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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Flipping out a little over neuter surgery

This topic contains 20sd replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Bunny House 8 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #1322861

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    So, some back story. I adopted Apollo in September 2017, and he was really sickly when I got him, runny eyes, constantly sneezing, lethargic. I ended up taking him to the vet, and he was such a nervous mess after the appointment that he ended up with GI stasis, and we went through 48 hours of hell, my husband and I took turns staying with him day and night, force feeding critical care and water, and benebac until he started eating on his own. The vet also had put him on antibiotics  which did nothing, and through trial and error we discovered that he was reacting to something in the Kaytee hay and pellets we were feeding him, so we completely changed his diet, and he has been super healthy ever since. At the time, I decided that I wasn’t going to get him neutered because I was so nervous that he wouldn’t make it, but recently, I have decided that I want to get another bunny to bond with him, and so I started researching bonding, and neutering, and I found a good, reasonably priced vet nearby, and it took me a while, but I had convinced myself that he’s going to be ok. And he has an appointment for an exam and his neuter tomorrow at 4:30. I have been feeding him his salads in his carrier every day, so that he associates the carrier with good things, and I have been carrying him around the house in it, and even took him for a short car ride to see how he would do with that. He was angry, and sat in his litter box for a few minutes when we got home (which is what he does when he’s mad), but I gave him a little piece of apple, and then he was right back to normal. But the last 3 days I have been so anxious about it, and because it’s an elective surgery, if anything happens to him, I am going to feel so guilty. He’s really healthy, but I know he hates changes in environment, and he hates to be held, and he is a very nervous bun. I tried for several months (after he fully recovered) to get him used to being held, and I’ve never been successful, so I’m nervous about the vet handling him. He loves when I just lay on the floor with him (I’ll lay in front of him, and pet him, and he slides his little paws forward and pushes his face into mine), but the moment his paws leave the floor he freaks out. I feel like I am prepared for after (already have critical care, benebac, canned pumpkin, favorite veggies and herbs, and favorite hay at the ready). I am also confident that I can handle GI stasis if it occurs after surgery, but I’m worried that he might not even make it through the surgery, so now I’m second guessing myself, and I feel like I might have a nervous break down over this! Anyone have any words of wisdom, comfort, or advice? Thanks!


    #1893699

    Wick
    Moderator

    Your nerves are completely understandable — I think almost every rabbit owner goes through it. In terms of neutering being an elective surgery, this is technically true, but many people will advocate that neutering/spaying is actually a necessity. This is not only for behavioral reasons, but health, and bonding (as you mentioned! What a wonderful decision.).

    If your rabbit is healthy and the vet is experienced, there is little risk for a neuter. There are cases online of exceptions which can make anyone nervous, and while no one wants their rabbit to be that case, many times it is something that could not be predicted and may have been indicative of health problems down the line as well. Again, if your rabbit is healthy and your vet is experienced, the risk is minimal. You can always voice your concerns with the vet as well and discuss what risks there may be and what can be done to ensure the safest operation.

    In terms of habituation to car rides, being handled, etc.. your rabbit is a part of a very large majority. Vet visits for numerous rabbits are pretty stressful, and many rabbit vets are accustomed to the struggle of a rabbit, but truly rabbit-experienced vets will generally do a good job securing the rabbit in a harmless way and keeping the environment as calm as possible. Meeting the vet for a general and/or pre-op exam is a great way to see for yourself how comfortable both you and your rabbit are with the vet, and also gives you the chance to ask questions ahead of time.


    #1893702

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your response! It helps a lot to hear from other people that I am making the right decision. I have gone back and forth on this so many times, and I was super confident until a few days ago, and now I just feel nauseous when I think about the surgery I guess I’ll at least have time during the exam to see how he does before making a final decision about whether to go through with the surgery or not!


    #1893708

    OverthinkingBun
    Participant

    Good luck with your decision – I was so nervous about spaying my girl (I too had to put it off for a while due to health problems), but she recovered very well.  I confined her for a few days afterwards and bribed her with foods she liked to make she she ate well (to avoid stasis).  Some vets like to keep the bunny at the clinic until they are eating on their own after a surgery – might depend on your personal comfort level. 

