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View Full Version : Advice? neutering and bonding older rabbits



nessar
14-10-2016, 10:28 PM
I haven't been on here much since Barney passed, but I haven't forgotten about RU, life just seems to get in the way! I still have Anna, who will be 6 in December, and is a house-bunny, living alone.

Honestly, after Barney being ill for years, I don't think I want to be caught in a never-ending cycle of bunnies, emotionally or financially, they are so fragile. But I have been offered an 8 year old, unneutered doe, who also lost her partner, and I'm considering it for Anna's sake, especially as she's not too dissimilar in age. I think she's a nethie x lionhead. We've been offered her on a trial basis for a few days to see if they would get on.

Can she even be neutered at 8 though? Could I bond without neutering? She was bonded before with another unneutered female.

Also, is there an insurance company that would take her on? Most won't after 5 years old.

Any advice/experiences welcome :wave:

Jack's-Jane
15-10-2016, 08:17 AM
I haven't been on here much since Barney passed, but I haven't forgotten about RU, life just seems to get in the way! I need to ask the advice of you all, RU has never steered me wrong! I still have Anna (spayed), who will be 6 in December, and is a house-bunny, living alone. She seems happy enough and gets human company, but I assume she'd prefer rabbit company.

Honestly, after Barney being ill for so many years, as much as I loved him, I don't think I want to be caught in a never-ending cycle of bunnies, either emotionally or financially, they are just such fragile creatures. But I have been offered an 8 year old, unneutered doe, who also lost her partner, and I'm considering it for Anna's sake, especially as she's not too dissimilar in age. I think she's a nethie x lionhead. We've been offered her on a trial basis for a few days to see if they would get on.

Can she even be neutered at 8 though? Could I bond without neutering? She was bonded before with another unneutered female.

Also, is there an insurance company that would take her on? Most won't after 5 years old.

Any advice/experiences welcome :wave:

Hello

The most tricky bonding combination is 2 Does. With one being un-neutered that would add to the complexities. Also, as I am sure you know, an un-neutered Doe of 8 is at very high risk (80%) of having uterine abnormalities.

Having said all of that you wont know if a bonding will work until you try. But I would be surprised (but delighted for you) if the process was straight forward. Is the other Doe fully vaccinated (Both Nobivac and Filavac) ? For me that would be an essential before bringing her into the home.

I am afraid I dont know of any Pet Insurance Companies that would take on an 8 year old Rabbit. So if finances are a major issue for you then that would be another thing to think carefully about. Both Nethies and Lionheads are breeds prone to dental problems. Also, older Rabbits can develope Dental problems.

Good luck if you do decide to try to bond the two Does. I know my post may read as quite negative, I am just trying to be realistic xx

tonibun
15-10-2016, 09:00 AM
People sometimes like to pass on their older rabbits, they don't want vet bills etc! Could you have 2 adjacent set-ups so each rabbit would have the company of the other rather than risk a fight? As you no doubt know, if you decided to bond them, it would have to be in an area away from where your rabbit lives. I wouldn't advise spaying an 8 yr old personally and I doubt that would make much difference as to whether the 2 would get on. And even if there were signs of Uterine cancer, it would possibly have spread to lungs or liver anyway, so spaying wouldn't eradicate it. You have the advantage of them both having shared with another before so this might work in your favour.

daphnephoebe
15-10-2016, 09:01 AM
I'd never attempt to bond does that are unneutered.
I've bonded two does and it took 3 months of pure stress and constant set backs. It can work, but a few days trial will generally not be enough for you to know if it'll work, especially as bringing a female into another females home is a big territory issue that will need to be over come.

Some vets will neuter at 8 years old, but I'd want blood tests to check kidney/liver function and also fluid therapy before, during and after the procedure to help the system flush out the anaesthetic quicker, all of which could be expensive.

I'd first look at your finances, I've never found an insurance company that will insure over 6years old, so any ill health will be paid out of your own pocket.
If financially you can support it, I'd discuss neutering with your vet (before you get her). If you vet will neuter I'd have her booked in for that and see if her previous owners can look after her while her hormones and wound heals (around 4 to 6 weeks). This will make bonding a lot easier.

Then be prepared for a long, stressful bond. Females aren't impossible, but they really do test you and it had me in tears most days.

