Jonathan Miller, DVM, MS, DACVS, Oradell Animal Hospital, Paramus, New Jersey
Jonathan Miller, DVM, MS, DACVS, is interested in general and orthopedic surgery with a special interest in laparoscopy and arthroscopy. He graduated from University of Illinois and completed a residency in surgery with concurrent master’s degree at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Rabbits, one of the more commonly owned exotic pets, are routinely presented for neutering. Three surgical techniques exist (ie, scrotal, prescrotal, abdominal), but no formal comparison of these techniques has been reported.
In this prospective, randomized clinical trial, 13 rabbits were neutered by either a scrotal or prescrotal technique. The inguinal rings were not closed in either technique. Surgery and anesthesia times, postoperative scrotal edema, licking, dehiscence, and infection were all assessed. Postoperative evaluations were performed at 8, 24, 32, and 168 hours postoperation.
A significant increase was found in the duration of anesthesia time in the scrotal group (median, 20.6 minutes) as compared with the prescrotal group (median, 17.9 minutes), and a significantly higher degree of edema at 8, 24, and 32 hours postoperation was identified in the scrotal group. The remaining variables were not significantly different. No infections or inguinal hernias were noted. Licking with incisional dehiscence was observed in 2 rabbits in the scrotal group. The prescrotal technique was associated with a shorter anesthesia time, likely due to an insignificant decrease in preparation and surgery times, and the prescrotal group also experienced less postoperative swelling. Both groups recovered well from the procedure.
Key pearls to put into practice:
Neutering should be considered in pet rabbits, as it has been known to be well tolerated in this species.
The prescrotal technique for neutering rabbits is superior to the scrotal technique for decreasing both anesthetic time and postoperative swelling.
Although the inguinal rings were not closed in either surgical group, no hernias were noted, suggesting this complication may be rare.
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