The cost to spay your rabbit will vary across the United States, with the average cost being around $273. The price can be as little as $76 and as much as $600 – and some places (certain shelters) don’t charge anything!
Spaying is the reproductive procedure that stops female rabbits from being able to have babies and should be a priority for every rabbit owner. After they’ve been spayed, the rabbits usually live longer and healthier lives.
Fun fact: Getting your female rabbit spayed costs around 10-15% more than getting a male rabbit neutered.
Read on to find out why it’s so important to get your rabbit spayed, everything you need to know about the procedure, and more!
The Cost of Spaying Rabbits
The cost of spaying your rabbit will be affected by a bunch of factors. It will differ based on where you live, which vets you take your rabbit to, if you have insurance, and more.
The cost covers the anesthetic, any fluids, painkillers, medications, and the equipment and vet who does it. If you have more than one rabbit, see if the vet does a discount (it’s worth noting that not all vets will do this).
This option covers going to a private vet and arranging the surgery. Your rabbit would be registered here and you’d pay the full amount to cover the costs. The average cost is around $273 but your vet can give you an exact quote and details if you inquire about it.
Some pet insurance companies cover rabbit neutering and spaying. It might be worth looking into pet insurance as it could potentially save a lot of money if your rabbit gets a severe illness or injury.
If you adopt a rabbit from a shelter, they often either spay (or neuter) your rabbit before you can pick them up, or they’ll offer you a discounted rate for the procedure. This benefits them as it controls the rabbit population, and it makes a more attractive option to adopt because you don’t have to spend as much money.
Factors That Affect the Cost
There are many factors that can cause the cost of spaying your rabbit to change:
- Location: A vet in a rural area will typically cost less than a fancy clinic in the city.
- Complications: Any health issues or unforeseen complications during the surgery can cause a price increase. This is sometimes impossible to predict, but worth considering if you’re saving up the money.
- Extras: If the vet does any blood tests or other services while your rabbit is there. While under anesthetic is a good time to get things done that are normally harder (e.g. dental surgery).
- Aftercare: Always check if medications and post-op checks are included in the price. If your rabbit needs several check-ups after then it could be an extra expense.
You should also try to go to an exotic animal vet (rabbits are technically classed as exotic pets) or at least a vet with experience in operating on rabbits.
What Spaying Rabbits Involves
When your rabbit gets spayed, she gets put under anesthetic for the procedure. While she’s out, the vet will perform the spaying and look after her while she’s recovered. When she’s up and about, you’ll be told when you can collect her. You’ll need to look after her for a few days after the procedure and attend a follow-up vet appointment.
How Long Does It Take?
Usually, your rabbit will be in and out of the vet on the same day. The operation is one part, and a chunk of time after that is for them to come around from the anesthetic before you get the call to collect them.
What Happens When a Rabbit Is Spayed?
When she’s asleep under anesthetic, the vet will shave a patch of fur from her stomach where they’ll operate. The vet goes in through her stomach to get to the reproductive organs and removes the ovaries and womb. Then she’s stitched up and looked after until the anesthetic wears off.
What Happens After Spaying?
After your rabbit has been spayed, she’ll need to be fed and given pain medication on a schedule. She’ll probably be quite lethargic and sore. Usually, within two weeks she’ll be back to her normal self.
She’ll need to be kept away from male rabbits for three-four weeks as there’s still a chance of pregnancy in the time immediately after the spaying.
Why Spaying Rabbits Is Important
There are dozens of reasons why you should get your rabbit spayed:
- Reduces cancer risk: Getting spayed massively reduces the risk of female rabbits getting cancer of the ovary, uterus, and mammary. This can mean that they live longer!
- It controls the population: Rabbits can breed every four weeks, so getting them spayed means significantly fewer rabbit babies. Often they end up in shelters because there are too many.
- It can prevent euthanasia: Unfortunately, some rabbit shelters become overwhelmed with numbers and are left with more rabbits than they have the space and resources to care for.
- It’ll save you money and time: If your rabbit gets pregnant, you’ll probably end up nursing her through the pregnancy and caring for her litter.
- Better behavior: A female rabbit who hasn’t been spayed will be hormonal and far more aggressive, territorial, and more likely to fight. The spaying will get rid of these hormones and often results in a calmer rabbit.
- Living arrangements are easier: You could keep a male and female rabbit together once they’ve been spayed, without fear of hundreds of babies.
- They’re easier to train: If you’re planning on litter training, a spayed rabbit is far more agreeable to being trained.
Are There Any Risks of Spaying Rabbits
Like any procedure, getting put under anesthetic and having an operation is scary and comes with potential risks.
These risks can usually be managed by the vet and avoided, but there is always a tiny chance of something going wrong.
The risks of spaying are:
- Older rabbits or rabbits with health conditions are at increased risk of having complications with the anesthetic.
- You’ll need to provide post-op care – in some cases stitches can tear or become infected and require further medical treatment.
- The procedure isn’t reversible.
- Afterward, your rabbit might face issues like dehydration, discomfort, depression, urinary issues, and diarrhea. These can usually be helped and may get better as they recover.
What Age Should My Rabbit Be Spayed?
Your vet will be able to tell you when is best for your rabbit to be spayed, but the general rule of thumb is around six months old. By this time your rabbit’s hormones will have kicked in, and spaying will calm their aggressive and territorial behavior. The older your rabbit is, the riskier the procedure.
Do Female Rabbits Have Periods?
No, female rabbits don’t have periods or menstruate. If you notice blood coming from your rabbit, you’ll need to get them to a vet ASAP. A rabbit could lose too much blood too quickly and bleed to death in a matter of days.