PDA

View Full Version : is it a myth that spaying rabbits prevents uterine cancer?



Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 11:58 AM
this is certainly an interesting one - i don't think, anymore, i could ever dare again to make a blanket statement one way or the other - this post is more of a practical philosophical angle.

to get to the heart of the matter an individual would have to dig deep and do alot of research - in a time starved world not many of us can afford to do.

i object, (actually i think object is too strong a word ha ha ) however of

1) mixing issues and agendas up

2) using statements that may not be true in order to shame, co-erce or force people into something which actually may not be necessary for that individual rabbit -

a neutering debate is one thing -

*there are so many unwanted rabbits -

*sanctuaries are overwhelmed

*if only everyone would neuter every rabbit everywhere - that would bring relief etc etc

*this would prevent accidental litters

all very valid issues - and all this would perhaps also be solved if deliberate breeding and the exchange of money or goods for any animal was stopped too?

if for the sake of untangling these issues we could pretend that breeding wasnt an issue at all for the moment-

so the only reason to think about neutering a female rabbit is for health reasons i.e. for the highest good of that rabbit.

i deeply question that 'fact' - the study which found that a high percentage of female rabbits by the age of 6 was a peculiar one - and there is a fair amount of it under myths and misconceptions.

- i do have a penchant for truth :-/

and i am inclined to think that the statement if you dont neuter your rabbit she will most likely get uterine cancer a nonsense.

i think the decision to neuter should be given some serious thought and not be taken lightly and of course assessed by each individual on a case by case scenario - i was startled to hear a vet say neutering is a mutilation under a different name. 10 yrs on and i understand this now.

individual neutering can b appropriate for medical reasons.

but cancer has many causes - they dont seem to be being discussed.

x

Kermit
29-06-2012, 12:05 PM
I personally would still not take the chance. The pain of a spay under a decent GA with appropriate pain meds after are far less than the potential pain of cancer.

My bunnies will always be getting spayed / neutered.

natandfluffs
29-06-2012, 12:11 PM
It couldn't be said that all will get it by the age of 6 but there must be some statistics somewhere.

As a method of prevention though, we can't debate how effective it is as it removes where the cancer would otherwise be located. Until we know a LOT more about cancer, personally, I wouldn't even contemplate not spaying

katiebob
29-06-2012, 12:14 PM
Surely no uterus = no uterine cancer?

Dont know about the age thing though. Knowing how expensive treatment can be i'd rather pay for the spay than pay for cancer treatment....

:wave:

little-laura
29-06-2012, 12:16 PM
Surely no uterus = no uterine cancer?

Dont know about the age thing though. Knowing how expensive treatment can be i'd rather pay for the spay than pay for cancer treatment....

:wave:

I thought the same lol :D

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 12:17 PM
I'm sorry but you can't get cancer in a body part you no longer have so spaying does absolutely remove the risk of uterine cancer. It doesn't remove the risk of other kinds of cancer.


RWA say "Up to 80% of unspayed female rabbits develop uterine cancer by 5 years of age." I assume they have based this on reliable research however maybe they would be the best people to ask where that statistic comes from.

This is the leaflet I have quoted is this one http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/content/leaflet_pdfs/neutering28.8.07.pdf and further info here http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/content/info-sheets/uterine.htm

The Duchess
29-06-2012, 12:20 PM
I don't believe that the cancer issue is a myth. I have had many examples of unspayed does coming into my rescue that have had cancers when they go in for spay.

I have a friend who recently took in 5 rabbits from someone who had bred them. There were 2 boys and 3 girls. Of the three girls, two of them had uterine
tumours. Our very rabbit savvy vet had given the prognosis for one to have been about 2 months had it not been found and maybe a year for the other.

I am trying to find my photo of one of the cancers taken during spay.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:23 PM
It couldn't be said that all will get it by the age of 6 but there must be some statistics somewhere.

As a method of prevention though, we can't debate how effective it is as it removes where the cancer would otherwise be located. Until we know a LOT more about cancer, personally, I wouldn't even contemplate not spaying

i do want to just additionally clarify - i am not contemplating the spaying issue but

spaying specifically for health reasons.

for example: because of spaying rabbits are becoming overweight and dying and this is more prominent than cancer? i dont know- even writing that raises a million little threads from all different angles. it doesnt seem quite right either.

it is actually a really complicated issue.

thanks kermit & nutsandstuff 4 the input :-)

what makes uterine cancer a special issue for rabbits? i have read actually it is not - it is a myth.

x

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:24 PM
natandfluffs! natandfluffs!
so sorry :-/

William
29-06-2012, 12:25 PM
Surely no uterus = no uterine cancer?


Yeah, that's what I thought

I'd rather have them spayed even if there's only a small chance. but I do believe it's more than a small chance of cancer. It prevents a lot of behavioral problems as well and allows the rabbit to be bonded to other rabbits. Unspayed females can sometimes get along but not always. so there's a lot more pros than cons with spaying.

There's a smaller chance of males getting cancer and tumors but my boy Izzy got a tumor in his testicle.

Also, other animals are prone to uterine cancer if they aren't spayed, like pigs (I don't mean guinea pigs).

little-laura
29-06-2012, 12:28 PM
i do want to just additionally clarify - i am not contemplating the spaying issue but

spaying specifically for health reasons.

for example: because of spaying rabbits are becoming overweight and dying and this is more prominent than cancer? i dont know- even writing that raises a million little threads from all different angles. it doesnt seem quite right either.

it is actually a really complicated issue.

thanks kermit & nutsandstuff 4 the input :-)

what makes uterine cancer a special issue for rabbits? i have read actually it is not - it is a myth.

x

Where did you read this because theres lots of case studies and experiences which says otherwise

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:28 PM
I don't believe that the cancer issue is a myth. I have had many examples of unspayed does coming into my rescue that have had cancers when they go in for spay.

I have a friend who recently took in 5 rabbits from someone who had bred them. There were 2 boys and 3 girls. Of the three girls, two of them had uterine
tumours. Our very rabbit savvy vet had given the prognosis for one to have been about 2 months had it not been found and maybe a year for the other.

I am trying to find my photo of one of the cancers taken during spay.

by all means lets get the scary cancer photos out - i dont think anyone is saying cancer is a myth and its not really what this post is about -
x

bunnymadhouse
29-06-2012, 12:30 PM
I'm sorry but you can't get cancer in a body part you no longer have so spaying does absolutely remove the risk of uterine cancer. It doesn't remove the risk of other kinds of cancer.

this ^^

I almost lost one of my girls at 7 yr old due to uterine cancer ... I have another girl here who had a tumour removed shortly after arriving here last year ..she was under 5 yrs old
We neuter around 30 to 40 female rabbits a year that come in as rescues .. most of these are under 3 yr old .. but some are older ..

last year 5 had either uterine tumours or signs of abnormal uterine changes ...all were over 3 yr old

dont know about the figures of the study ... but it is certainly a health threat for older does ..and the worst thing is that by the time symptoms appear it has almost always already spread to other parts of the body .

I will always have my female rabbits spayed now ..but not just because of the cancer risk .. but this is certainly part of the reason .

natsusakura
29-06-2012, 12:30 PM
I got angel spayed because her moods were all over the place, when they did the spay she had cysts on her ovaries which explains why she was moody, as she was probably in a bit of pain.
If I hasn't spayed her I wouldn't have known.
The cysts seem to be quite a common thing as well as the cancer.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 12:31 PM
i do want to just additionally clarify - i am not contemplating the spaying issue but

spaying specifically for health reasons.

for example: because of spaying rabbits are becoming overweight and dying and this is more prominent than cancer? i dont know- even writing that raises a million little threads from all different angles. it doesnt seem quite right either.

it is actually a really complicated issue.

thanks kermit & nutsandstuff 4 the input :-)

what makes uterine cancer a special issue for rabbits? i have read actually it is not - it is a myth.

x

Because if they are not breeding regularly they over produce hormones and have phantom pregnancies. They are genetically programmed to breed extensively. Also fancy (pet variety) rabbits reach sexual maturity much faster than wild rabbits because their diets are so rich- the same as how humans are reaching puberty earlier. I have not found any of my female rabbits have gained weight after spay? Where did that one come from? That sounds like a myth to me.

The Duchess
29-06-2012, 12:32 PM
by all means lets get the scary cancer photos out - i dont think anyone is saying cancer is a myth and its not really what this post is about -
x

I'm not getting the scary photos out - I just thought it would be revelant for those interested to see what we are dealing with.

Please can you simplify exactly what you are saying then? I am obviously not understanding the meaning of your post, as I got the impression that you felt the thing about stats was scaremongering, when in my experience, it's clearly very real.

bunnymadhouse
29-06-2012, 12:34 PM
i do want to just additionally clarify - i am not contemplating the spaying issue but

spaying specifically for health reasons.

for example: because of spaying rabbits are becoming overweight and dying and this is more prominent than cancer? i dont know- even writing that raises a million little threads from all different angles. it doesnt seem quite right either.

it is actually a really complicated issue.

thanks kermit & nutsandstuff 4 the input :-)

what makes uterine cancer a special issue for rabbits? i have read actually it is not - it is a myth.

x

surely a rabbit becomes overweight by inappropriate feeding and lack of excersise ....

We have had loads of buns arrive intact and terribly overweight ...so much so that they have had to diet berfore being spayed ..

I have NEVER had a rabbit become overweight due to being spayed :?

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:34 PM
Where did you read this because theres lots of case studies and experiences which says otherwise

i totally agree with you - there are -

hey little-laura

just search the internet there are loads of alternative views - try typing in myths - misconceptions- lies etc and different articles and studies come up.

also researching the criteria used for a 'case study' can be quite shocking in itself.

a few years ago i had a list of vets and their articles stating these views also - so at least an acknowledgement that vets have differences of opinion even if not mainstream yet is all i was thinking about.

x

little-laura
29-06-2012, 12:34 PM
Because if they are not breeding regularly they over produce hormones and have phantom pregnancies. They are genetically programmed to breed extensively. Also fancy (pet variety) rabbits reach sexual maturity much faster than wild rabbits because their diets are so rich- the same as how humans are reaching puberty earlier. I have not found any of my female rabbits have gained weight after spay? Where did that one come from? That sounds like a myth to me.

I agree with everything you have said but the weight thing is a possible side affect some female rabbits have been seen to have put on weight more easilly after a spay something to do with body changes, it can happen in humans too.

The Duchess
29-06-2012, 12:34 PM
To help prevent any kind of cancer in rabbits has to be a priority - if by spaying we can prevent that kind then that has to be a good thing, in particular as we know that a secondary site for this type of cancer can be the lungs.

