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2008-06

Dear Reba Rabbit

We recently adopted a rabbit from the shelter. Can you recommend a good source of information on rabbits? Should we have our rabbit neutered?

Reba Responds

Congratulations on your new family member. February is National Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, the ideal time to visit the shelter and adopt a bunny.

An excellent resource on raising pet rabbits is the House Rabbit Society. Visit their Web site at www.rabbit.org.

On the matter of sterilizing your new rabbit, I confess that I am biased because I am spayed.

Spayed females and neutered males have several reasons to feel fortunate.

First, sterilized bunnies live longer. Uterine cancer is common in female rabbits, but because I’m spayed, I don’t have to worry about it.

Once we’re sterilized, we’re calmer, less aggressive and better behaved. Neutered males don’t engage in urine spraying and other obnoxious behaviors their non-sterilized brothers often exhibit.

As social animals, we rabbits get along much better with each other when all of us are sterilized. If you’re thinking about adopting a companion for your new bunny, both rabbits should be “fixed.”

Finally, spaying and neutering helps curb rabbit overpopulation.

Rabbits are usually sterilized at four to six months of age. Even if your rabbit is an adult, he still can be neutered safely.

Start the process by scheduling a pre-op examination with your veterinarian.

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