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Thread: have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together??

  1. #1

    Default have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together??

    Hi everyone

    I have my pair of bonded female rabbits (6 months) booked in to be neutered in the morning and Iím now having second thoughts! I am aware of the advice regarding cancer/behaviour but I have done a lot of research and there are conflicting opinions of vets in BMA journals regarding ethics so I really want to hear about your personal experiences.

    Have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together? Or did they fall out eventually?

    Have you had an un-neutered female rabbit get uterine cancer or have phantom pregnancies?

    Thanks so much for your help ☺️☺️☺️

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Everyone's experiences are different, some are good some bad, yours will be unique to you. I do believe spaying is the better way but prefer my Does to be paired off with Bucks. Are your 2 sisters and is one the dominant one?

  3. #3
    Mama Doe
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    2 un-neutered female rabbits living together is one thing I would avoid at all costs. Girls get feisty enough anyway, without risking two hormonal does fighting. I would be very surprised if they didn't fight in the next couple of months, and then they would probably need vet attention to repair the damage, plus a broken bond to deal with.

    If you have talked it all through with your vet and you are happy that they have experience in neutering rabbits (which I assume was the case when you booked the appointment), I would take them in to be spayed together while they are healthy and happy, and can recover together. For me, the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

    Link from the RWAF for info:
    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/neutering/

  4. #4
    Alpha Buck binkyCodie's Avatar
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    I've heard of it, and yes it can be done, but its usually in extreme cases. a friend of mine has two unspayed does (sisters) living together. unfortunately every time they have been put under they've nearly lost them so its just not able to be done. however, she has had a lot of fights and has ended up with vet bills to stitch them back together again!

    its somewhat cruel in my opinion to have rabbits, or any animal unfixed when it is possible. they are a slave to their hormones resulting in aggression, phantom pregnancies, nesting and so fourth. its just not fair on them. most rabbits you'll find in shelters have been giving up due to "aggression problems" meanwhile simply spaying them would have fixed it. animals don't really have morals or understanding, all they care about is passing their genes onto the next generation in order to support the survival of their species. if you have no plan on breeding, then you deny them that which often results in frustration.

    females are incredibly territorial compared to males and the most feisty out of the two. without having them both spayed I wouldn't be surprised if they fall out and injure themselves very soon.

    all females that are unspayed will at some point suffer phantom pregnancies and build nests. its not nice for them to have. I suppose you could compare it to a woman's monthly but we can make our own choices on how to control that via medication or start a family. a rabbit can't and its fate is in your hands.

    there has been a study of a colony of rabbits for many years, and after each one died they had a post mortem preformed on them. roughly the rabbits that were 5-6 years old, 80% of them had uterine tumours of some kind. they may have not died from the cancer, but they could have if they lived any longer. uterine cancer (or infections) is a serious risk and it costs more to possibly fix it than it does to spay, if the rabbit even can be saved. the older the rabbit, the higher the risk. but this study has been hugely debated and some say it is not credible.

    there is a risk of anaesthesia, like with any animal or human. rabbits are more susceptible to it, but as long as you find a rabbit savvy vet everything should go smoothly. its been widely argued that the risk of anaesthesia is lower than the risk of cancer.

    the members of RU are always happy to offer advice, and help find a rabbit savvy vet if you should need it.

    here are some links for you:
    https://rabbit.org/faq-spaying-and-neutering/ : information on spaying and neutering
    https://www.vets4pets.com/pet-health...g-your-rabbit/ : information on spaying and neutering
    https://www.saveafluff.co.uk/rabbit-...paying-rabbits : information on spaying and neutering
    https://rabbit.org/care/bibliography.html : a few studies
    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-c...ndly-vet-list/ : a rabbit approved vet list, all vet practices on here have a rabbit savvy vet so you know you're safe with them

    Snoopy : 14.02.15 - 12.05.17 [mini rex]👑Luna : 14.02.15 [rex]👑Orion : 21.10.17 [mini rex]

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trixibelle View Post
    Hi everyone

    I have my pair of bonded female rabbits (6 months) booked in to be neutered in the morning and Iím now having second thoughts! I am aware of the advice regarding cancer/behaviour but I have done a lot of research and there are conflicting opinions of vets in BMA journals regarding ethics so I really want to hear about your personal experiences.