I have lost two bunnies to other cancers - bladder and throat - both in Frienchies.

weeble
29-06-2012, 12:40 PM
Regardless of the cancer issue it also prevents accidental litters and unwanted hormone related behaviour which is most definitely real, I have the scars to prove it. I cant believe given the choice of spaying or not spaying anyone would contemplate not spaying a healthy bunny.

Ill be honest I have heard vets say buns shouldn’t be spayed including one my mum used to use but these aren’t vets that I would trust with my rabbits anyway as their specialisms are elsewhere

little-laura
29-06-2012, 12:42 PM
just looked at some of these websites saying these things and there is NO EVIDENCE its all their own research which they provide no proof or reliable sources.... they actually made me angry with what they were saying...

one of the places I found was this http://www.petrabbitworld.com/myth_busting.html

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:47 PM
I thought the same lol :D

yes this is true and obvious
it doesnt mean that the cancer wouldnt just grow somewhere else instead though.

but what else would people be prepared to cut out if they could because of a fear of cancer?

x

weeble
29-06-2012, 12:47 PM
just looked at some of these websites saying these things and there is NO EVIDENCE its all their own research which they provide no proof or reliable sources.... they actually made me angry with what they were saying...

one of the places I found was this http://www.petrabbitworld.com/myth_busting.html

Thats a very scary website and IMO shjould be disregarded as a source of advice comments such as Don't feed grass because it causes bloat, are scary although they arent based in the UK.

If you look hard enough on the internet ou can find a website to back up anything you want to say, doesnt mean its true

William
29-06-2012, 12:50 PM
yes this is true and obvious
it doesnt mean that the cancer wouldnt just grow somewhere else instead though.

but what else would people be prepared to cut out if they could because of a fear of cancer?

x

It's not just a fear though, it's very common. And it's not just with rabbits, as I said pet pigs that aren't being bred from should always be spayed because uterine cancer is very common in them too. I'm guessing it's for the same reason as rabbits, because they're genetically programmed to breed extensively.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 12:52 PM
That site is ridiculous :evil::evil: I'm not surprised she doesn't have anywhere for people to leave comments or contact her.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 12:53 PM
just looked at some of these websites saying these things and there is NO EVIDENCE its all their own research which they provide no proof or reliable sources.... they actually made me angry with what they were saying...

one of the places I found was this http://www.petrabbitworld.com/myth_busting.html

i will have a look at it - thanks

i will also see if i can find the vets studies etc but it may be weeks before i can post it as i would need a computer - you prob be quicker to keep digging:-)

i am sorry that you read something that made you angry - again, this post is not intended to particularly anger anyone - i have a very high history of cancer in my own family so as i said its not something to be taken lightly.

x

little-laura
29-06-2012, 12:56 PM
yes this is true and obvious
it doesnt mean that the cancer wouldnt just grow somewhere else instead though.

but what else would people be prepared to cut out if they could because of a fear of cancer?

x

Thats not the point this cancer in particular has a high incidence rate when the bun has not been spayed where the other cancer incidence rates and risk of developing are much lower. We try to prevent the other cancers with proper diets, exercise etc... doesnt mean they wont develop them but its something. If something that is high risk is removable and not needed as you arent going to breed the bun then its the best course of action. ok you can get lung cancer but you cant remove the lungs and still function so you have no choice but to carry on with them you can remove the uterious and they live happily without it and they cant get that cancer.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 12:56 PM
I agree with everything you have said but the weight thing is a possible side affect some female rabbits have been seen to have put on weight more easilly after a spay something to do with body changes, it can happen in humans too.

Well the reason for weight gain in humans is increase in appetite and less burning off of energy through the menstrual process. Both of which wouldn't apply to rabbits in the sense that they eat constantly anyway because they food is low in nutritional value and they don't have a menstrual process. I have found however that does I've had before they where spayed would get fatter around the time they where experiencing phantom pregnancy. I don't know any scientific evidence though.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 01:00 PM
It's not just a fear though, it's very common. And it's not just with rabbits, as I said pet pigs that aren't being bred from should always be spayed because uterine cancer is very common in them too. I'm guessing it's for the same reason as rabbits, because they're genetically programmed to breed extensively.

thanks for this -

it does seem very logical to me- i would like to brush up my knowledge on this to see any counter-arguments are.

do you know why this wouldnt apply to human women? or does it? guessing the amounts of children a rabbit is supposed to have - hormones etc- as you said.

x

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 01:03 PM
The other flaw with any research is that traditionally rabbits where kept for meat so never got old enough for these problems to show up, or because of the poor understanding of their needs they where only expected to have a lifespan of around 5 years anyway. Rabbits living to 10+ years is a relatively new phenomenon with improvements in rabbit welfare. ETA plus there isn't great data on death rates and reasons for death because rabbit owners who don't neuter or vaccinate may just assume a rabbits of 5 or 6 has died of old age and bury it, there wouldn't be post mortem etc.


It's like when I was little I had two guinea pigs. We where told they live 4-6 years but one lived till 10 and the other was 12. They actually have a very good healthy life with us more by accident than anything else. As I had a horse we would bring a bale home and they had that as bedding. They got greens everyday because my mum used to do a roast dinner with veg nearly every day.

Georgeypudding
29-06-2012, 01:04 PM
yes this is true and obvious
it doesnt mean that the cancer wouldnt just grow somewhere else instead though.

but what else would people be prepared to cut out if they could because of a fear of cancer?

x

The cancer is a hormonal kind of cancer, so removing the uterus and hormones will stop the cancer, it wont just grow else where (although yes there is a chance of other cancers forming)
We dont just spay because of the cancer risk, it also stops the hormones, keeps rabbits litter trained, their behaviour should improve and they can be bonded

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 01:06 PM
thanks for this -

it does seem very logical to me- i would like to brush up my knowledge on this to see any counter-arguments are.

do you know why this wouldnt apply to human women? or does it? guessing the amounts of children a rabbit is supposed to have - hormones etc- as you said.

x

Interestingly in humans, they never found a case of cervical cancer in a virgin. Phantom pregnancies and use of hormone related contraception is linked to increased risk in humans.

Georgeypudding
29-06-2012, 01:07 PM
Interestingly in humans, they never found a case of cervical cancer in a virgin. Phantom pregnancies and use of hormone related contraception is linked to increased risk in humans.

Cervical cancer is thought to be caused by a virus which is transmited via sex (hence the HPV jab or what ever it was) which would be why there was no cases in virgins :wave:

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 01:11 PM
I would like to see the RWA set up a national database for the recording of incidences of illnesses in rabbits and contributing factors. Similar to the audit research being undertaken for human ailments. For example, they could have a database a vet can log on to to record rabbit death, age, cause and vaccination/neutering status. This simple information if collected on a vast scale would give a clear indicator of any trends.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 01:15 PM
Regardless of the cancer issue it also prevents accidental litters and unwanted hormone related behaviour which is most definitely real, I have the scars to prove it. I cant believe given the choice of spaying or not spaying anyone would contemplate not spaying a healthy bunny.

Ill be honest I have heard vets say buns shouldn’t be spayed including one my mum used to use but these aren’t vets that I would trust with my rabbits anyway as their specialisms are elsewhere

i think a lot of us have come across a vet or heard of one through a friend or relative who have a different practice other than factory farming all rabbits that hop through their office through the neutering programme -

i respect what you are saying and making your decision that these are opinions you do not share - and you went to a vet who thought neutering a good decision.

i thought a really good idea would be the next time any of us comes across these views in a surgery if we could politely ask for his/her research on the subject and why - as a vet - he/she would lose out on paying customers by recommending the bunny not be neutered. ?

x

LittleEskimo
29-06-2012, 01:15 PM
Ok lets think, what is cancer in the first place? Cancer is where cells reproduce abnormal/damaged cells. All cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control, do not die like normal cells and they invade other cells and tissue.
The reason small animals only live for shorter periods of time (Like how a hamster lives for 3-4 years) is because smaller animals reproduce their cells much faster then us humans. Now the chances of having cancer within, lets say 5 years, is much higher because they reproduce cells much quicker then us. So a higher chance of getting a damaged cell very early on.
Rabbits are designed to breed like wildfire. And if they are not being bred from then that causes hormonal problems and to the cells in the reproductive organs.


I actually have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to why the cancer appears in the uterus but that is my un-educated guess on it :lol:

And not to forget an unspayed rabbit is like owning a piranha :roll:

Amy104
29-06-2012, 01:29 PM
See post 16

http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?220330-Skin-contact-of-the-Myxi-Vac-any-adverse-effect-U-D-Response-from-Vet/page2

The Duchess
29-06-2012, 01:32 PM
i think a lot of us have come across a vet or heard of one through a friend or relative who have a different practice other than factory farming all rabbits that hop through their office through the neutering programme -

i respect what you are saying and making your decision that these are opinions you do not share - and you went to a vet who thought neutering a good decision.

i thought a really good idea would be the next time any of us comes across these views in a surgery if we could politely ask for his/her research on the subject and why - as a vet - he/she would lose out on paying customers by recommending the bunny not be neutered. ?

x

The only time I have ever heard this was from a vet didn't see enough rabbits to be confident enough to carry out a spay, or who had not done one at all.

(Of course we also hear vets who have said in the past they they don't recommend vaccinating for VHD because they have never seen a case in their area - that just doesn't stack up either.)

Some vets are just not bunny savvy and don't have any interest in becoming more so either - that will be one very big reason for a vet to not recommend neutering in my opinion. I work at a vets so have a broad spectrum of veterinary people to consider. Luckily for me even our non bunny savvy colleagues will still recommend neutering but simply suggest one of the more bunny savvy vets to carry out the procedure.

The Duchess
29-06-2012, 01:36 PM
Ok lets think, what is cancer in the first place? Cancer is where cells reproduce abnormal/damaged cells. All cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control, do not die like normal cells and they invade other cells and tissue.
The reason small animals only live for shorter periods of time (Like how a hamster lives for 3-4 years) is because smaller animals reproduce their cells much faster then us humans. Now the chances of having cancer within, lets say 5 years, is much higher because they reproduce cells much quicker then us. So a higher chance of getting a damaged cell very early on.
Rabbits are designed to breed like wildfire. And if they are not being bred from then that causes hormonal problems and to the cells in the reproductive organs.


I actually have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to why the cancer appears in the uterus but that is my un-educated guess on it :lol:

And not to forget an unspayed rabbit is like owning a piranha :roll:

This exactly - check this out - an unspayed female of 3 years old that I took in last week https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=412216568822076&set=a.411534775556922.96557.224203434290058&type=3&theater

little-laura
29-06-2012, 01:41 PM
This exactly - check this out - an unspayed female of 3 years old that I took in last week https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=412216568822076&set=a.411534775556922.96557.224203434290058&type=3&theater

owch...........:shock:

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 01:45 PM
Ok lets think, what is cancer in the first place? Cancer is where cells reproduce abnormal/damaged cells. All cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control, do not die like normal cells and they invade other cells and tissue.
The reason small animals only live for shorter periods of time (Like how a hamster lives for 3-4 years) is because smaller animals reproduce their cells much faster then us humans. Now the chances of having cancer within, lets say 5 years, is much higher because they reproduce cells much quicker then us. So a higher chance of getting a damaged cell very early on.
Rabbits are designed to breed like wildfire. And if they are not being bred from then that causes hormonal problems and to the cells in the reproductive organs.


