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Rabbits/Elderly bunny health & behaviour


I had Dutch (a male bunny) for about 5 years already (if not mistaken, he should be at his 40s of his bunny age).I would like to spay him, but the doctor does not recommend due to his age. As such, I'm concern over his well-being,as I know that his sexual aggressiveness and mood-swing is due to his hormone. Since I could not spay him, what can I do to make feel better ? If I insisted, would there be any complication or any risk towards his health ? His testicle is dropped. As he wonders, his testicles would be dangling around, what can I do about it, any adverse effect towards his health ?
Dutch lives in a 2-storey cage with free access to pellets and water.I've been working interstate and only sees Dutch once a month during my visit back in hometown. Ever since I moved back 5 months ago,and had time to spend with him, I noticed that he is very temperamental and aggressive.  Each time he sees me approaching his cage regardless with or without veggie in my hand, he would be running up & down in cycles in his cage.He'd only stop after I pick him up in my arms, gave him strokes from head to bottom, and put him back. However, this does not happen when he sees my daughter. There were once that Dutch attempt to attack my daughter by rushing towards her, opened his mouth and attempted to bite. Dutch had always nip and bite-pulling my hand,  I can tolerate, just don't understand his action,only to said that he wanted to play. Any idea on his behavior ?

ANSWER: Hi Maybel,

This is how I see it.  There is a little bit more of a risk due to his age but what kind of life does he have if nobody can play with him.  It is quite possible that he is acting out because he misses you.  Since you can't be there to give him the attention he needs you might want to consider bonding him with a spayed female rabbit and you can't do that unless he is neutered.  I strongly recommend that you search for a veterinarian that is approved by the HRS.  You can find a list here:

I understand your concern but if the veterinarian has a lot of experience with neutering and has all the necessary equipment should the bunny stop breathing during surgery then the risk is minimal.  Any animal (or human) can die from surgery but sometimes it is necessary to improve quality of life.

I recommend neutering him.  I wish I could offer you more solutions.

Good luck


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the advise Pam,

At least I have some hint here.I doubt that that the clinic has all necessary equipment as there are limited experience rabbit vet in Malaysia.

Knowing that he is not neutered and could not be bond with a'girlfriend', I got him another male bunny #Trevor# to keep him accompany. Trevor is at his teens, about 10 months, neutered and a very tolerant bunny. He would put-up with Dutch's aggressiveness. And both are very talkative bunnies lying side by side.

Thanks again Pam !

If they are getting along then they can probably stay together.  You will have to watch them closely to make sure that they do not fight.  I agree that where you are it is probably not safe to neuter him at 5 years old.  Hopefully Trevor will continue to get along with him as he grows up.  Since he is already neutered if Dutch tolerates Trevor than it is a pretty safe bet that it will be a good bond.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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