer and unwanted births.

After neutering or spaying your rabbit, it is essential to give them enough time to recover by providing a warm and comfortable environment.

So, here are some essential things to take care of your rabbit after surgery once you bring them back home:

1) Provide a quiet and comfortable place-

When you bring your rabbit back home after being neutered or spayed, it is vital to provide a warm and comfortable environment.

You can prepare a warm recovery area while your rabbit has surgery in the hospital.

In addition, you can choose the area near your bed to monitor your rabbit closely, especially at night.

To keep the environment warm, you can also use a warm water bottle, or blanket, so that they can rest comfortably.

Also read: Rabbit Hutch Placement.

2) Separate your neutered rabbit-

If you have more than one rabbit in your house, you should keep a neutered rabbit in a separate pen for a week ( 7 days ) or more to recover.

The other rabbit can become aggressive around your neutered or spayed rabbit.

In addition, other rabbits can harm your neutered or spayed rabbit in its recovery period, especially in the case of male and female rabbits in the same enclosure.

Male rabbits may harm spayed female rabbits (even neutered ones) and once the stitches are out, keep your female rabbit away from the males.

As a result, a male rabbit can continue fertilizing other rabbits for up to four weeks following the operation. 

However, its testicles will typically become dark during this time and shrink till they vanish.

So, you can reunite your rabbits once the testicles are gone.

3) Provide plenty of water and other food items-

Your rabbit must eat, urinate, and produce droppings after the surgery.

In addition, they must start eating at least one day after surgery.

Also, providing full access to water, hay, and pellets is essential all the time near your rabbit. 

Offer mouthwatering treats like carrots, fresh herbs, or just-pulled grass. 

Female rabbits who have been neutered spend the evening in silence and may not feel like eating. 

And, because male rabbits’ operations are shorter, they recover more quickly, but most rabbits will be tired for a short while.

Also, after surgery, rabbits typically consume vegetables and herbs (romaine, carrot tops, basil, parsley, mint, kale, etc.), but they might not want to eat pellets or hay.

So, if your rabbit is not eating enough food, you need to feed them critical care for recovery.

Also read: How Much Food Should I Feed My Rabbit?

4) Critical care-

Although some vet hospitals don’t allow your rabbit to discharge until they start eating, you must feed them critical care if your rabbit is not eating and dropping after coming home.

A rabbit needs to eat; otherwise, their empty tummy could cause gastrointestinal stasis, and this condition slows down or even stops a rabbit’s digestive system, leading to life-threatening situations.

If your rabbit is not eaten or produces dropping within 12 hours after surgery, then you must immediately call your vet.

After consulting your veterinarian, you can use a syringe to ingest critical care food into your rabbit if they are not consuming its regular meal and drinking water.

To prepare a solution that can easily be injected from a syringe or licked from a spoon or bowl, mix three tablespoons of critical care powder with six tablespoons of warm water to achieve a consistency similar to pudding or yogurt.

If your rabbit doesn’t eat from the spoon or bowl, you can give it tiny drops of food using a clean, long nozzle syringe filled with a premixed mixture.

We recommend using Oxbow Critical Care for your rabbit from amazon, as it is high in fiber, contains other beneficial nutrients, and has banana and apple flavor, making it tasty to feed your sick rabbit.

Also read: Rabbits Won’t Eat Critical Care.

5) Check the incision site-

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your rabbit’s incision site for the first week following surgery. 

In addition, you should check the incision area of your rabbit in the morning and evening for the following seven days after surgery.

After surgery, there may be some redness and swelling, but if the swelling and redness worsen or persists, call your veterinarian right once.

Also, Keep your rabbit from licking or chewing at the wound. 

However, if this happens, you should wrap it with an Elizabethan collar to stop licking.

Again, avoid cleaning the incision site or applying topical ointment there.

Instead, dissolvable sutures are used to close wounds.

Although fixing your rabbit is the same, some complications could occur, like swelling or redness, which is usual.

However, if this issue continues and you notice other signs like Diarrhea, open wounds, grinding teeth, swelling near the testicles in male rabbits, and pus-filled or bloody incisions, in that case, you must contact your veterinarian.