I actually have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to why the cancer appears in the uterus but that is my un-educated guess on it :lol:

And not to forget an unspayed rabbit is like owning a piranha :roll:

that did make me laugh :-)

little eskimo -
thinking about it in this way i have read that we are all born with cancer in our cells - we have it now - today - this second- in our bodies? is this even true?

the reason that it doesnt take hold of us and make us ill in any area of our bodies - kidneys, testicles, skin, lungs, uterus etc. is that our immune systems when working well simply fight or flush out the cancer cells -

so if any of that is true wouldnt it then simply become a case of keeping the rabbits immune system working well?

x

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 01:48 PM
that did make me laugh :-)

little eskimo -
thinking about it in this way i have read that we are all born with cancer in our cells - we have it now - today - this second- in our bodies? is this even true?

the reason that it doesnt take hold of us and make us ill in any area of our bodies - kidneys, testicles, skin, lungs, uterus etc. is that our immune systems when working well simply fight or flush out the cancer cells -

so if any of that is true wouldnt it then simply become a case of keeping the rabbits immune system working well?

x

Your body doesn't fight cancer cells because they are your own cells with your own DNA it doesn't recognise them as a threat. That's why its so hard to treat. Cancer is when our own cells 'forget' how to die, a cell malfunction if you will. Its not like a virus to you catch and its not external to your own body.

little-laura
29-06-2012, 01:49 PM
that did make me laugh :-)

little eskimo -
thinking about it in this way i have read that we are all born with cancer in our cells - we have it now - today - this second- in our bodies? is this even true?

the reason that it doesnt take hold of us and make us ill in any area of our bodies - kidneys, testicles, skin, lungs, uterus etc. is that our immune systems when working well simply fight or flush out the cancer cells -

so if any of that is true wouldnt it then simply become a case of keeping the rabbits immune system working well?

x

not with this type of cancer as its more related to breeding. But if we breed them enough that they dont get the cancer they would die from the stress on their bodies from having babies constantly....

chloemurray
29-06-2012, 01:49 PM
that did make me laugh :-)

little eskimo -
thinking about it in this way i have read that we are all born with cancer in our cells - we have it now - today - this second- in our bodies? is this even true?

the reason that it doesnt take hold of us and make us ill in any area of our bodies - kidneys, testicles, skin, lungs, uterus etc. is that our immune systems when working well simply fight or flush out the cancer cells -

so if any of that is true wouldnt it then simply become a case of keeping the rabbits immune system working well?

x

I just don't see how that can be true... Cancer is caused by rapid reproduction of cells etc, as LittleEskimo explained.... it's not just something we "have".

In regards to the original question, I have heard of so many rabbits going in to be spayed that already have uterine cancer, that I will always get my female bunnies spayed (the boys are always neutered as well, just to clarify). Even if the risk wasn't as high as it is, if you can do something to prevent them ever getting a type of cancer that is common in their species, why on earth wouldn't you do it?

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 01:50 PM
It doesn't apply to a human because humans and animals are completely different. Hence why animal testing is so outdated and there have been advancements for human medicines/cosmetics etc excluding animals completely.

Every species is different in one way or another, whether that be by a single gene or what it doesn't matter. Rabbits develop in such a way that uterine cancer is a risk when unspayed, yes other cancers are a risk, but not to the same extent. Same with many animals there will be one or more common ailments that will be more common in that collective species but again there will be exceptions to that.

Spaying bunnies to prevent uterine cancer isn't a myth.

Tamsin
29-06-2012, 01:51 PM
I for one, have never heard of a case of uterine cancer in a spayed rabbit, where as I have heard of lots of cases of uterine cancer in unspayed rabbits - some in very young ones. Just ask the rescues that have hundreds of bunnies spayed a year - they'll tell you that their vets often report early signs of cancer - and cancer itself.

As for obesity, not every spayed rabbit is overweight and not every unspayed one is a healthy weight. Spaying does not mean a rabbit will put on weight, just that as they are expending less energy on hormonal related behaviours the will need less calories in their diet. Any extra predisposition to weight gain can easily be counted by a good diet, plenty of exercise and regular weight monitoring.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 01:54 PM
Your body doesn't fight cancer cells because they are your own cells with your own DNA it doesn't recognise them as a threat. That's why its so hard to treat. Cancer is when our own cells 'forget' how to die, a cell malfunction if you will. Its not like a virus to you catch and its not external to your own body.

yep i have read this to -

a rogue :-)

x

Hugo's There
29-06-2012, 02:07 PM
I haven't read the whole thread but if you think uterine cancer is a myth then search my threads for rabbits like Fifi, Poppet, Missus, Emmy-Lou, Dumpling..........

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 02:11 PM
It doesn't apply to a human because humans and animals are completely different. Hence why animal testing is so outdated and there have been advancements for human medicines/cosmetics etc excluding animals completely.

Every species is different in one way or another, whether that be by a single gene or what it doesn't matter. Rabbits develop in such a way that uterine cancer is a risk when unspayed, yes other cancers are a risk, but not to the same extent. Same with many animals there will be one or more common ailments that will be more common in that collective species but again there will be exceptions to that.

Spaying bunnies to prevent uterine cancer isn't a myth.

i think its not really mainstream to say yet that because animals r different to humans they are not comparible.

i have seen the sites such as dr hadwen trust on the arguments against animal testing.

equally i have seen that the government is considering sending our stray cats and dogs to the animal labs for testing on.

btw : i except that there can be no chance of uterine cancer if the uterus is removed. the myth was really asking is it the truth that you would go and get neutered for the highest health of the rabbit.

because humans dont see a point to the reproductive system because they are not breeding the rabbit - i was wondering about the rabbit and if they felt there was a point to their reproductive system.

of course additional problem is that we cant ask bunny - i imagine bunny would not be complying with a lot of our wishes too!

i know women have suffered side effects and been devastated - but again it raises as many angles as it puts to rest.

x

Amy104
29-06-2012, 02:13 PM
''We recommend that all rabbits are neutered for many reasons, as we recommend
that all rabbits should be kept in pairs. Most rescue shelters have a
policy that they do not allow rabbits to be adopted unless they go out in
pairs, or a single rabbit that is going to be a companion for another.It is
now deemed as unfair to keep rabbits without a companion, especially a bunny
that lives outdoors.

I run the help line and have been doing this for 10 years. I also ran a
shelter of my own for 8 years. In my days we did not recommend the females
were neutered as it was considered it to be too risky. Modern day
anaesthetics have proved that it is far safer now and the majority of rescue
shelters neuter all rabbits before being adopted. I take a huge number of
calls from the public who no longer wish to keep their rabbit because it is
vicious...Most of them turn out to be female....approx 6 months of age and I
explain that this is typical female behaviour....Bunny PMT. Unspayed
females will often build nests- have false pregnancies. Pair an un-
neutered female with a male and when he shows very little interest in her
sexually, she will often turn on him in frustration. I cannot actually
remember where we got the information from, but I think years ago vets in
the USA did a survey and proved that 80% of females died prematurely from
uterine cancer. I can certainly find out. But this is only one of the
reasons why we recommend that does are spayed.

We are very fortunate to have many rabbit experienced vets that support our
recommendation. Frances Harcourt-Brown- Richard Saunders who is our
veterinary resident at Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Small Animal Clinic at
Langford. Brigitte Reusch was our first veterinary resident and she is now
the first dedicated rabbit lecturer in Europe. Anna Meridith at The Royal
**** School. Edinburgh University- Sharon Redrobe who has recently moved
from Bristol to Nottingham.

I am not a vet and would not dare to preach to you- but I feel confident
with the information I have just given. I am the organizer of The RWA/F
Conferences- Our next being in Manchester in May. Brigitte Reusch, Sharon
Redrobe, Richard Saunders and Anne Meredith are lecturing for me, as is
Kevin Eatwell from The Royal **** School and Molly Varga.

Cottontails Rabbit Rescue have also begun an early neutering campaign. With
the backing of Richard, Anna, Sharon and Brigitte, plus Sean Wensley Chief
Veterinary Office for the PDSA and the Bristol RSPCA vet- it is recommended
that females are neutered at 16 weeks and not 6 months as recommended by
many veterinary practices.''

This was an email sent to my old vet from the rwaf after I left the practice because they refused to spay one of my rabbits and moreover accused me of getting my reasons for advocating spaying off a 'dodgey american website'.

Also if you see my previous post I've linked relevant vet papers which support the view on uterine cancer.

parsnipbun
29-06-2012, 02:19 PM
i do want to just additionally clarify - i am not contemplating the spaying issue but

spaying specifically for health reasons.

for example: because of spaying rabbits are becoming overweight and dying and this is more prominent than cancer? i dont know- even writing that raises a million little threads from all different angles. it doesnt seem quite right either.

it is actually a really complicated issue.

thanks kermit & nutsandstuff 4 the input :-)

what makes uterine cancer a special issue for rabbits? i have read actually it is not - it is a myth.

x

Uterine cancer is very common in unspayed rabbits - I am not a vet and so do not now the specifics of why - however I am wondering whether the incidence goes up if females do not breed - It is a fact the incidence os breast cancer is much higher in human females who have not had children - as the hormones are not performing in the way nature intended (ie spending time producing children etc).

I am NOT advocating breeding rabbits - but just wondering of the causes are related?

Also you have not mentioned the physchological isues encountered by unneutered females who are often very frustrated (literally) with many phantom pregnancies.

Angie65
29-06-2012, 02:20 PM
I must be missing something:
is it a myth that spaying rabbits prevents uterine cancer?
How can a rabbit get uterine cancer if it has no uterus. Put another way: Male rabbits have no uterus & do not get uterine cancer.


Also - you had an accidental litter & are now rehoming - spaying DEFINITELY prevents that. So spaying =win win to me

LittleEskimo
29-06-2012, 02:27 PM
This exactly - check this out - an unspayed female of 3 years old that I took in last week https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=412216568822076&set=a.411534775556922.96557.224203434290058&type=3&theater

Ouch! That looks like it stings, is it ok now?

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 02:31 PM
I must be missing something:
is it a myth that spaying rabbits prevents uterine cancer?
How can a rabbit get uterine cancer if it has no uterus. Put another way: Male rabbits have no uterus & do not get uterine cancer.


