Content continues after advertisement

Rabbit Neuter Techniques

Jonathan Miller, DVM, MS, DACVS (Small Animal), Oradell Animal Hospital, Paramus, New Jersey

Surgery, Soft Tissue

December 2018

Sign in to Print/View PDF

In the Literature

Duhamelle A, Tessier E, Larrat S. Comparative study of scrotal and prescrotal castration in pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). J Exotic Pet Med. 2018;27(3):15-21.


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.

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

All Clinician's Brief content is reviewed for accuracy at the time of publication. Previously published content may not reflect recent developments in research and practice.

Material from Clinician's Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.


Clinician's Brief:
The Podcast
Listen as host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with the authors of your favorite Clinician’s Brief articles. Dig deeper and explore the conversations behind the content here.
Clinician's Brief provides relevant diagnostic and treatment information for small animal practitioners. It has been ranked the #1 most essential publication by small animal veterinarians for 9 years.*

*2007-2017 PERQ and Essential Media Studies

© Educational Concepts, L.L.C. dba Brief Media ™ All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | DMCA Copyright | Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy