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Rabbit health
Neutering of pet rabbits

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I AM writing in response to Martin Whitehead's letter that appeared in Veterinary Record (February 25, 2017, vol 180, p 204). In his letter, Dr Whitehead describes his policy of discouraging spaying of female rabbits, whether kept singly, with other females, or with neutered or entire males, unless there is a specific indication to do so. He believes that neutering rabbits carries a high anaesthetic and surgical risk based on the Brodbelt and others (2008) survey and an experience of a death related to surgical complications in his practice. Dr Whitehead disputes that uterine tumours are common in rabbits and uses a ‘messy’ analysis of his clinical records of 61 entire rabbits to support his view. Only three, or maybe four, of these rabbits were diagnosed with a possible uterine tumour, which led to Dr Whitehead's conclusion that the risk of uterine tumours is only three or four in 61. He feels that this risk is not high enough to justify the risk of prophylactic …

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