Also - you had an accidental litter & are now rehoming - spaying DEFINITELY prevents that. So spaying =win win to me


you are missing something because you have not read the full thread.

cheers

LittleEskimo
29-06-2012, 02:34 PM
Uterine cancer is very common in unspayed rabbits - I am not a vet and so do not now the specifics of why - however I am wondering whether the incidence goes up if females do not breed - It is a fact the incidence os breast cancer is much higher in human females who have not had children - as the hormones are not performing in the way nature intended (ie spending time producing children etc).

I am NOT advocating breeding rabbits - but just wondering of the causes are related?

Also you have not mentioned the physchological isues encountered by unneutered females who are often very frustrated (literally) with many phantom pregnancies.

I remember reading somewhere ages ago that breeding rabbits (regularly) do not get cancer until they are very old and I always thought that's why pet rabbits get it so early if they are not being bred.

So, you can't breed rabbits simply for health because, well, it's just a bad idea and if you don't breed them they get cancer. Much better just to get rid of the organ that causes all the problems. No accidental babies, no cancer. Everybody happy :thumb:

Also, I never answered the weight issue. My Rosie got spayed over a year ago now and she is still in good shape :)

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 02:37 PM
This was an email sent to my old vet from the rwaf after I left the practice because they refused to spay one of my rabbits and moreover accused me of getting my reasons for advocating spaying off a 'dodgey american website'.

Also if you see my previous post I've linked relevant vet papers which support the view on uterine cancer.

i think it was little-laura who provided a link to a myth busting rabbit website - albeit she did not agree and it made her angry.

yes you too have had experience of a vet saying this.

it says on there funnily enough that the myth came from the usa and the study was done on new zealand rabbits which were euthanised - ie didnt die from cancer .....but had it and.....so on

and that the study of uterine cancer wasnt relevant to australia nor england.

i would be inclined to dig further about this then after your post -

thanks

x

helgalush
29-06-2012, 02:38 PM
btw : i except that there can be no chance of uterine cancer if the uterus is removed. the myth was really asking is it the truth that you would go and get neutered for the highest health of the rabbit.



Yes, absolutely, 100% unless there is a medical reason why surgery would not be appropriate (ie for other medical reasons).

Two out of four female rabbits that I have had, had uterine changes when they were spayed. In their cases I feel 100% sure that spaying has prevented cancer, both in the uterus, and from spreading to other parts of the body. I also believe this to be true of my other two female rabbits that did not have uterine cancer, since they now have no chance of developing it. :D

Oh, and they are/were bonded, meaning they live/d enriched happy lives :D

SarahP
29-06-2012, 02:40 PM
Human females who don't have babies, or enough babies, do indeed suffer from reproductive issues - I've certainly had my fair share of problems, and my gynaecologist told me this.

I would imagine that it is even more greatly escalated in a rabbit, who is designed to breed extensively, and perhaps not evolved to live the long lives that they do in captivity.

Angie65
29-06-2012, 02:42 PM
you are missing something because you have not read the full thread.

cheers

Then I think you need to amend your thread title to the question you want answered:lol:

Spaying rabbits DEF prevents uterine cancer:lol:

nessar
29-06-2012, 02:48 PM
havent got time to read the whole thread but can I ask where you are getting these doubts from? As you seem to be very against spaying, what has made you think like this? I'll see if I can clarify a few basic points below...

An extremely simplified explanation of cancer is that it is caused when the cells multiply, but multiply into cells which is defective, now normally the body would destroy these, but the cancerous cells slip under radar, as it were. They then multiply out of control, which causes tumours, these can be benign or can be dangerous, depending on the nature of the cells and how they are reproducing. In some parts of the body it is more likely to get cancer than others, like breasts in humans. One of the reasons breast cancer is so common in humans is because of the hormonal changes which mean that the breasts change with your cycle. In rabbits it is uterine cancer that is the big risk, removing the uterous of course means that there are no cells to multiply out of control, so the risk of uterine cancer is nul. The cancer wont pop up somewhere else instead as you suggest, as cancer isnt something that you catch, it is a natural process of cell division that goes wrong.

The reason that rabbits are so prone to uterine cancer is because they are not meant to live as long as they do. In the wild a rabbit will live to about 2, they are designed to breed as much as possible in this time. So it is not surprising that a rabbit that lives to 5 is likely to get problems, especially of the reproductive organs. The RWAF's figures will be accurate on this issue, as they are the leading body of advice on rabbit care and have one of the top rabbit vets in the country as their consultant.

Your question regarding weight is interesting, as I believe neutered animals of all types can be a little more prone to weight gain, but they certainly do not get fat if they have the right care. It is just about adjusting the amount of food you give based on what your particular rabbit needs, different rabbits, whether neutered or unneutered, have different needs when it comes to the amount of food to give. Of course giving them enough space is also a HUGE factor in how healthy they are. I would say unspayed rabbits are actually more at risk when it comes to size, as even if you give them the right amount of food and space, even if they arent fat they can still develop huge dewlaps, which can make it hard for them clean themselves, and make them more prone to flystrike.

A spayed rabbit will also not be at the mercy of their hormones, and of course the extremely stressful phantom pregnancies, and of course as we know stress lowers the immune system.

The problem with uterine cancer is that there is no cure if you keep the uterous where it is. The treatment for uterine cancer is to spay. And as 80% of does will get uterine cancer by the age of 5, there is a strong chance this will happen, and you'll have to spay anyway. Of course once the cancer is there, even a spay may not save the rabbit, as it may have started to spread, as it is often not caught early enough unless it is caught when you are spaying. I would much rather spay a healthy young rabbit and know they will never get uterine cancer, than wait for them to get it and have to put them through the operation when they are older and already unwell, and only have a chance of them surviving the cancer.

Rhian33
29-06-2012, 02:49 PM
One of my girls had a uterine tumour when she was spayed by the rescue at 2 years of age. They sent the mass away for analysis and it turned it it was malignant. That was over 2 years ago and I firmly believe that she wouldn't be here now if the op hadn't been done.

The rescue she came from like most on this forum spay all rabbits and regularly fine malignant tumours in older unspayed does. I'm unclear as to how this can be thought to be a myth.

In addition to this I'd say the majority of young females being surrendered to rescues are there because of hormonally related behaviour problems. Families just don't want to deal with the problem. If neutering became more mainstream like it is with cats and dogs then I'm sure this would help decrease the number of people bored/scared/whatever of their rabbits once they've hit maturity.

helgalush
29-06-2012, 02:50 PM
just search the internet there are loads of alternative views - try typing in myths - misconceptions- lies etc and different articles and studies come up.

also researching the criteria used for a 'case study' can be quite shocking in itself.

a few years ago i had a list of vets and their articles stating these views also - so at least an acknowledgement that vets have differences of opinion even if not mainstream yet is all i was thinking about.

x

Of course different vets with different experiences and different specialisms and different levels of rabbit-specific knowledge will have differences of opinion.

And of course there will always be people who want to say that something is a myth if it doesn't suit their own agenda. And also just because something is on the internet doesn't mean it is from a reliable source.

And finally using an analogy from the world of M.E. which is something I know you have a personal interest in, just because a person with the right qualifications and in a respectable position of power (for instance Prof Wessley and the psychiatric brigade purporting M.E. to be perpetuated by 'false illness beliefs' which can be treated by psychological interventions) doesn't mean that they are right, flies in the face of all the knowledge, experience and research supported by the M.E. Association amongst others, but still it gets him in the papers and commands respect for him doesnt it? Meanwhile causing untold damage to suffers of M.E. and the public perception. I use this analogy because you can see how it can take just a few powerful people with their own agenda to distort the very real and important message to get out to the public, to the doctors (or in getting back on to our subject, vets) and preventing meaningful treatment to take place.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 02:51 PM
i asked specifically that this post be on

the neutering of rabbits for their health and their best interests alone.

i am sorry that the thread title is confusing -

i mentioned the other issues and all the things that go with the neutering issue: deliberate breeding/accidental litters of rabbits who have bred themselves/ the sanctuary situations etc - on the first post

i was hoping that folk could untangle a bit and remain quite focused on this one issue - and discuss everything else on other posts-

we have already seen people have had a number of experiences from vets that simply will not neuter rabbits.

i am interested in this alone -
without personal judgements - or my own personal opinions

:-)

Amy104
29-06-2012, 02:51 PM
Then I think you need to amend your thread title to the question you want answered

Spaying rabbits DEF prevents uterine cancer

I too am confused now. I thought the OP was disputing it caused cancer.

My post linked vet info supporting it does cause it, and I don't understand this part:


it says on there funnily enough that the myth came from the usa and the study was done on new zealand rabbits which were euthanised - ie didnt die from cancer .....but had it and.....so on

and that the study of uterine cancer wasnt relevant to australia nor england.

Amy104
29-06-2012, 02:56 PM
we have already seen people have had a number of experiences from vets that simply will not neuter rabbits.

i am interested in this alone

What are you interested in though? The fact that many don't realise the importance of it, or the fact they disagree with it?

Personally I believe my old vets were of the first. They refused to neuter because they had little understanding of rabbits, it wasn't the only issue I had with the practice.

little-laura
29-06-2012, 02:56 PM
i asked specifically that this post be on

the neutering of rabbits for their health and their best interests alone.

i am sorry that the thread title is confusing -

i mentioned the other issues and all the things that go with the neutering issue: deliberate breeding/accidental litters of rabbits who have bred themselves/ the sanctuary situations etc - on the first post

i was hoping that folk could untangle a bit and remain quite focused on this one issue - and discuss everything else on other posts-

we have already seen people have had a number of experiences from vets that simply will not neuter rabbits.

i am interested in this alone -
without personal judgements - or my own personal opinions

:-)

the thing is though I have only ever had a vet who didnt know much about rabbits tell me not to neuter all of the vets with excellent rabbit knowedge have advised neutering

Amy104
29-06-2012, 02:57 PM
the thing is though I have only ever had a vet who didnt know much about rabbits tell me not to neuter all of the vets with excellent rabbit knowedge have advised neutering

This exactly.

helgalush
29-06-2012, 03:01 PM
yes this is true and obvious
it doesnt mean that the cancer wouldnt just grow somewhere else instead though.

but what else would people be prepared to cut out if they could because of a fear of cancer?

x


thanks for this -

it does seem very logical to me- i would like to brush up my knowledge on this to see any counter-arguments are.

do you know why this wouldnt apply to human women? or does it? guessing the amounts of children a rabbit is supposed to have - hormones etc- as you said.

x



With respect you are also going off on to other areas, so if you want to avoid muddying the waters, perhaps concentrate your replies solely on the issue of preventing uterine cancer in rabbits through neutering? As opposed to other kinds of cancers, or other species, such as humans?

