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

  1. #11
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by binkyCodie View Post
    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

    I agree

    Lots of very useful info here.

    Good luck trixibelle x
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  2. #12
    Warren Veteran DemiS'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?

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

    Thanks so much for your help ☺️☺️☺️
    Have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together? Or did they fall out eventually?
    Kept a mum and daughter together unspayed for about a year but they ended up fighting

    Have you had an un-neutered female rabbit get uterine cancer or have phantom pregnancies?
    Yes, lots of phantom pregnancies and females who end up being right little hormonal cows until spayed (one of mine was really aggressive until spayed). One girl in particular I put off spaying until she was three years old, she's still young I thought, I knew cancer was a risk but I thought it wouldn't happen until she was older. Anyway she seemed perfectly fine but when she turned three I booked her in for a spay and they found a huge tumour that had grown so big it killed off one of her kidneys and nearly took part of her bowel with it. The spay saved her life and she lived for many happy years, but if I'd of waited a few more weeks she would have died. I felt so guilty for leaving it so late, she must have been in so much pain but she didn't even show it bless her

    Vets do have differing opinions, but to be honest a lot of them are just absolutely clueless about rabbits and think that any operation on them is an enormous risk. If you see a vet who is truly rabbit savvy they will always recommend spaying (unless rabbit had a really serious health condition or something). My local vet carry out rabbit spays every day of the week, it's very rare that something goes wrong, but it is incredibly common for them to find rabbits with uterine cancer (usually during the spay of an older rabbit or post-mortem).

    ETA: Please make sure you use a rabbit savvy vet. Also some practices offer a blood test before the operation, I think it cost me about £15 but it gave me peace of mind that my girls kidneys and liver were functioning well
    Last edited by DemiS; 10-05-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemiS View Post
    ETA: Please make sure you use a rabbit savvy vet. Also some practices offer a blood test before the operation, I think it cost me about £15 but it gave me peace of mind that my girls kidneys and liver were functioning well
    I request this for my Rabbits x


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  4. #14
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemiS View Post
    Have you successfully kept un-neutered female rabbits together? Or did they fall out eventually?
    Kept a mum and daughter together unspayed for about a year but they ended up fighting

    Have you had an un-neutered female rabbit get uterine cancer or have phantom pregnancies?
    Yes, lots of phantom pregnancies and females who end up being right little hormonal cows until spayed (one of mine was really aggressive until spayed). One girl in particular I put off spaying until she was three years old, she's still young I thought, I knew cancer was a risk but I thought it wouldn't happen until she was older. Anyway she seemed perfectly fine but when she turned three I booked her in for a spay and they found a huge tumour that had grown so big it killed off one of her kidneys and nearly took part of her bowel with it. The spay saved her life and she lived for many happy years, but if I'd of waited a few more weeks she would have died. I felt so guilty for leaving it so late, she must have been in so much pain but she didn't even show it bless her

    Vets do have differing opinions, but to be honest a lot of them are just absolutely clueless about rabbits and think that any operation on them is an enormous risk. If you see a vet who is truly rabbit savvy they will always recommend spaying (unless rabbit had a really serious health condition or something). My local vet carry out rabbit spays every day of the week, it's very rare that something goes wrong, but it is incredibly common for them to find rabbits with uterine cancer (usually during the spay of an older rabbit or post-mortem).

    ETA: Please make sure you use a rabbit savvy vet. Also some practices offer a blood test before the operation, I think it cost me about £15 but it gave me peace of mind that my girls kidneys and liver were functioning well

    £15 is a bargain. My vet charges over £100 for this
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  5. #15
    Mama Doe binkyCodie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trixibelle View Post
    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
    you really aren't mutilating your rabbits however, and you're not doing it for them behaving like they are. you're doing it for a good reason (health) and to keep them happy. without the spay they may fall out, bite you, rip up carpets in frustration. mutilating would be doing it because you want to with no benefit, or because it looks good. so please don't feel bad. you're prolonging said bunnies life, for a happy and healthy one.

    while not all of the hormones are gone, most are. there will be no more phantom pregnancies, nest building, spraying for males. they're a lot happier and calmer and can live with a friend. it can take stress off of you as well as you don't have to worry about fights etc. you may get some spring hormones where they bounce around and get very excited and hyper, but that's it really.

    the thing is, people need to separate animals from humans. animals don't have morals. they don't share excitement from getting a litter. they don't see any happiness in it. animals are there to pass on their genes in the survival of the fittest to ensure the survival of their species. as humans, we have a luxury. we don't feel that urge as much and can choose when we have kids, we can mange the pain, we can manage our hormones all together. animals do not have such a luxury.

