Postoperative Care

For Your Rabbit


Below you’ll find all of the information you need to prepare for postoperative care for your rabbit. We’ve also included frequently asked questions and related blog posts.

In general, Pets In Stitches will recheck your rabbit at no charge for complications resulting directly from surgery. There could be a charge for medications or an Elizabethan collar, if needed. Please be aware that some complications must be referred elsewhere. When in doubt, just give us a call text or send us a note and we will point you in the right direction.

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Spay or Neuter Care

Dr. Rastetter shares what all to expect in a video for your rabbit.

General Care

  • Keep your rabbit quiet and restrict activity for the next seven (7) days. Keep your rabbit indoors to stay clean, dry and warm.
  • Do not bathe your rabbit during the recovery period.
  • Your rabbit should be eating as normal. They may not want to eat pellets or hay but usually rabbits will eat vegetables and herbs (carrot tips, parsley, basil, mint, dandelions, romaine, kale, etc.) after surgery.
  • Your rabbit has received pain medication at the time of surgery and some to be given at home. Do not give over-the-counter pain medications to your rabbit which can be very dangerous.

Incision Care

  • Check the incision site twice daily for the next seven (7) days. Redness and swelling should be minimal but can occur for a few days after surgery. Males may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal swelling that will decrease gradually.
  • There should be no drainage.
  • Do not allow your rabbit to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar must be used to prevent licking. This is considered self-trauma and Pets In Stitches will not cover your costs to treat complications such as surgical site destruction, infection, or swelling which can require emergency care.
  • Do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site.
    Incisions are held together with dissolvable sutures.
  • Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. If it persists longer, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the green mark on my pet?

A small tattoo is the best way to identify your pet has been spayed or neutered. It is standard procedure for sterilization surgeries.

What is the recovery period like?

The recovery period is seven to ten days. You need to restrict their activity and keep them indoors. You also want to watch their incision closely. We will give you Postoperative Care Instructions when you pick up your pet.

How old do animals have to be to be spayed or neutered?

We recommend five months of age for cats and and rabbits. The decision for dogs, especially large and giant breed dogs, can be a little more complicated. Please read our blog for more information. Please call us to discuss your individual situation and we will help guide you.

How often can animals breed? When do they start?

Female cats can breed three times a year and have an average of four kittens per litter. Dogs can breed twice a year and have an average of six to ten puppies per litter. Female cats can breed as early as four months of age and dogs as early as six months of age. To avoid those accidental litters, Pets In Stitches endorses spay and neuter starting at five months of age for cats and rabbits and six months of age for most dogs.

Should my female have a litter before she is spayed?

There is no medical evidence to justify the advantage of allowing an animal to have a litter before spaying. Spaying eliminates the possibility of developing cancers and infections associated with the reproductive organs.

How soon after they have a litter can they be fixed?

For dogs, the mother must stop lactating before we can do the spaying surgery. This is typically four weeks after the puppies stop nursing completely.

For mother cats, we can do the surgery when the kittens are at least four weeks old. Lactating cats may undergo a flank spay where the reproductive organs are removed though an incision on the side of the abdomen rather than the  underside.

Related Blogs

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