It is relevant, but you want to keep the thread topic just about neutering to prevent uterine cancer.

Angie65
29-06-2012, 03:02 PM
i asked specifically that this post be on

the neutering of rabbits for their health and their best interests alone.

i am sorry that the thread title is confusing -

i mentioned the other issues and all the things that go with the neutering issue: deliberate breeding/accidental litters of rabbits who have bred themselves/ the sanctuary situations etc - on the first post

i was hoping that folk could untangle a bit and remain quite focused on this one issue - and discuss everything else on other posts-

we have already seen people have had a number of experiences from vets that simply will not neuter rabbits.

i am interested in this alone -
without personal judgements - or my own personal opinions

:-)

I'm at work - def don't have time to read 7 pages. I based my answer on the thread question.

I wouldn't personally use a vet that wouldn't neuter a bun (unless it was a health issue with that particular bun)
I'm anti breeding & neutered animals are healthier, & happier (less hormonal). They should also be kept with their own kind - a lot harder if buns are un-neutered.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:03 PM
nessar -

wanting to think things through for myself and gathering info is not a 'doubt'.

you say i seem to be very against neutering - this is a falsehood.

i will clarify -

please read my first post

thankyou for your input.

x

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 03:06 PM
Rabbits are classed as exotics. Vets who turn down and refuse to neuter are not specialised in exotics and hence not as willing to do the op. If they were educated to do so, I am pretty much certain there would be no ifs and buts. Some bunnies cannot be neutered due to other underlying illnesses.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:14 PM
the thing is though I have only ever had a vet who didnt know much about rabbits tell me not to neuter all of the vets with excellent rabbit knowedge have advised neutering

but isn't that a personal opinion born from the fact that you found it deeply disturbing that a vet should suggest not neutering? and so they must be incompetent, without real knowledge etc?

how is one choosing a competent rabbit vet? by seeing if they neuter them and if they tell you they have brilliant success etc then they are an 'expert'.

i would like to see the stats on each vet blue_vix ha ha

x

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 03:17 PM
but isn't that a personal opinion born from the fact that you found it deeply disturbing that a vet should suggest not neutering? and so they must be incompetent, without real knowledge etc?

how is one choosing a competent rabbit vet? by seeing if they neuter them and if they tell you they have brilliant success etc then they are an 'expert'.

i would like to see the stats on each vet blue_vix ha ha

x

No because you can find out about your vets qualifications and research them prior to going to them. You don't just assume. I will only go to a rabbit specialist vets unless out of hours and no specialist is available.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:18 PM
Rabbits are classed as exotics. Vets who turn down and refuse to neuter are not specialised in exotics and hence not as willing to do the op. If they were educated to do so, I am pretty much certain there would be no ifs and buts. Some bunnies cannot be neutered due to other underlying illnesses.

exotics! oooooh i didnt know that :-)

So far; i can not see a vet who has advised a rabbit to not be neutered because he is not qualified to do so him/herself.

X

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 03:19 PM
where about are you located? Here's an example of an fabulous rabbit vet http://www.crablanevets.co.uk/

:)

Amy104
29-06-2012, 03:19 PM
but isn't that a personal opinion born from the fact that you found it deeply disturbing that a vet should suggest not neutering? and so they must be incompetent, without real knowledge etc?


The same vet who advised me against spaying also nearly injected a myxi vac into me instead of the rabbit and also manhandled the rabbit to such extream that it cried out in pain - to me that is a pretty good example of the fact they were incompetant not ignorant.

A competent vet would of either took the time to explain why they felt against spaying and listen to my opinions, or go and do some further research, not accuse me of lying and reading dodgy websites.

Sky-O
29-06-2012, 03:20 PM
A choice to spay a female is not as black or white as just focusing on the uterine cancer issue, so therefore other things will be brought in because they are relevant to spaying.

Personally, I see spaying a rabbit (i.e. some 'one' who has a predisposition to a type of cancer- which, given many instances of unspayed rabbits having cancer, there IS a predisposition even if it's not as high as 80%) no different from a lady with a predisposition to breast cancer, having a precautionary mastectomy.

Also, I have one spayed rabbit who is overweight and 5 who are healthy weights. She is overweight due to being spayed too early (before she came to me) and also the way her metabolism works. As far as I have been told, spaying (and neutering) can slow the metabolism (and als reduce the need to hunt down a mate, and so can lower activity levels), which, if the owner is not aware and does not make the necessary adjustments will mean there is a higher likelihood of the owner providing an inaccurate diet, and ending up with a fat rabbit. That's not down to the spay, but an unvigilant owner.

Pebblesetc
29-06-2012, 03:23 PM
but isn't that a personal opinion born from the fact that you found it deeply disturbing that a vet should suggest not neutering? and so they must be incompetent, without real knowledge etc?

how is one choosing a competent rabbit vet? by seeing if they neuter them and if they tell you they have brilliant success etc then they are an 'expert'.

i would like to see the stats on each vet blue_vix ha ha

x

I chose my vet based on his qualifications and reputation. He's a trained exotics vet who chose to specialise in rabbit medicine and does a jolly good job of it, he's one of the most recommended vets I've ever met. I also have come to trust other vets at his practice with my bunnies for routine things like vaccination because I know that he has worked closely with the other vets to give them the knowledge they need to give basic treatment to a rabbit, if the rabbit requires more complex treatment they instantly say "I'm referring this case to (name) because he is a rabbit specialist and he knows more than me about this issue".

You wouldn't go to a cardiologist if you had a broken leg, you'd go to an orthopaedic surgeon. In the same way, you take a rabbit to a rabbit vet not a bog standard cat/ dog vet.

little-laura
29-06-2012, 03:23 PM
but isn't that a personal opinion born from the fact that you found it deeply disturbing that a vet should suggest not neutering? and so they must be incompetent, without real knowledge etc?

how is one choosing a competent rabbit vet? by seeing if they neuter them and if they tell you they have brilliant success etc then they are an 'expert'.

i would like to see the stats on each vet blue_vix ha ha

x


No because you can find out about your vets qualifications and research them prior to going to them. You don't just assume. I will only go to a rabbit specialist vets unless out of hours and no specialist is available.


Exactly

The vets who have advised against neutering have not had much rabbit knowledge, one who I spoke to didnt know anything about stasis and thats bloody worrying

weeble
29-06-2012, 03:25 PM
exotics! oooooh i didnt know that :-)

So far; i can not see a vet who has advised a rabbit to not be neutered because he is not qualified to do so him/herself.

X

I can think of at least one that fits that category

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 03:31 PM
nessar -

wanting to think things through for myself and gathering info is not a 'doubt'.

you say i seem to be very against neutering - this is a falsehood.

i will clarify -

please read my first post

thankyou for your input.

x

I think your initial post is confusing and its not really clear what you are getting at Diamond heart. Perhaps you might like to edit and rephrase it?

CrazyGal330
29-06-2012, 03:37 PM
exotics! oooooh i didnt know that :-)

So far; i can not see a vet who has advised a rabbit to not be neutered because he is not qualified to do so him/herself.

X

I know for a fact that the head vetinarian at the surgery I go to WILL NOT see rabbits, or any other small furries, Let alone perform surgery on them. He only saw me once when i had to have an emergency PTS, and he only agreed because he was the only vet available. He is more than happy to openly admit he does not know about rabbits.
Simply put, to become a vet you do not have to study small animals. You have to study dogs and cats primarily. If you chose to take extra courses and persue interest in "exotics" then vets can but do not have to. Hence why in the eyes of rabbit owners many vets are "incompenant".

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:37 PM
[QUOTE=Angie65;5443578]Then I think you need to amend your thread title to the question you want answered:lol:

i think it becomes perfectly clear after reading my first post what the thread was meant to be about.

i would hope people would at least read/listen to the thread before posting?

cheers

little-laura
29-06-2012, 03:38 PM
exotics! oooooh i didnt know that :-)

So far; i can not see a vet who has advised a rabbit to not be neutered because he is not qualified to do so him/herself.

X

Im confused... me and amy said we had vets that said just that said they havent done it enough or before and because their lack of knowledge advised not to neuter both because they havent got much experience of it and because they believe it is not necessary. But due to their overal lack of knowledge of rabbits you cannot really take what they are saying about neutering as gospel as they are probably saying that because of their lack of knowldge

Lea-Anne
29-06-2012, 03:41 PM
I don't think it's a myth at all. I have lost a doe to uterine cancer because I didn't ' get round' to spaying her. She died at age 3. It won't happen again

Pebblesetc
29-06-2012, 03:42 PM
i think it becomes perfectly clear after reading my first post what the thread was meant to be about.

i would hope people would at least read/listen to the thread before posting?

cheers

It's not completely clear because your wording is confusing in places and your points are a bit jumbled so it's hard to get the full picture of what you're trying to say. Perhaps you could edit it to make it clearer. Not everyone has lots of time to read every response to a thread :)

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:43 PM
I think your initial post is confusing and its not really clear what you are getting at Diamond heart. Perhaps you might like to edit and rephrase it?

i have mentioned several times in various ways blue_vix

:
one rabbit

one vet says they dont think it in the best interests of rabbit to put them through an unecessary neutering.

one vet says all rabbits must be neutered.

one vet says just the males should be neutered

one packed out animal sanctuary says neutering is good for their health

one rabbit friend wondering.

:-)

weeble
29-06-2012, 03:46 PM
[QUOTE=Diamond heart;5443666i have mentioned several times in various ways blue_vix

:
one rabbit

one vet says they dont think it in the best interests of rabbit to put them through an unecessary neutering. From personal exprience I would say this is down to lack of ability/ knowledge

one vet says all rabbits must be neutered. agree with this if healthy

one vet says just the males should be neutered From a not breeding point of view yes

one packed out animal sanctuary says neutering is good for their health Agree and the fact they are packed out and still say this reinforces the point

one rabbit friend wondering Not sure what you mean by this:-)[/QUOTE

Sky-O
29-06-2012, 03:50 PM
i have mentioned several times in various ways blue_vix

:
one rabbit

one vet says they dont think it in the best interests of rabbit to put them through an unecessary neutering. That depends on what 'necessary' is because 'necessary' does not always just mean for uterine cancer issues.

one vet says all rabbits must be neutered. That vet would be ignorant because each rabbit is different and not all rabbits are healthy enough to be spayed/neutered

one vet says just the males should be neutered Again, ignorance due to some not being well enough, but equally lacking when it comes to assessing WHY a female should be neutered and that doesn't always come down to medical conditions.

one packed out animal sanctuary says neutering is good for their health Good for the health of those who are healthy enough, but bad for the health of those who are not

one rabbit friend wondering.

