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It is very important to make sure that your rabbit makes a rapid return to normal behaviour after an operation or anaesthetic. Rabbits often need to be anaesthetised or sedated for neutering operations, dentistry and xrays. After these procedures close monitoring is important to avoid complications. We expect a rapid recovery to normal behaviour including eating and passing droppings within a day. If this does not happen you should contact us. To help you take care and understand what has been done we have prepared some notes for you.

What has been done, what will I see?

We will clip a small area of fur from the front leg in order to inject the anaesthetic. If a drip was used this area will be larger. You may see some bruising but this will fade quickly and the fur will grow back over 1-2 months.

We give your rabbit some sedative and painkiller before the operation. Your rabbit may still be a bit sleepy from this, but should be able to walk. You can expect this to wear off over the next 24hrs.

What shall I do?

It is very important that your rabbit starts eating and drinking on the first evening. Often rabbits will eat straight away. Offer plenty of hay, greens and the normal rabbit pellets. If your rabbit is slow to start eating you can try hand feeding or tempting. It may be necessary to syringe feed rabbit with some liquid critical care food, we will show you how to do this.

You must also check that the rabbit is passing normal droppings within the first 24hrs after any procedure. If not you need to bring your rabbit back to the clinic.

Check any wounds daily. If an operation has been done fur will be clipped from around the area and there may be some stitches. Look for signs of redness swelling, bleeding or any discharge. It should not be painful.

Is my pet in pain?

Every animal and every procedure is different. Animals have an instinct in the wild to hide any signs of pain and injury. This means it is difficult to tell just by looking if an animal is in pain. If we would expect a procedure to cause pain then it is best to assume the animal will be at risk of feeling pain. We should then dispense a course of painkillers. It is best to complete this course even if the animal appears normal. More about pain relief here.

What to watch out for?

If your rabbit is not eating or drinking normally or does not pass any droppings within 24 hours you need to come back to the clinic and have your rabbit examined.

Free stitch removal and post op check

Any stitches placed are normally removed 10 days after the operation. Please contact the clinic in order to make an appointment for this to be done. We will also do a post op check to make sure all has gone well. This is done free of charge, however please remember that if you raise other matters at this time our normal consultation fees will apply.

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