    Have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together? Or did they fall out eventually? Yes. No, they didn't fall out eventually.

    Have you had an un-neutered female rabbit get uterine cancer or have phantom pregnancies? Possibly.

    Thanks so much for your help ☺️☺️☺️
    Answers in bold.

    This was when I was growing up and didn't know anything about spaying rabbits. Just got lucky I guess in that we never had problems with them fighting or anything. No phantom pregnancies or building nests that I knew of either. I had one rabbit that might have had uterine cancer but I don't really know for sure. The rabbits were also gotten together as babies so there was no bonding process to go through (except once, when Bonnie kept getting through the separator and bonded herself to Ginger when they were both adults).

    Nowadays I reckon I'd always have females spayed just because of uterine cancer if nothing else. As long as the vet is experienced it's very unlikely there should be an issue with spaying. Far more likely that cancer would crop up. I've heard of a lot of instances where vets find cancer in 3+ year old rabbits when they're in the process of doing a routine spay on them.

  6. #6
    Alpha Buck TD86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trixibelle View Post
    Hi everyone

    I have my pair of bonded female rabbits (6 months) booked in to be neutered in the morning and I’m now having second thoughts! I am aware of the advice regarding cancer/behaviour but I have done a lot of research and there are conflicting opinions of vets in BMA journals regarding ethics so I really want to hear about your personal experiences.

    Have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together? Or did they fall out eventually? Yes two sisters, occasional scratches because they would face hump but they loved each other unconditionally

    Have you had an un-neutered female rabbit get uterine cancer or have phantom pregnancies? Yes, one definitely died of cancer, potentially both at the ages of around 8 & 10

    Thanks so much for your help ☺️☺️☺️
    My advice to you would be 100% get them spayed. There is nothing worse than witnessing the rabbits you love experiencing pain that you could have prevented with having knowledge of the risks. When we adopted Penfold and Dangermouse from my aunt, we had no idea about any of it.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper SarahP's Avatar
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    I had 2 females that had been living together for 18 months before they came to me. They were unspayed and got on mostly OK, but they got on so much better after spaying (takes a little while for the hormone levels to drop though).
    Sarah.

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  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    2 un-neutered female rabbits living together is one thing I would avoid at all costs. Girls get feisty enough anyway, without risking two hormonal does fighting. I would be very surprised if they didn't fight in the next couple of months, and then they would probably need vet attention to repair the damage, plus a broken bond to deal with.

    If you have talked it all through with your vet and you are happy that they have experience in neutering rabbits (which I assume was the case when you booked the appointment), I would take them in to be spayed together while they are healthy and happy, and can recover together. For me, the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

    Link from the RWAF for info:
    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/neutering/
    Ditto

    Good luck with whatever you decide trixibelle x



    A Rabbit Savvy small animal Veterinary Surgery in Twickenham, SW London
    https://www.twickenhamvets.com/

  9. #9

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    Thanks for your replies- I am going to go ahead because of the cancer risk but I just canít get out of my head that Iím mutilating my rabbits for behaving like rabbits! The RWAF explains that neutering doesnít rid rabbits completely of their hormones and I feel a large part of why it is advocated is because of the amount that are abandoned. I love mine how they are now so Iím not interested in doing anything that will make it easier for me. I know thereís doubt about the studies regarding uterine cancer but Iíve decided based on the testiment of those involved in rabbit rescues who have posted on this forum so I am grateful for the existence of it and everyone that takes part!

    I am lucky to live close to an exotic vet who actually treat rabbits for the RSPCA so I have no concerns about their ability to do the procedure. I just donít want to put them through such a serious surgery and experience and itís hard when itís for no immediate reason- they are perfect happy little rabbits 😭😭

    X

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Sending lots of vibes for your two rabbits today. I hope their ops go well.
    "The mind tells me this is our new reality, the heart aches for it to be just a bad dream" Frans Timmermans

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