:-)

Sweeping statements and anyone who makes them are limited because each rabbit is different and should be taken as such. Yes, some things might be the case for the majority, but not for all by any stretch of the imagination.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 03:52 PM
Im confused... me and amy said we had vets that said just that said they havent done it enough or before and because their lack of knowledge advised not to neuter both because they havent got much experience of it and because they believe it is not necessary. But due to their overal lack of knowledge of rabbits you cannot really take what they are saying about neutering as gospel as they are probably saying that because of their lack of knowldge

ah yes i c

there is a big difference in a vet saying go to another vet for neutering - i am not qualified enough

and those vets that are not neutering because they feel its for the highest good of that individual rabbit (not because of a medical condition preventing the neutering)

:-)

Amy104
29-06-2012, 03:54 PM
What are you wondering? Whether spaying is worth it? Which vet to believe? Is that what you mean?

If so The RWAF, The British Association of Small Animal Vets, Lots of rescue centres and some of the best rabbit specialists such as FHB and Richard Saunders all support neutering/spaying both males and females. Thats alot of support but I've not seen anything concrete to say the opposite. Apart from the risk from anaesthesia which is alot safer these days.

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 03:57 PM
ah yes i c

there is a big difference in a vet saying go to another vet for neutering - i am not qualified enough

and those vets that are not neutering because they feel its for the highest good of that individual rabbit (not because of a medical condition preventing the neutering)

:-)

Vets who opt not to spay usually do so on the grounds that they don't want to risk GA with a small mammal as success rate is less than that of a cat or dog, which normal vets who aren't exotics trained are familiar with. The reason rabbit neuters are more than cats and dogs in general is also due to this fact.

little-laura
29-06-2012, 03:57 PM
i have mentioned several times in various ways blue_vix

:
one rabbit


[1]one vet says they dont think it in the best interests of rabbit to put them through an unecessary neutering.
[2]one vet says all rabbits must be neutered.
[3]one vet says just the males should be neutered
[4]one packed out animal sanctuary says neutering is good for their health



one rabbit friend wondering.

:-)

1: Does this vet have in depth knowledge about rabbits? Do they know how to treat the most common but deadly problems with rabbits if no then they are hardly qualified to state that.
2: Yes, there are so many benefits for the RABBIT to do this that it should be done unless health issues dont allow for it. No utiris no chance of utiris cancer its a no brainer
3: Only if you dont want babies, on a health and for the rabbit basis both are just important but health risks are worse for females if not neutered
4: I dont know why you worded it this way "packed out" sanctuary are you trying to say that because their packed out it affects their decision because I can assure you whether "packed out" or not sanctuaries and rescues believe in neutering because its the best thing for the rabbit

Jaysmonkey
29-06-2012, 04:03 PM
Guys Number 3 is silly though. If you had a male and a female, surely not neutering the girl, but neutering the boy and then bonding wouldn't be the best idea..as it can have disastrous consequences. Also you'd need 6 weeks + after neutering male.

I know in some circumstances it can work. Take for example my brothers rabbit(s), Harry and Penny. Harry was neutered, Penny wasn't, they got on perfectly. Sadly Penny isn't here anymore though, Penny had an emergency spay after problems at the age of 5, it was however too late and she lost her fight to cancer whilst in the care of FHB.

little-laura
29-06-2012, 04:04 PM
ah yes i c

there is a big difference in a vet saying go to another vet for neutering - i am not qualified enough

and those vets that are not neutering because they feel its for the highest good of that individual rabbit (not because of a medical condition preventing the neutering)

:-)
this is what im trying to say >_<

no vet that was rabbit savvy would say not to neuter in the best interests of the rabbit, if they think that its through lack of knowledge

think about it theres a lot of rabbit owners on here some of them strapped for cash they would not waste money on neutering if it wasnt in the best interests of their rabbit not to mention putting their bun through it... Some users have the elite speceilists in rabbits for their vets and they agree and support neutering and believe its in the best interests of the rabbit.

if you were being treated for cancer whos advice would you take on board more a cancer specilist or your gp? its basically the same vets are trained in a vairiety of animals but specialise in certain areas, many vets have targets to be up on dogs and cats as much as possible for small animals like rabbits they arent as educated on.

This is why we have specilists

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 04:18 PM
It occurs to me to explain this further by saying how I read and understood the first post.


this is certainly an interesting one - i don't think, anymore, i could ever dare again to make a blanket statement one way or the other - this post is more of a practical philosophical angle.

to get to the heart of the matter an individual would have to dig deep and do alot of research - in a time starved world not many of us can afford to do.

i object, (actually i think object is too strong a word ha ha ) however of

1) mixing issues and agendas up

2) using statements that may not be true in order to shame, co-erce or force people into something which actually may not be necessary for that individual rabbit -

1) the issues and agenda's are mixed up because they are inter-related and it's not really poosible to consider an issue practically without looking at it as a whole.

2) I agree it is generally a fact that there is no way of knowing where a preventative measure is a necessary one for an individual rabbit, this goes for worming and vaccination too. But unfortunately as with the nature of preventative medicine you cannot apply it with hindsight and therefore the decision can only be made on the balance of probabilities using generalisable data, not known factors for an individual rabbit. By your reasoning no one should ever be vaccinated or encouraged to live healthy lifestyles etc, or take health and saftey precautions because you have know way of knowing if that person will ever become affected by what you are trying to prevent in the future. If humankind worked on that assumption there would be a lot more deaths from accident or disease. If you had an unsafe bridge would you say its unethical to advise people not to cross it because you don't know which one it's going to collapse under? Thing of all those people who would be inconvenienced just to save one or two lives....

However, having said that I do think that some people do state the case in a way to give dramatic effect, such as the person who told me when I couldn't afford to get my rabbits vaccinated before I moved to my mums
If you don't have your rabbits vaccinated it is almost a sure bet they will get myxo. There is no other way round the problem. You are too close to the wild rabbits.. I entirely disagree with using those sorts of semantics. Which I think maybe what you are actually having a problem with here. (this thread http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=5397771)


if for the sake of untangling these issues we could pretend that breeding wasnt an issue at all for the moment-

so the only reason to think about neutering a female rabbit is for health reasons i.e. for the highest good of that rabbit.

i deeply question that 'fact' - the study which found that a high percentage of female rabbits by the age of 6 was a peculiar one - and there is a fair amount of it under myths and misconceptions.

The fact is there is evidence that female rabbits are prone to uterine cancer. This research is now quite old and there is potential and scope for much more in depth studies, however, there are no studies disproving these findings, only personal believes, observations and opinion.

Spaying does prevent uterine cancer so I assume what you are saying is:- is it ethical to put a rabbit through the process of neutering as a preventative measure for uterine cancer, do the benefits out weigh the risks?

Well the short answer to that is yes, in most causes the benefits far outweigh the risks.


- i do have a penchant for truth :-/

and i am inclined to think that the statement if you dont neuter your rabbit she will most likely get uterine cancer a nonsense.

You have said you are inclined to think the statistics/ results of scientific studies which others have linked to are nonsense, which by default means you are more inclined to believe unsubstantiated hearsay.


i think the decision to neuter should be given some serious thought and not be taken lightly and of course assessed by each individual on a case by case scenario - i was startled to hear a vet say neutering is a mutilation under a different name. 10 yrs on and i understand this now.

I think any decent vet would always look at individual circumstances. However the evidence shows that neutering is the best option- and the vet should look for reasons not to neuter as opposed to what I think you are saying which is the vets should look for extra reasons to support the decision to neuter rather than not. If you are looking at it from the philosophical point of view that neutering is mutilation of the rabbit, by the same hand keeping them in an unnatural environment and feeding them processed food is just as wrong, because it is not what is natural to them. The majority of reasons to neuter rabbits would be void if they only lived in the wild.


individual neutering can b appropriate for medical reasons.

but cancer has many causes - they dont seem to be being discussed.

Other causes of cancer are discussed but as no one really knows what they are it is hard to make a constructive argument. Most of these would be things like providing a good diet and environment which had a stronger arguments for other benefits rather the reduction of rates of cancer. You seem to be suggesting that the overall risk of does getting uterine cancer is not a good enough health reason to neuter and advocating this only be done if there is an individualist need in each rabbit- such as evidence they already have cancer and the neutering being used as a treatment. I think there is a confusion that needs clearing up here-

Not neutering a rabbit does not cause it to get cancer, but neutering a rabbit does prevent some kind of cancers.

What you need to consider is that it is very hard to identify when a rabbit has this illness. Particularly amongst rabbit owners who are not as knowledgeable as those on this forum. Rabbits are very good at hiding pain and it is likely the rabbit will die before these individual medical reasons are ever discovered. This is supported by the RSPCA's findings that rabbits are one of the most neglected and misunderstood pets in the UK. It is therefore overall in the best interests of rabbits to spay as a preventative measure given the risks of GA are so much lower than that of uterine cancer. It is a much clearer easier message to get across to rabbit owners in general.
Also you state you want to look at health reasons exclusively and not take in to consideration the other benefits, but in reality when making such a decision these other factors are important to take in to account.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 04:29 PM
i have mentioned several times in various ways blue_vix

:
one rabbit

[QUOTE=Diamond heart;5443666]one vet says they dont think it in the best interests of rabbit to put them through an unecessary neutering.

This is an opinion and should be backed up with reasons for that individual rabbit.


one vet says all rabbits must be neutered.

no rabbit 'must' be neutered so this is inacurate, it should say "it's in the best interests of most rabbits to be neutered"


one vet says just the males should be neutered

This again is an opinion not backed up by facts. The vet should provide reasons why their opinion is more valid than other disagreeing experts.


one packed out animal sanctuary says neutering is good for their health

This is almost true, but it is also a statement with a political agenda. It should perhaps state "neutering is good for the health of the majority of rabbits". You could ask for further clarification on the particular health benefits.

VikkiVet
29-06-2012, 04:31 PM
The incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma is approximately 4% in non-breeding females before 3 years old, and between 50-80% in females older than 3 years. Incidence for previously bred rabbits is similar but the increase occurs around 5 years rather than 3 years. Peer reviewed research studies have been conducted since the 1940s until 2011 (latest reference I could find) that reinforce this finding, including studies investigating the incidence of cancers found in general practice surgeries at time of neutering, causes of reproductive issues in rabbits, causes of systemic disease in rabbits and randomised monitoring of rabbits that died or were euthanased for other reasons. It is not a myth. Even if a female rabbit is behaviourally an angel and lives with another male or female without any issues, for their own health and welfare they should be spayed. End of.

VikkiVet
29-06-2012, 04:47 PM
Peer-reviewed references:
Vet Rec. 1998 Jun 20;142(25):704. Uterine adenocarcinoma in pet rabbits. Harcourt-Brown FM.

