One of the biggest and most influential decisions you can make for a male rabbit is whether or not to have them neutered. While neutering can have great short and long-term effects, you may be wondering if a rabbit can still spray after it is neutered.
Neutered rabbits can still spray after surgery. When the neutering is complete, sexual hormones may still reside in the male rabbit for 4-6 weeks. During those 4-6 weeks, it is completely normal for the rabbit to be spraying. After this time, spraying should decrease.
Neutering and continuous spraying afterward is a very complicated subject that has many layers. What is neutering and spraying? Why does this happen? And what are some other benefits of neutering your rabbit? All these questions will be addressed below.
Can a Neutered Rabbit Still Spray?
For those who don’t know, neutering is when an animal’s sexual organs are removed, particularly the male’s testes. Owners of pets do this for many reasons due to the benefits it provides for both the owner and the pet’s quality of life. The benefits of neutering your rabbit beyond spraying will be brought up later.
Spraying is what it is called when a rabbit wants to mark its territory. They will do this by spraying urine that often has a stench.
As explained by rabbit enthusiasts, “They are marking their territory. Un-neutered males will mark female rabbits and their territory by spraying them with urine.” Source
Spraying is not to be confused with spaying. Spaying is the act of removing sexual organs from a female rabbit thus causing her to become infertile. It is essentially the female version of neutering. So when discussing spraying and neutering it is referring to male rabbits only.
The hope is that by neutering a rabbit, the rabbit will lose its sexual and aggressive hormones and no longer do things like spray urine.
The problem is that the hormones running through the rabbit’s veins remain for weeks after the neutering and may not go away for a long time.
The important thing to keep in mind is that not everything is immediate. If the effects haven’t taken place yet, they will soon. The problem is in those weeks where the effects haven’t taken place yet.
What to Expect After Neutering
Rabbits can still spray after the neutering, but how long is this stage and what else can you expect after neutering?
As a result of the neutering, you can expect your rabbit to have stitches which can cause some pain. These usually are removed 14 days after the surgery.
Another thing you may need to do is receive antibiotics from your veterinarian. Due to the incisions and stitches, there is a possibility of infection, which must be prevented.
Now, the big question is how long it takes for the spraying to stop.
An owner can expect the effects of the neutering (including the end of spraying) to take effect within 6 weeks of the surgery.
According to the experts, “Your rabbits should ideally be kept on their own for 4 – 6 weeks to allow any leftover sperm to die and for the wounds to heal.” Source
During this time, you must keep your rabbit in a place where they can not reach another rabbit. Aggressive behavior may spike during this time.
Just like for any other surgery, there is a period of time where you need to let them recuperate. After these 6 weeks, your rabbits should start acting and behaving as they usually do.
Benefits of Neutering
The reduction of spraying is a huge benefit that comes from neutering your rabbit. With that being said, there are many reasons you should neuter your rabbit.
Neutering and spaying can:
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer
- Can live with a rabbit of the opposite sex without reproducing
- Leads to less aggressive behavior
- Impossible to have babies
- Less urine around the house
- Longer life expectancy
- Calmer demeanor
- Less chance of urinary tract infections
- It is a myth that they will become ‘fat and lazy’
As you can see there are many reasons why you should neuter your rabbit. It does not stop and end at spraying. Obviously, it is a huge benefit, but not the only one. To learn more about how a rabbit’s behavior will change after neutering, see my article all about rabbit behavior changes after neutering here.
Can two rabbits, living in two separate cages that are placed directly against each other, still mate and produce babies? Find out in my article Can Rabbits Mate Through a Cage or a Fence?
When You Can Get Your Rabbit Neutered
Now that we have addressed spraying as well as the other benefits of neutering, you’re probably wondering when you can get your male rabbit neutered or your female rabbit spayed.
“Females can be spayed as soon as they are sexually mature, usually around 4 months of age… Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend, usually around 8-12 weeks.” Source
Obviously, male rabbits can be neutered much sooner. That’s good news if you own a male rabbit!
This also shows the importance of neutering and spaying. If it was not so important to do it, then it would not be allowed at such a young age. Just the fact that it is provided so early shows its benefits.
How to Get Your Rabbit Neutered
Now that we know the when, the how is essential.
First of all, where you go to get the procedure done is essential. All you need to do is go to an experienced veterinarian and they can perform the procedure on your rabbit.
If you are not sure who to go to for the neutering consider asking a local rabbit shelter. They often have a lot of experience when dealing with local veterinarians and should know the best ones to go to.
Second of all, you should consider the cost of neutering beforehand. The cost of neutering varies wildly depending on where you are and where you get it done.
“The average cost to spay or neuter your rabbit is $250.” Source
As I said, this number varies wildly by area and location, ranging from $75 to hundreds of dollars. Do not be afraid to pay a lot for neutering. It is more important for it to be done well rather than cheap.
At this point, you should be well informed on neutering and its effects. Especially on how spraying works into the situation. The effects will come eventually if they don’t appear right away.
More Useful Information
- Male or Female Pet Rabbit? Why Your Choice Matters – Since we’re on the topic, did you know that there are some significant differences between male and female pet rabbits? Take a look at this article to see why one might be better than the other for your next pet!