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Question
Hi Dana, Just wanted to say thanks for the advise - I'm new the the rabbit pet owner thing.  My rabbit had 3 babies on Christmas morning - they are so sweet.  Can you perhaps assist me further with information on what to do now.  I'm going to take the male to the vet on the 2nd of January so that they can spray him.  When should I put him back in the cage with her?  When will the babies come out of the nesting box? When will their eyes open?  It's very expensive to spray the female rabbit - is it neccessary or is it fine if he only is sprayed.  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Answer
Dear Mariaan,

If your male has been with the female since she gave birth, she may already be pregnant again.  So please read this:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/surpriselitter.html

to prepare.  You may have to divide her time between the litters to keep both alive, and you might even have to step in and help if there are lots of babies:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/orphan.html

Males can have viable sperm in their internal "plumbing" for 2-6 weeks after the neuter (males are neutered; females are spayed), though most buns are safe to put back with their mates after 3-4 weeks.  Better to be safe than sorry. But be sure they can see/smell/interact between now and then, so they don't un-bond.  If they fight when they are re-introduced, I can help with that.  But let's hope for the best.

Hope all goes well.  Enjoy the adorable babies.

Happy New Year!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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