    please do not feel bad. you are doing the right thing for them.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by binkyCodie View Post
    you really aren't mutilating your rabbits however, and you're not doing it for them behaving like they are. you're doing it for a good reason (health) and to keep them happy. without the spay they may fall out, bite you, rip up carpets in frustration. mutilating would be doing it because you want to with no benefit, or because it looks good. so please don't feel bad. you're prolonging said bunnies life, for a happy and healthy one.

    while not all of the hormones are gone, most are. there will be no more phantom pregnancies, nest building, spraying for males. they're a lot happier and calmer and can live with a friend. it can take stress off of you as well as you don't have to worry about fights etc. you may get some spring hormones where they bounce around and get very excited and hyper, but that's it really.

    the thing is, people need to separate animals from humans. animals don't have morals. they don't share excitement from getting a litter. they don't see any happiness in it. animals are there to pass on their genes in the survival of the fittest to ensure the survival of their species. as humans, we have a luxury. we don't feel that urge as much and can choose when we have kids, we can mange the pain, we can manage our hormones all together. animals do not have such a luxury.

    please do not feel bad. you are doing the right thing for them.
    Excellent point bc, anthropomorphism usually does animals no favours at all


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

    Keep up to date with the RHD2 situation in the UK. This highly respected Facebook page provides accurate and up-to-date information. Both the RWAF and some Rabbit Savvy Vets contribute to the page
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744958082388756/

  7. #17
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by binkyCodie View Post
    you really aren't mutilating your rabbits however, and you're not doing it for them behaving like they are. you're doing it for a good reason (health) and to keep them happy. without the spay they may fall out, bite you, rip up carpets in frustration. mutilating would be doing it because you want to with no benefit, or because it looks good. so please don't feel bad. you're prolonging said bunnies life, for a happy and healthy one.

    while not all of the hormones are gone, most are. there will be no more phantom pregnancies, nest building, spraying for males. they're a lot happier and calmer and can live with a friend. it can take stress off of you as well as you don't have to worry about fights etc. you may get some spring hormones where they bounce around and get very excited and hyper, but that's it really.

    the thing is, people need to separate animals from humans. animals don't have morals. they don't share excitement from getting a litter. they don't see any happiness in it. animals are there to pass on their genes in the survival of the fittest to ensure the survival of their species. as humans, we have a luxury. we don't feel that urge as much and can choose when we have kids, we can mange the pain, we can manage our hormones all together. animals do not have such a luxury.

    please do not feel bad. you are doing the right thing for them.

    I agree - rabbits can get very frustrated with their hormones flying about It's a risk to be sure, as an anaesthetic isn't tolerated in rabbits as well as in a cat or dog. However, I believe it to be worthwhile in the long run as the rabbits will be more settled, and most importantly, will have a chance at living together. Company is Ace for rabbits
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  8. #18
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    As an answer to the original question without reading all replies - yes.

    I keep all my breeding does in pairs, this year I downsized from 3 duos to 2. Main reason for keeping them in duos is that the social interaction by far outweights the problems, it needs much more space than keeping single rabbits, but imho it is worth it. Even that tensions imho are to some point positive, lot's of exercise.

    There are times when the dominant doe is, simply put, an *******, but when the other doe has enough space to get out of sight for half a day it's ok.

    It's great having them litters at the same time, there#s a hord of kits, both does protect and feed all. Even if there's only one litter the other doe is a great stepmom.

    There are rabbits that are more happy alone though, I sold those off.

    One thing to mention- all my pairs are mother-daughter, so I never did actual bonding.
    Last edited by Preitler; 10-05-2018 at 02:48 PM.

  9. #19
    Warren Veteran DemiS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    £15 is a bargain. My vet charges over £100 for this
    I just checked with my other half and he said it was £25. It might not have been thorough as the one your vet does though! They're done on site. They're a very low cost vet, but really good too (not like some other low cost vets I've been to before that were absolutely terrible), spays are £55 From the blood test they found a result that was a bit abnormal, could be a liver problem but was most likely because she was very young and still growing, but as a precaution they did the extra fluids thing (I can't remember what it's called but I think they give fluids throughout surgery and after rather than just before, supposed to help with recovery)
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  10. #20
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemiS View Post
    I just checked with my other half and he said it was £25. It might not have been thorough as the one your vet does though! They're done on site. They're a very low cost vet, but really good too (not like some other low cost vets I've been to before that were absolutely terrible), spays are £55 From the blood test they found a result that was a bit abnormal, could be a liver problem but was most likely because she was very young and still growing, but as a precaution they did the extra fluids thing (I can't remember what it's called but I think they give fluids throughout surgery and after rather than just before, supposed to help with recovery)

    That's still a bargain I haven't been to a low cost vet, I didn't know such ones existed

    My vet is quite expensive for spays and on occasion I have had to go elsewhere with Rescue Rabbits. I've been told fluids are optional during *some* surgery and cost extra.
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
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