View Full Version : Harry or Harriet - moved this from wrong thread!

16-08-2014, 10:25 PM
Hi everyone,

Hoping to get some advice on correctly determining whether my 17 week old rabbit is Hoppy Harry or Hoppy Harriet as I'm really stressing about it. I got him/her from a breeder at 8 weeks, who told me it was definitely a boy. I took him to the vet straight away to get him checked over and to have his jabs and the vet confirmed he was a boy. I duly booked him in to be castrated this Monday, with the view of matching him up with a rescue female before the weather gets colder. Anyway, the vet phoned to say he'd put Hoppy under, had a good poke around, but couldn't find any testicles to lop off and, therefore, thought it was a girl. He gave me the option of opening Hoppy up to see if he was a girl and doing a spay there and then, but also suggested we could leave it another month and have another look. I went for the latter option as, first, I didn't want to put Hoppy though an unnecessarily intrusive operation if he is indeed male and, second, even if he is female, I think she is a bit young and small to be spayed and I wasn't really geared up for the recovery.
On a side issue, both the vet and the receptionist suggested that it isn't a good idea to get female rabbits spayed because of the dangers involved with the surgery and the recovery period. They both said she'd be fine without being spayed and I could pair her with a neutered male to avoid the patter of tiny furry feet. That set alarm bells ringing, as from the research I've done (and from lurking around on here) I know the benefits in terms of behaviour and uterine cancer outweigh the risks. I therefore phoned Trinity Vets in Maidstone (who had been recommended on here), who confirmed that spaying was a good idea and also alerted me to the fact that male rabbits can retract their testicles when under stress and, therefore, appear female.
I've been having a prod around tonight and I'm finding it difficult to work it out. It's all very furry down there, so I can't see any defined testicles (a sentence I never thought I'd have to write!), but when I part the fur, there are purple patches with, what feels like, loose skin. The poky out bit also looks more like a tube with a circle on the top than a slit, so I'm inclined to think male. Question is, at 17 weeks, shouldn't it be easier to tell by now?

What should I do? My first thought is to take him to Trinity Vets, but the problem is it's quite a drive from here. The other option would be to find a closer, rabbit-savvy vet to get a second opinion from. I don't really want to leave it for another month as I'm keen to get him/her paired up and I don't really want hormones going wild if it is a male and I can get the op done now. It's all so frustrating!

16-08-2014, 11:01 PM
You are right to look for another vet. The vet should have checked for testicles and been sure of sex before putting your rabbit under anaesthetic. I am shocked that such basic checks weren't done. Also, the advice not to spay is appalling :(

You could ask for recommendations for a rabbit savvy vet on here, nearer to where you live? Then at least you can take bunny and have the sex confirmed and talk about neutering plans. There are members all over the country on here, so I'm sure someone could recommend another surgery if Trinity is too far.

16-08-2014, 11:32 PM

If I were you, I'd not use that vet any more! I was terrified getting my girls spayed last month as I'd never had it done before, only neutered boys, but they coped brilliantly and were back to normal within 48 hours as if it'd never happened.

I also experienced the same issue with my gorgeous Badger. He was extra super floofy, even more so than his brother and it took several months for him to be neutered as he kept hiding his plums and everytime I took him to be done, a different vet said he was a different sex.

I think boys can be done from 4 months, size / weight permitting. Not sure about girls as I have much less experience. Mine were done about 4.5 months but they are a large breed. I think 6 months is the normal age?

17-08-2014, 06:31 PM
Rosie was spayed at 16 weeks with no complications. She bounced back quicker than any of the boys did :)

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