Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butterscotch's Neutering Adventure part 1

My boy Butterscotch....the buzzing bunny  

He liked to hump human hands and feet, stuffed rabbits, oatmeal canisters....well, you get the picture. He also would thump at any perceived sleight from my husband or myself. Very territorial, demanding, cage bar chewing, etc. He was also stressed out, not sleeping very much, always had boundless energy he couldn't focus on anything. He would sleep a little but seem to be breathing heavy. Butterscotch seemed to be extra hormonally charged than even other un-neutered bunnies from my experience.

We went to one vet months for a pre-neuter check up and it took four of us to hold him down. They  declared him healthy enough for the surgery.  One of their vet techs would not go near him afterward. She was terrified of him. He basically tried to jump out of everyone's arms. The approach wasn't too good there. Strangely, it was a vet office we were using for years, but they had not kept up to date with much and didn't inspire my confidence much. We decided to try another vet that is further away. Here is my general experience there (click here) .
Butterscotch still moved around a lot but was calmer than the visit at the other vet.

He likes the spotlight and also likes to know what's going on around him.

Many photos of him are blurry because he moves so much.

If he were a human, the pharamcies & doctors would probably push ritalin on him.

At the new vet, Butterscotch did really well. The tech runs a rabbit rescue, the vet not only specializes in rabbits (they have three rabbit/ small animal vets in the practice!), but he owns some too! Butterscotch was almost as close to calm with them as he could be with my husband or myself!  I wouldn't say he was "still", but he was a lot more cooperative and appeared my comfortable with the new vet and in the new atmosphere. The energy of the place was calmer than the old vet.

The vet tech weighed him and asked questions such as age, etc. Butterscotch is about a year old.  When the vet himself came in he directed me in helping distract Butterscotch and explained what he was doing, even though I was familiar with bunnies. He answered questions. He was willing to answer or explain anything even if I was new. He asked questions about what he eats, his living arrangements, exercise, etc. The questions were ones a vet should ask!

Groggy Little Boy!

Still Waking Up!

Trying to hold his head up.

Might as well nap on the way home.

Butterscotch has hay, water and food to make sure he was eating and okay after the surgery and anesthesia.

He said to not withhold food/hay or water, unlike humans, dogs, cats, etc. Rabbits can't throw up and wouldn't have the same problems with anesthesia as us. It can be dangerous for them to be without food or water actually for long periods of time. Then he explained the surgery a little and what to give him, food, water, a little bit of hay and something soft to lie on for his recovery time for after the anesthesia. The doctor said to drop him off in the morning and they would call and give updates. They called when they said they would and gave accurate descriptions of how he was doing. I picked a still somewhat groggy bunny up in the afternoon.

Butterscotch was so cute as a groggy little bunny. I took advantage by gently picking him up and cuddling his head between my shoulder and neck. He actually nuzzled right in. I knew the chances of this ever happening again with him in his or my lifetime would be pretty close to nil. It was sweet. He slept the rest of the day on and off. He was supposed to have fleece or something soft to sleep and play on in his living space for a few days to prevent infection or tearing where his stitches were.  Butterscotch's stitches were the kind that dissolve so he didn't need to return to have them removed either.

Butterscotch is still buzzing.  He's still been a bit girl crazy but has calmed down tremendously (we were told it may take a bit of time for the hormones to leave the system).  He has hardly chewed on the bars. He is becoming the personality he really has all over again. From day one he was a charmer. Then with puberty it went into overdrive.  Being bunny owners for over 10 years, we generally knew it was hormones. This is what impulsive bunny buyers, who don't educate themselves, tend to think of as a possessed rabbit that is evil and should be disposed of. Rabbits are beautiful creatures that are social and loving. Everyday he is calming down, but still being an active young healthy bunny. He seems more content too in general. 

They also become teenagers. Would you throw away your kids when they became teenagers? Although you may actually wish you could send them away for a while during that period, people stick it out and usually their kids' behaviors level off. Neutering with animals helps with those behaviors and also in preventing pregnancy.

The neutering process is not that difficult for us.  For more information, check out online college veterinary degrees to find classes and noteworthy studies about animal neutering. Of course you just want to find a vet that knows what they are doing. As I write this I am trying to gather vets names who are rabbit savvy, as recommended by rabbit rescues and credible rabbit owners. There are also good spay/neuter clinics that can do it at a discount, but are rabbit savvy. I hope to have a list of rabbit savvy vets and spay/neuter clinics on the resources pages of this blog soon as a reference. Otherwise you can refer to Etherbun (link in blog sidebar) or the House Rabbit Society   for more help in finding one near you.

I will be giving you some follow up in a week or two with photos and video to show the changes in his behavior and demeanor.  Please stay tuned for that in the next week or two!  : ) 

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