6) Visiting the vet-

A follow-up visit is frequently advised by veterinarians the week after surgery. 

It will allow your veterinarian to examine your rabbit and ensure the wound is healing properly.

Many veterinarians now utilize body glue or dissolvable stitches instead of the traditional stitches that need to be removed.

Once the stitches are to be taken out, which typically happens ten days following the procedure, go back to your vet as directed.

However, dissolvable stitches are safer because there is no need for later removal of the stitches, and the animals can’t pick at them.

8) Lower the litter box-

It is essential to have a low front litter box for the rabbit during recovery.

You can use a collapsable dish tub as your rabbit’s litter box, which is also beneficial for traveling with them.

In addition, you don’t want your rabbit to hurt themselves or rip up their wound or incisions trying to jump over a litter box with high sides.

To prepare the litter box, you can put the puppy pads in the bottom of their litter box and layer it with hay so that your rabbit can eat while doing its business.

Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Lying In Its Litter Box?

9) Provide medication-

Your veterinarian will give your rabbit a painkiller for home, and you need to ensure the rabbit receives the appropriate medication dose at the proper time by following their instructions.

In addition, this is crucial for spaying female rabbits because it is a more painful procedure than neutering.

The vet may prescribe you an injection or painkiller pills to provide to your rabbit during recovery.

However, avoid giving your rabbit an overdose of painkillers since they can be highly deadly.

Administering the medication prescribed by the vet to provide your rabbit on schedule is essential for them to recover.

It is acceptable for your rabbit not to take medication, but you could attempt to hide the pill in some of their meal. 

You can also take a help of a syringe as the pill can be dissolved in a little bit of water and administered to the rabbit through the side of its mouth using a feeding syringe.

10) Restrict their activities-

It is vital to keep your rabbit from jumping, hopping, and doing other exercises once they return home after neutering or spaying.

In addition, keep the area of your rabbit’s enclosure smaller than usual for your rabbit to prevent excessive movements when it still has stitches.

As a result, jumping or running could open their wounds. 

The rabbit should not be allowed out of its cage or roam the house. 

After the surgery, it’s advisable to avoid handling it too much; however, you can pat it and offer it snacks.

After the operation, a female rabbit can spend the first 24 hours hiding in the corner of its cage, which is normal. 

During this period, try not to touch them and leave them alone. You should contact a veterinarian if it exhibits this behavior for more than a day.

How long does a rabbit take to recover after surgery?

After surgery, male rabbits tend to recover faster and return to practically normal conditions in 1 to 2 days. 

Whereas females recover more slowly, it may take 2 to 4 days to resume regular exercise gradually.

However, taking care of your rabbit after the surgery for at least a week is vital to recovering properly.

Also, administering proper medication prescribed by your vet is essential as it helps your rabbit recover faster. 

If you have more than one rabbit in your house, you should separate the fixed rabbit from another to avoid chasing or harassing them, as they require proper rest to heal.

Although most bonded rabbits will genuinely comfort the rabbit undergoing surgery, this is not always the case, especially in young males, who may become agitated and disturb the surgical patient. 

If so, keep them apart in the different pens but in the same space ( same room ) so they can still smell and see each other.

You can put the fixed rabbit in the original pen or enclosure and reunite both rabbits after ten days.

However, a male rabbit can continue fertilizing ( after being neutered ) other rabbits for up to four weeks following the surgery. 

So, once the testicles of male rabbits become dark and disappear, you can reintroduce them. 

Also read: Can You Introduce A Baby Rabbit To An Older?


  1. When you bring your rabbit back home after being neutered or spayed, it is vital to provide a warm and comfortable environment.
  2. If you have more than one rabbit in your house, you should keep a neutered rabbit in a separate pen for a week ( 7 days ) or more to recover.
  3. Your rabbit must eat, urinate, and produce droppings after the surgery, so providing plenty of water and food is essential.
  4. It’s crucial to keep an eye on your rabbit’s incision site for the first week following surgery. 
  5. Administering the medication prescribed by the vet to provide your rabbit on schedule is essential for them to recover.

Reference: NCBI, rabbit, NCBI

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