Vet Rec. 1998 May 16;142(20):550-1. Treatment of a uterine adenocarcinoma in a domestic rabbit by ovariohysterectomy. Sommerville LM.

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Dec 1;237(11):1257-9 Pathology in practice. Morphologic diagnosis: Uterine adenocarcinoma with metastasis to the lungs, diaphragm, spleen, mesentery, and cecum. Brown YK, Knowles S, Fiorello CV, Camus MS, Howerth EW.

Vet Rec. 2010 Feb 20;166(8):230-3. Uterine disorders in 59 rabbits. Walter B, Poth T, Böhmer E, Braun J, Matis U.

J Comp Pathol. 2010 May;142(4):323-7 Progesterone receptor expression and proliferative activity in uterine tumours of pet rabbits. Vinci A, Bacci B, Benazzi C, Caldin M, Sarli G.

Vet Pathol. 2008 Mar;45(2):217-25. The immunohistochemical evaluation of estrogen receptor-alpha and progesterone receptors of normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic endometrium in 88 pet rabbits. Asakawa MG, Goldschmidt MH, Une Y, Nomura Y.

Compend Contin Educ Vet. 2007 Jan;29(1):49, 51. Clinical snapshot. Uterine adenocarcinoma. Tonks CA, Atlas AL.

J Vet Med Sci. 2002 Jun;64(6):495-7. Uterine disorders diagnosed by ventrotomy in 47 rabbits. Saito K, Nakanishi M, Hasegawa A.

Geoff's people
29-06-2012, 04:48 PM
Having no facts to back it up with, this is my theory on the subject.

A wild rabbit is designed to bear a litter of young evey 4 weeks so will always in her life be either pregnant or lactating. Our Pet rabbits even if bred from do not have this work load, so if a part of the body that is designed to be continually in use is left idle, it will atrophy and give rise to disease.


To compare to a female dog (though they should be spayed anyway) in the wild generally only the alpha pair will be allowed to produce young in the pack, so it is biologically normal for some females to not reproduce, the 'phantom' pregnancy that often results is an evolutionary bonus allowing another female to become nurse should something happen to the dam.
Hence not so high incidence of uterine cance in different pet species:thumb:

VikkiVet
29-06-2012, 05:11 PM
Good thoughts there Geoff's People. Biologically its actually more likely to be the opposite. The tissues don't atrophy from non-use they actually lose their regulation, leading to cancer, because they aren't used for their intended purpose.

Rabbits are induced ovulators, which means that the egg is only released from the ovary if they are mated. But the ovaries themselves still go through waves of activity, that occur in all mammals, where eggs are grown to a certain stage and then atrophy if not ovulated. A complex system of hormones regulates these waves, which are at higher levels in the spring - hence spring baby bunnies and spring fever, as many hormones come from the regulatory centre in the brain and affect many tissues, neither of which are removed when neutered. So, if an animal has all these hormones being produced (as Geoff's People says, more in rabbits that are intended to breed a lot vs animals that aren't) they still work the target tissues, such as the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for a litter. But that never happens. So the uterus cells keep getting told to do things but the next step doesn't occur. Eventually the signals get confused and cells start to divide in weird ways, or the regulation of their division gets altered so they no longer listen to the signals. A bit like if you kept poking someone, eventually you get a different reaction! This results in diseases such as hyperplasia (too many cells) and cancer (cell division without regulation). Similar mechanisms are the reason why women who haven't had children are more likely to get certain types of breast cancer and why in-season ferrets have to be mated or they die because their hormone levels are just mental! They are still investigating the exact hormonal mechanisms of how it comes about, so we don't yet have a "cause". But that's the ins and outs of it, in a nutshell.

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 05:11 PM
thanks all very much -

it has clarified some issues for me :-)

i really do hope no-one was offended by me raising the question - i really just was curious.

and curiosity cured the cat :-)

have a wonderful weekend
x

Diamond heart
29-06-2012, 05:17 PM
vikki vet

i was going to get some rest but then i saw this post - and wanted to say a special thanks for the data research links -


and to blue_vix with the longer post too

actually i could go on....

much appreciated all
x

William
29-06-2012, 05:53 PM
it is something I've heard on other forums, so I guess some people do question whether it's a myth :? but it makes perfect sense, it's not like it sounds far fetched, so I don't know why it's questioned so often.

Vegan_Bunny
29-06-2012, 05:56 PM
I've always been under the impression that females of any species were more likely to develop cancer. I hardly had a problem with cancer when I kept male rats but I know plenty of people who kept female rats and had a massive problem with tumours and cancer.
Dogs are generally spayed because it reduces the risk of cancer so I would assume this would be the case for rabbits. My friend never got her dog spayed and she developed a tumour in one of her boobs, she had to get it removed and was spayed at the same time because the vet said that this would reduce the cancer risk hugely. Obviously it wouldn't prevent lung cancer or something similar but animals/people generally get cancer in the reproductive organs...there is a proper reason for this, something to do with the tissues etc but I'm not 100% sure what that is.

I have, however, done some research in the past about the study of uterine cancer in rabbits and found nothing that proved the figures. Apparently there has only been one study done and the reason the "80%" figure came up in does over 5 was because they used LESS older bunnies in the case study than younger bunnies. This obviously doesn't make it very accurate and would distort the results. This is just what I found but I don't know how reliable this info is.

I am 100% for spaying and would ALWAYS spay/neuter my animals. It's much fairer on them since they would feel frustrated if intact and would also reduce other health issues.

willowholly
29-06-2012, 05:58 PM
I didn't have Holly Spayed until she was almost 5 years old & by then she had an ovary as big as a golf ball because of cancer.She also made phantom nests most of her life which I think is cruel so after that I had Willow & B both spayed at 5months.Will NEVER not spay until late in life again:(

VikkiVet
29-06-2012, 06:04 PM
I think the 80% figure relates to the original 1940s paper, not sure how many animals were in that study or whether there was any bias in the study as its too old to access online. But lots of studies with different design parameters confirm that the incidence is at least 50% which is enough for me. We did a rabbit cadaver practical on adult rabbits, and of 80 rabbits I think over 50 had some sort of abnormality when we opened them up i.e. had no signs of disease before they were euthanased, not chosen because they did/didn't have uterine abnormalities etc.

donna-arc
29-06-2012, 06:32 PM
All I can add is what I have seen with my own eyes - proof enough for me.

I work at a veterinary surgery used by two rabbit rescues - we, therefore, spay hundreds of rabbits each year. I would estimate half the females we spay have signs of uterine cancer. Some of these it has spread to other parts of the body - meaning the doe will die of cancer she would not have developed if she had been spayed.
We have seen signs in rabbits as young as two. We also see it in does that have been used for breeding so this does not prevent the cancer.

We spay rescue rabbits at cost price - meaning we make no money on the operation - so have nothing to gain from recommending it be done if we didn't fully believe it prevents uterine cancer.

So my answer would be - it is not a myth that spaying prevent uterine/ovarian cancer.

Rhian33
29-06-2012, 06:43 PM
I'd also like to point out that with a competent vet who knows what they are doing the risk to a small furry is minimal. I choose to have my female rats spayed if they are under 6 months when they come to me with unknown genetic history as I think this is more beneficial than an op in the future to remove a tumour. I have also had 2 hamsters spayed as they had pyo. All my animals so far have made it through their ops and have lived/are living long healthy lives. The same can be said for rabbits. Very few are lost under anaesthetic or even just after if the vet is good.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 07:18 PM
I do think there is a point that the way some people put the risks across is done so in a way that's intended to scare. That does tend to put people off when they feel they are being emotionally blackmailed and its a shame if people don't spay because wording makes them feel negatively about the issue of spaying and results in them 'tuning out' as they say.

LittleEskimo
29-06-2012, 07:32 PM
*holds head gingerly* so confused by this thread...

Cari
29-06-2012, 07:33 PM
*holds head gingerly* so confused by this thread...

This. :?

Aly&Poppy<3
29-06-2012, 07:34 PM
*holds head gingerly* so confused by this thread...

Same :shock:

CrazyGal330
29-06-2012, 07:55 PM
I'd also like to point out that with a competent vet who knows what they are doing the risk to a small furry is minimal. I choose to have my female rats spayed if they are under 6 months when they come to me with unknown genetic history as I think this is more beneficial than an op in the future to remove a tumour. I have also had 2 hamsters spayed as they had pyo. All my animals so far have made it through their ops and have lived/are living long healthy lives. The same can be said for rabbits. Very few are lost under anaesthetic or even just after if the vet is good.

Very well put! :wave:

janice
29-06-2012, 08:04 PM
i thought a really good idea would be the next time any of us comes across these views in a surgery if we could politely ask for his/her research on the subject and why - as a vet - he/she would lose out on paying customers by recommending the bunny not be neutered. ?

x

Most knowledgeable rabbit owners would avoid going to vets who have out dated ideas, therfore would not get themselves into conversations like this.

blue_vix
29-06-2012, 11:44 PM
But there are a lot of rabbit owners out there who aren't that knowledgeable.
Those people who maybe get pointed in the direction of RWA information. They speak to people on forums and they speak to their vet.

Most people would assume the vet is the expert. So they have a vet in a uniform with a trusted job title saying your rabbit will die if you have it neutered because of the GA, and on the other hand a bunch of strangers saying your being cruel to your rabbit and it will die of cancer if you don't have it neutered. It is understandably confusing.

Its easy to stand from a place of knowledge and say "well I'd just change vets". The thread highlights to me that the information is not being put across to people in a way they can a) trust and b) understand.
It needs addressing if we as a responsible rabbit community intend to be successful in improving the knowledge of Joe Bloggs who got their little girl a rabbit from the garden centre when they only went in for some pansies.

yaretzi
30-06-2012, 12:39 AM
So they have a vet in a uniform with a trusted job title saying your rabbit will die if you have it neutered because of the GA

Find me a vet that's ever said that.

If you're talking about the warning that all vets usually give regarding the risks of GA, that's a totally different thing to what you're saying a vet has said.

Lea-Anne
30-06-2012, 12:49 PM
I'd also like to point out that with a competent vet who knows what they are doing the risk to a small furry is minimal. I choose to have my female rats spayed if they are under 6 months when they come to me with unknown genetic history as I think this is more beneficial than an op in the future to remove a tumour. I have also had 2 hamsters spayed as they had pyo. All my animals so far have made it through their ops and have lived/are living long healthy lives. The same can be said for rabbits. Very few are lost under anaesthetic or even just after if the vet is good.

:thumb::thumb:

blue_vix
30-06-2012, 02:20 PM
Find me a vet that's ever said that.

If you're talking about the warning that all vets usually give regarding the risks of GA, that's a totally different thing to what you're saying a vet has said.

Have you totally missed the point of the thread? General warnings on the risks of GA are not what I'm talking about.

