CARE FOR THE FIRST 24-48 HOURS
Looking after rabbits following surgery or an anesthetic requires a degree of extra care. They have higher rates of metabolism than larger pets, such as cats or dogs, and so are susceptible to body heat loss, dehydration and a drop in blood sugar levels.
Rabbits as a prey species are also very prone to stress and will benefit from this being minimized whilst recovering.
These potential problems are more of a risk after surgery or an anesthetic, but can be minimized with some specific care laid out below, but guidance will be given by your vet based on the specific procedure that your rabbit is recovering from. The basics generally remain the same.
- Keep your pet in a quiet, warm environment overnight once you get home. If your rabbit(s) are not normally unduly stressed, they can be brought indoors overnight and kept in an indoor rabbit cage/dog crate or if neither are available, a pet carrier
- For the first few days the bedding should be of a dry, soft and absorbent material such as shredded tissue paper, soft meadow hay or Vet Bed. Avoid bedding with fine particles such as shavings and sawdust (never recommended for rabbits) as they may irritate and contaminate any wounds
- Provide fresh water.
- Provide food straight away. This should be their usual variety, with no special and unfamiliar treats as this may upset their digestion
- Ensure that your rabbit(s) eat within 12-24 hours of coming home and monitor output of poos in that time. Whilst your rabbit(s) may be quieter than normal for 24-48 hours, it is important to see evidence of eating, drinking and pooing.
- .Rabbits should not be allowed to exercise overly for a few days to help their wounds repair e.g. not using a ramp in multiple floor housing, using a run, and not playing with exercise toys such as tunnels/stools/jump boxes/steps
- Rabbits (and/or their partners) can be inclined to lick and chew their wounds and stitches, so it is important to check them several times a day
- Already bonded (paired) rabbits should remain together throughout any visits to the vets And traveling to reduce stress, unless this is contra- indicated (e.g. risk of mating, inability to nurse with partner rabbit in situ., risk to partner rabbits health)
- Complete any course of medication prescribed to you to give your pet
- If you are concerned about your rabbit(s) recovery for any reason, please telephone your vet immediately
24 hour pain relief
Your rabbit will normally be back to normal in a few days, and should have a followup consultation with your vet to ensure that he or she is happy with progress.
Please note following neutering, both mature males and mature females can remain hormonal for between 4-6 weeks and that males are still capable of breeding for up to 6 weeks post op.
THE ABOVE IS NOT A VETERINARY OPINION OR GUIDE, BUT IS BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL LAYPERSON'S EXPERIENCE. SHOULD YOU BE ANY WAY CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR RABBITS POST OPERATIVE CARE, THEN PLEASE DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR VETERINARY SURGEON.