    My bunny is also very friendly at home but freaks out when picked up.  Experienced rabbit vets have a much easier time picking her up than I do, which is partly my fault, but I think rabbits are more submissive with people they don’t know and put up less of a fight.  Sometimes it feels like I’m watching the vet pick up a different rabbit :/  


    #1893712

    Bunny House
    Participant

    The best thing to make sure he’s healthy enough is a pre anesthestic blood work, it checks major organ functions to make sure everything is good. Vets often also offer cpr if something goes wrong.
    Mine go under so often for dentals and surgeries it never gets any easier with the nerves but if the vet is rabbit savvy as said above, he’ll be in great hands. Let us know how it goes!


    #1893713

    Dface
    Participant

    Its very normal to worry, and there are some horror stories out there (but there are millions of totally perfect nothing going wrong stories that you just dont hear about!)

    Ask for pre surgery blood work to be done(it’ll cost more, but it might help alleviate some of the stress)

    I would like to second Wick in saying that neutering isnt actually considered as elective as we once thought, I recently read about how elevated levels of testosterone ends up shortening a rabbits life so it is a health related surgery.

    None of my rabbits know how to behave themselves at a vets, and we get sulky buns every time, so you arent alone!

    Its a well established fact that any surgery for any creature(even humans) is a risk, but with a healthy rabbit, and a knowledgable owner and vet, that risk is hugely minimised


    #1893717

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your responses! I think this vet is very experienced. Hopefully much better than the vet I brought him to when he was sick, I thought she was very rough with him, like she picked up his ear and yelled “hellllooo in there” trying to be funny, needless to say, I wasn’t laughing! Anyhow, the new vet we are going to does a lot of work with local guinea pig, rabbit, and ferret rescues, and does some work at the local zoo, and a local university. There aren’t a whole lot of reviews on him online, but the ones I have seen are all good. So, I feel pretty confident that he’s very knowledgeable. Also, I got a quote from the place we went before (which is a major animal hospital in our area), and they wanted over $500.00! This guy charges $100.00. Anyhow, I originally just wanted to schedule the exam, but they said they could do the neuter right after the exam, so I figured if the exam goes well, we’ll just go ahead and do the neuter and get it over with. I’m not sure though if they’ll do blood work since it’ll all be done the same day?  


    #1893724

    Bunny House
    Participant

    Bloodwork can be taken at the beginning of the exam and takes less than 30 minutes to run and then see the results and proceed with surgery right after.


    #1893727

    Bunny House
    Participant

    Bloodwork can be taken at the beginning of the exam and takes less than 30 minutes to run and then see the results and proceed with surgery right after. That does seem cheap for a neuter but I hope that it’s because he’s been in business for long. Mine were $250 a couple of years ago.


    #1893732

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Thanks for the info! I will make sure to ask for blood work right when we get there. I think it’ll make me feel better if that all comes back normal! The vet has been in business for a very long time, and the receptionist said they operate on rabbits at least once a week, so I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing. It’s really hard to find exotic pet vets though. There was only one at the hospital I took him to when I first got him and she was awful, and actually the receptionist there got really excited when she saw Apollo, and said something to the effect of, “Oh, he’s so cute. We don’t see many bunnies here!” But thanks for your response. Seeing all of these positive comments, and advice is helping me feel a little more confident that I’m doing the right thing!


    #1893733

    Sir Ollie
    Participant

    I just went through the same thing last week. My bun got neutered on Friday and by Wednesday last week I was so nervous I didn’t know if I wanted to go through with it. With the advice of some others on here I got the bloodwork done the morning of (it did cost I think $120 but it was worth it to me for peace of mind). On Friday I was so nervous but I knew that neutering was the best option and he was in capable hands (my vet does all of the rabbit spays and neuters for my local shelter and has only ever lost one). Waiting for them to call was awful but everything went totally fine! As others have said, it’s so normal to be nervous, but the chances are really good that everything will go fine. Good luck!