What I said is basically what the OP's vet said to her, which is why the thread happened in the first place. There is also someone else on the thread who has said this has happened to her as well.
I was making a point that everyone saying "well I would just get a new vet that one must be no good" doesn't address the bigger issue. It is good advice for the OP because she has people on here to ask but that doesn't help all the other people who are less knowledgeable that may be getting told the same thing. I haven't personally experienced it, I am working off what other people have stated they have experienced in this thread. I'm sure there are hundreds of examples on this forum of vets giving the wrong advice, like the vet who told me I should have my sneezing rabbit PTS because he probably had incurable snuffles. He didn't even have snuffles, he had a chest infection.

There are two issues here-
1) is the right information being put out to your general rabbit owner with limited specialist knowledge?
-because there are many conflicting sources and opinions even within the so called expert profession

2) is that information being worded in an appropriate way?
-providing facts and understanding, rather than attempting to scare, emotionally blackmail, or promote political agendas, because where this happens people then mistrust the validity of the information.

helgalush
30-06-2012, 02:29 PM
Have you totally missed the point of the thread? That's not what I'm talking about.

What I said is basically what the OP's vet said to her, which is why the thread happened in the first place. There is also someone else on the thread who has said this has happened to her as well.
I was making a point that everyone saying "well I would just get a new vet that one must be no good" doesn't address the bigger issue. It is good advice for the OP because she has people on here to ask but that doesn't help all the other people who are less knowledgeable that may be getting told the same thing. I haven't personally experienced it, I am working off what other people have stated they have experienced in this thread. I'm sure there are hundreds of examples on this forum of vets giving the wrong advice, like the vet who told me I should have my sneezing rabbit PTS because he probably had incurable snuffles. He didn't even have snuffles, he had a chest infection.

How can we address the bigger issue?

Isn't that what the RWAF are trying to do by recommending neutering and producing leaflets explaining why. Also something that the PDSA and RSPCA are trying to raise awareness of. How much can we as individuals influence individual vets or individual rabbit owners? So it falls to the larger animal welfare charities (and rescues where they can) to educate both the public and vets, via several different channels. They are trying to counter the "it is not necessary to neuter rabbits" notion that might be being pushed elsewhere.

Unless I have misunderstood what you mean. :oops:

blue_vix
30-06-2012, 02:49 PM
I'm not saying we should be individually doing something about about it although I think we all do our bit on here, I was trying to say imagine it from the point of view that you are just a general rabbit owner, it's not surprising that the issues become confusing and I don't think we should be getting angry at someone because they are confused or not just accepting what they're being told at face value.

I'm saying it is wrong to just dismiss the concerns of the OP although the initial post was a bit unclear.

Sky-O
30-06-2012, 02:53 PM
Totally missed the point, sorry!

Hugo's There
30-06-2012, 03:08 PM
I'm not saying we should be individually doing something about about it although I think we all do our bit on here, I was trying to say imagine it from the point of view that you are just a general rabbit owner, it's not surprising that the issues become confusing and I don't think we should be getting angry at someone because they are confused or not just accepting what they're being told at face value.

I'm saying it is wrong to just dismiss the concerns of the OP although the initial post was a bit unclear.

I agree I think as I have found this difficult to follow.

I asked our local rescue why they wouldn't at least consider neutering their male rabbits and they said because rabbits die under GA and that is obviously what their vet told them :roll: :( This is why I do not use the other vet in town! But i agree that if the unknowledgeable rabbit owner uses a vet like that then they are going to take that vets word for it and not neuter, they wont know to change vet

helgalush
30-06-2012, 04:21 PM
I think I see what you mean now Blue Vix, I agree that sometimes it does seem like a minefield of information to get take on board relating to rabbits - they are such complicated little things at times, and not just with neutering, but with behaviour and health and other things generally, its easy to get confused and not sure what to believe. And yeah in those circumstances it is not going to help to get angry or guilt-trippy with someone genuinely trying to find out the best information they can for their rabbit, but I guess on the other hand its also frustrating to give what you consider to be good advice in terms of rabbit welfare (ie generally accepted advice) but then people turn a blind eye to it because its a hassle/expense they can not be bothered with, if you see what I mean.

PS I am sure I am just adding to the confusion now! :lol:

oksana.dashwood
24-09-2015, 10:42 AM
I run a small rescue with a small throughput, probably about a dozen rabbits a year. In 2 years, I lost two does to neutering, in hands of experienced rabbit vets. One from liver failure post-surgery, she went into it right away and and died within two days. Second just now under GA. A five 1/2 y.o. doe, who we had for two month, who did so well with us, coming in malnourished and putting on weight as we needed her to, just died under GA at the end of the procedure. I also had two who went in for their spays to find that they were spayed already. The latest casualty, the elderly doe, wasn't even going for adoption. She was to stay a resident here due to old age and awful teeth. It's probably best for her to have gone, because she had to have monthly dentals. But she was so cheery, fun, inquisitive... I certainly found this very traumatic losing her this unexpectedly and I'm going to most seriously research the actual cancer risk and weigh it against surgery risks in future. I'm seriously contemplating not spaying my females routinely any longer but only if they're young, in sound health and are doing for adoption - all these three factors. I bonded entire females without any problems and never found they needed neutering for behavioural reasons. I mean, you wouldn't do that to yourself only so that your husband didn't have to deal with your PMS moods? I actually came to consider surgery a serious risk.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

SarahP
24-09-2015, 10:50 AM
Wow, this is an old thread!

Sorry to hear about your losses. I'm sure others will have lots of views - good to have a healthy debate about these things, I think,

catxx
24-09-2015, 11:19 AM
*blows cobwebs off thread* anyone have a duster?

The spay surgery is far less risky than the operations when they're further down the line to remove tumours as a result of not being spayed. Like Thimble who arrived at Rabbit Residence aged 7 with three massive tumours in her uterus and dangerously underweight, she was successfully spayed and is now bonded with a loving husbun. Another 7 year old doe who came in with her, Fariyah, was also unspayed and had a massive tumour attached to her uterus and one of her kidneys, it was so large it was displacing other organs. She was successfully spayed and had one kidney removed, she lived happily with her new found husbun for 6 months before the cancer came back and had spread to her other kidney. Would she still be alive if spayed earlier? Probably.

oksana.dashwood
24-09-2015, 12:10 PM
I'm actually in bits over this, crying all the time, regretting the decision to spay her. She'd just moved in with her - I'm sure first ever - husbun. Also a giant bun like her. They were an elderly couple whose bonding was like, "Ah where have you been all this time? Come here, let's groom." ... Instant. They were both ex-breeding rabbits. She in particular was in dreadful state when she came here, a bag of vibes she was, the biggest of them all and the thinnest of then all. In just 2 months, she put on nearly a kilogramme, and she was still thin. She was such a character and just started to trust us, so loved up for a week with her husbun Rusty and looked after so well. Our vet said it was risky but still recommended we went ahead, for uterine cancer prevention reasons. I should have known she was too old and left out at that, left her to live out her remaining time, loved up with her Rusty and lapping her slop that I made her daily. I should have never sent her for this op! It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

SarahP
24-09-2015, 12:26 PM
That's so sad. :( But we can only take the decision we feel is right at the time, based on the advice we're given. x

Fellie
24-09-2015, 12:42 PM
I'm so sorry this has happened to you...unfortunately it seems that this decision carries risks whatever we decide and our decisions are only based on what we feel is right for the rabbit at the time. So don't blame yourself - you did the right thing based on the information you had at the time. You gave this girl a wonderful life whilst she was with you and she left you in peace and without pain.

KarenM
24-09-2015, 02:10 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss Oksana. :( It must be devastating to lose a bun in that situation and you're bound to think of all the what if's but, for what it's worth, I'm sure you made the right decision. You weren't to know that it would end this way and sadly there is always a risk with a GA.

Lola sends her love btw; she and Alfie are still very loved up and both doing well. :)

Snowflake-George
24-09-2015, 03:25 PM
Oksana, I've just realised that your doe is Chestnut from Helicopter Ears. :cry: I am very sorry for your loss, she was a very beautiful girl and looked so happy with Rusty.

I can't really add more too what everyone has already said, except that I think you and your team at Helicopter Ears are fabulous. You have taken in some seriously neglected bunnies in the past and give them the respect, the care and especially all the love that they should have had. Without yourself bunnies like Chestnut and Rusty, Teddy, Mr Buttons and Dominic would never have been given the chances you gave them. :love: :love:

oksana.dashwood
24-09-2015, 07:22 PM
Oksana, I've just realised that your doe is Chestnut from Helicopter Ears. :cry: I am very sorry for your loss, she was a very beautiful girl and looked so happy with Rusty.

I can't really add more too what everyone has already said, except that I think you and your team at Helicopter Ears are fabulous. You have taken in some seriously neglected bunnies in the past and give them the respect, the care and especially all the love that they should have had. Without yourself bunnies like Chestnut and Rusty, Teddy, Mr Buttons and Dominic would never have been given the chances you gave them. :love: :love:
Thank you for your kindest words. Xx

halfpenny
24-09-2015, 08:53 PM
I think if you run a rescue, you are at risk of taking in poorly rabbits to begin with who may well struggle more with an anaesthetic.
I run an animal sanctuary and have had numerous older rabbits spayed who have had tumours in their uterus. In fact I lost a rabbit soon after arrival a few years ago, she was 3.5 and died after passing blood, a post mortem proved she had a uterine tumour. The other rabbit who arrived with her was 7, on neutering she also had a tumour. Neutering also removes the risk of mammary tumours, I've lost 2 rabbits to this too.
We happily neuter dogs and cats for health issues- mammary tumours, uterine tumours and with dogs more commonly pyometras, all things rabbits can get too.
I have never lost a rabbit due to a neutering op, whereas I have lost one and nearly another to a dental op, but I would never stop doing them.

oksana.dashwood
25-09-2015, 11:57 AM
I think if you run a rescue, you are at risk of taking in poorly rabbits to begin with who may well struggle more with an anaesthetic.
I run an animal sanctuary and have had numerous older rabbits spayed who have had tumours in their uterus. In fact I lost a rabbit soon after arrival a few years ago, she was 3.5 and died after passing blood, a post mortem proved she had a uterine tumour. The other rabbit who arrived with her was 7, on neutering she also had a tumour. Neutering also removes the risk of mammary tumours, I've lost 2 rabbits to this too.
We happily neuter dogs and cats for health issues- mammary tumours, uterine tumours and with dogs more commonly pyometras, all things rabbits can get too.
I have never lost a rabbit due to a neutering op, whereas I have lost one and nearly another to a dental op, but I would never stop doing them.
Thank you for your support. I know it was a right thing to do, meant to be, and all that. I think that's just what I needed to hear. Really thank you. X