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk

Bunny Buddy
15-10-2016, 09:24 AM
I'll just go for the insurance aspect. I don't think you will get insurance as most start with an upper age of 4 or 5. Agria pet insurance started covering rabbits earlier this year and ran an age amnesty at that time for a couple of months I'm pretty sure that has ended. Their upper age (I think) is five if the amnesty is over. I got a quote though and found them VERY expensive so decided not to bother!

tonibun
15-10-2016, 10:15 AM
Just to add a bit of balance - I know females are difficult to bond but I once bonded two 8 yr old unneutered does and it only took a day. They got along very well.

nessar
15-10-2016, 10:23 AM
Thank you everyone for your advice, I'm taking it all on board, keep it coming!

MightyMax
15-10-2016, 12:20 PM
I'd never attempt to bond does that are unneutered.
I've bonded two does and it took 3 months of pure stress and constant set backs. It can work, but a few days trial will generally not be enough for you to know if it'll work, especially as bringing a female into another females home is a big territory issue that will need to be over come.

Some vets will neuter at 8 years old, but I'd want blood tests to check kidney/liver function and also fluid therapy before, during and after the procedure to help the system flush out the anaesthetic quicker, all of which could be expensive.

I'd first look at your finances, I've never found an insurance company that will insure over 6years old, so any ill health will be paid out of your own pocket.
If financially you can support it, I'd discuss neutering with your vet (before you get her). If you vet will neuter I'd have her booked in for that and see if her previous owners can look after her while her hormones and wound heals (around 4 to 6 weeks). This will make bonding a lot easier.

Then be prepared for a long, stressful bond. Females aren't impossible, but they really do test you and it had me in tears most days.

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk

DP has given great advice. I can't add to what she's said :)

nessar
15-10-2016, 03:49 PM
I'll just go for the insurance aspect. I don't think you will get insurance as most start with an upper age of 4 or 5. Agria pet insurance started covering rabbits earlier this year and ran an age amnesty at that time for a couple of months I'm pretty sure that has ended. Their upper age (I think) is five if the amnesty is over. I got a quote though and found them VERY expensive so decided not to bother!

Yes I've had a look at their website and it looks like you can only get rabbit quotes or info by arranging a callback and there's no info about age on there so I guess the age amnesty is over :s

nessar
15-10-2016, 04:26 PM
Hello

The most tricky bonding combination is 2 Does. With one being un-neutered that would add to the complexities. Also, as I am sure you know, an un-neutered Doe of 8 is at very high risk (80%) of having uterine abnormalities.

Having said all of that you wont know if a bonding will work until you try. But I would be surprised (but delighted for you) if the process was straight forward. Is the other Doe fully vaccinated (Both Nobivac and Filavac) ? For me that would be an essential before bringing her into the home.

I am afraid I dont know of any Pet Insurance Companies that would take on an 8 year old Rabbit. So if finances are a major issue for you then that would be another thing to think carefully about. Both Nethies and Lionheads are breeds prone to dental problems. Also, older Rabbits can develope Dental problems.

Good luck if you do decide to try to bond the two Does. I know my post may read as quite negative, I am just trying to be realistic xx

Not a problem Jane, it's best to be realistic. I know you've kept a lot of rabbits - have you ever had an unspayed doe pairing?

I'm not sure if she's vaccinated, but I will check if we do go ahead. Anna had both recently so should be protected.

Part of me doesn't want the risk of an elderly rabbits' vet bills, which I could afford somehow if push came to shove but I'd rather not have to, and the other half of me wants her so I know she'll see my vet, who is fantastic, and have a friend to go through it with. Basically this is a battle between my head and heart! Im soft and feel bad for her outside and alone this winter.

nessar
17-10-2016, 10:10 AM
Just to add a bit of balance - I know females are difficult to bond but I once bonded two 8 yr old unneutered does and it only took a day. They got along very well.

Did they get along long term?

tonibun
17-10-2016, 11:00 AM
Yes they did, one died about a year later but they were very close. When I put them together, Annabel was ready to fight but the other one turned her back and started munching the grass. She was not going to fight as she was the one most desperate for company as she had never been on her own, whereas Annabel was alone when I took her on. Tbh I wouldn't try to bond 2 girls now but it can work - a lot depends on personalities.