    #1893735

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Thanks Sir Ollie for your positive experience! It does make me feel better hearing good stories, as I have spent too much time on google lately reading about negative experiences! Definitely going to request blood work, even if it costs more. 


    #1893744

    Sir Ollie
    Participant

    I did the exact same. It’s so easy to see a few posts with bad results and get yourself even more worried about everything, when really it is way more likely that everything will be fine. I do want to mention though that you will have to check his incision after the neuter to make sure it is healing okay which could be challenging when he hates being handled. Maybe you can ask the vet for some tips for that. I know a lot of people recommend a burrito, but I personally can’t seem to get my bun into one.


    #1893750

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    I can’t get the burrito either! ? The moment I pull the towel up to wrap him he takes off!


    #1893799

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Somebody talk me down! Only 4 hours left until Apollos appointment, and I feel like backing out. I feel nauseous right now. I also e-mailed and asked if they do blood work before the exam, and they said no… Not sure how I feel about that. Also asked about the sutures, and they do the interior ones that don’t need removed, so that’s a good thing. I’m just freaking out… I packed some of his favorite greens, and a few blueberries, and a clementine, and some hay for after, and a really soft blanket to put in the carrier when we are ready to go home. Should I bring his water bottle too? Ugh.. Not sure how I am going to make it through this day!


    #1893801

    Bam
    Moderator

    I sympathize with you, I was a nervous wreck when I had my first bunny Bam neutered. I even cancelled his first appointment because I got cold feet.

    Everything went well though, when he had the procedure a few weeks later. Since he was a little older he needed a warm water bottle in his cage after, and I had to syringe feed him pellet mash because he didnt want to eat. He snuggled up to the warm water bottle and ate on his own the next day.

    Many safe neuter vibes for your boy!


    #1893802

    Bunny House
    Participant

    Why won’t they do preanesthetic blood work? Any vet should recommend it before any type of surgery Incase the animal has some organ issues that could lead to death while under. I would call them as ask them to do bloodwork before the neuter to make sure his organ function is good and not go out on a limb and assume it’s fine without proof or you’d kick yourself if something happened


    #1893804

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies! I am going to get there a little early with a list of questions, including why they don’t do blood work first. I also am going to wait until the end of the exam to make my final decision about whether we will go through with the neuter or not. We haven’t seen this vet before, so it will depend upon whether I am comfortable with him, and how he does with Apollo during the visit, and how Apollo does during the visit too. I’m just such a hot mess today! I can’t remember the last time I was this stressed out about something. Going to deep clean his cage soon, and then get him ready to go. Wish me luck all, I am going to need it!!


    #1893805

    Bunny House
    Participant

    We’ve all been there! Make sure you feel comfortable with the vet or you’d kick yourself over that too. It’s always nerve wracking but if you have any doubt it doesn’t hurt to cancel the neuter and try and find a different vet because he is your baby but it is weird that they are doing it so late in the day. Most vets want to do it in the morning Incase complications occur. Make sure you have a rabbit savvy Er vet near you Incase anything happens tonight if he gets neutered. Let us know what happens!


    #1893807

    Apollo'sMomma
    Participant

    Posted By Bunny House on 3/12/2019 1:26 PM

    We’ve all been there! Make sure you feel comfortable with the vet or you’d kick yourself over that too. It’s always nerve wracking but if you have any doubt it doesn’t hurt to cancel the neuter and try and find a different vet because he is your baby but it is weird that they are doing it so late in the day. Most vets want to do it in the morning Incase complications occur. Make sure you have a rabbit savvy Er vet near you Incase anything happens tonight if he gets neutered. Let us know what happens!

    Thanks! I’ll let everyone know how it goes. I didn’t even think twice about it being late in the day. That’s one of the questions I will add to the list- What am I supposed to do if there are issues through the night? I am going to research some emergency vets right now too. Thanks for the advice!


    #1893808

    Bunny House
    Participant

    You will need to Contact an emergency vet. Make sure you have pain meds for a couple of days and critical care Incase you need to force feed if he doesn’t eat within 12 hours of coming home


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