Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Castration

Synonym(s): Neuter, Dress, Desex

Contributor(s): Sharon Redrobe, Brendan Carmel, David Perpinan

Introduction

Uses

  • Prevent breeding.
  • Reduce behavioral problems such as urine marking and aggression. Bonding two neutered male rabbits is much easier than bonding two entire male rabbits!
  • Reduce obsessive sexual behavior (copulatory actions) towards owners, shoes, toys or other animals.
  • Removal of retained intra-abdominal testis (unusual).
  • Removal of testis to treat inguinal hernia, testicular neoplasia, testicular torsion, severe testicular trauma, orchitis or epididymitis non-responsive to medical therapy (unusual).
  • Prophylactic castration is generally performed in the rabbit >4 months of age, although rabbits can be castrated as soon as the testicles are evident within the scrotal sac.
  • Testicles descend at 10-12 weeks, but the rabbit is unlikely to be fertile for a further 6-8 weeks.

Print off the Owner factsheets Neutering - why and when and Caring for your rabbit before and after surgery to give to your clients.

Advantages

  • Relatively simple surgical procedure.
  • Permanent solution to prevent breeding.
  • The use of chemical castration in male rabbits using deslorelin implants has not been particularly successful up until now.

Disadvantages

  • Rabbits possess an open inguinal ring that allows the testes to be withdrawn into the abdomen.
  • Herniation of abdominal contents through the inguinal canal after castration may occur, particularly if a closed castration is not performed Intestine: inguinal hernia - post-surgical castration.
  • A closed castration or an open castration with closure of the inguinal ring (also called open-closed technique or open technique with closure of the tunica vaginalis) are recommended to decrease the risk of herniation.
  • When unwanted behaviors develop late in life, castration is less effective to control them.
  • An anesthetic procedure is required.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Hematomas resulting from overexertion after surgery are usually self limiting.
  • The hematoma may be removed to improve the cosmetic appearance.
  • Persistent bleeding into the surgical area should be controlled and adequate hemostasis achieved to prevent further hemorrhage.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Richardson V (2012) Urogenital diseases in rabbits. In Pract 34 (10), 554-563 VetMedResource.
  • Richardson C & Flecknell P (2006) Routine neutering of rabbits and rodents. In Pract 28 (2), 70-79 VetMedResource.
  • Boussarie D (2001) Routine sterilisation techniques in companion rodents and lagomorphs. Eur J Companion Anim Pract 11 (1), 61-78 VetMedResource.
  • Jenkins J R (2000) Surgical sterilization in small mammals. Spay and castration. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 617-627 PubMed.
  • Meredith A, Redrobe S & Keeble E (1999) Neutering pet rabbits. Vet Rec 144 (12), 328 PubMed.
  • Lester-Cockx L (1999) Neutering pet rabbits. Vet Rec 144 (10), 271 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Harcourt-Brown F (2013) Neutering. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 138-156.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) General Surgical Principles and Neutering. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 352-360.

Organisation(s)

 
 


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