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Rabbits/Spaying Two Rabbits At Once - What Will Happen To Bonding?


QUESTION: Hi there, Christine, I have a question that concerns to my current situation and I am not sure what to do!

I am going to spay two of my rabbits at the same time tomorrow. (Sally and Athena)
My problem is, these two are already bonded with another two rabbits (Daisy and Joey) - who are both spayed/neutered.
They're a bonded "quartet" and I am concerned on how I should house them when I pick Sally and Athena back from the clinic.

A while back, it took me about 3-4 months to bond Sally and Daisy to Athena (who was the latest edition). I am afraid that if they're separated for healing, once I introduce them again, they'll fight with each other. They really hated Athena, and it took really long to bond the two to her.

I keep Joey and Daisy downstairs in my house, which can get noisy at times. I want to let Sally and Athena peacefully heal upstairs in my room where it is very quiet. I am not sure on how to house them. If I have to keep these two separately from Joey and Daisy, would Sally and Athena have to be in separated pens? What do you think is the best thing to do in this situation?

Thank You,

ANSWER: Jackie,

You have your hands full and I don't envy the stress this must put you under. A few suggestions - as much of a hassle as it is, I would recommend bringing all four to the vet together. That way, whatever smells they pick up, they'll all pick them up together. I used to do that with my bonded pair all the time before Jessica passed. A bonus, the stress they'll be under will also reinforce the bond.
If at all possible, I would try and keep everyone together for recovery as well. Often, the presence of their partners will be a calming influence, and you certainly don't want Sally and Athena to feel like they're being punished for something (by the way, you can absolutely let them heal together in the same enclosure). Do you have any way to create smaller enclosures for those healing that are in the same room with those that are not? Side by side would be best. I agree with the idea of keeping things calm and quiet for them in the main room as well, but putting them in a separate room would probably make them feel like they had done something wrong and might break the bond.

Best of luck today, and please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

REVISION: I might recommend visiting a local pet store and getting a few of the 3' high coated play gates - they're anywhere from 10' - 20' long. You can make spaces that will incorporate the current shape of your room and will be high enough to discourage trying to hop over.
The noise... I'm not sure if this is a family room, but perhaps a few days of reading books or board games might keep the noise level down..??

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

QUESTION: Hi again, Christine. I just dropped my rabbits off a few hours ago. The lady who weighed my rabbits told me I had to keep Athena and Sally separate from about 3-4 days, and those two separate from the other rabbits for at least a week.

This was what I was concerned about...Should I listen to the instructions? Or should I try to put Athena and Sally together?


ANSWER: Jackie,

That's surprising feedback. When I had Jessica spayed, she was with her husbun immediately after. I don't want to tell you to disregard veterinarian recommendations without reason, so would you be able to ask the vet for more clarification? Is it because they're newly bonded? What's their reasoning for this? I've never personally heard that they have to be isolated after a spay.

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

QUESTION: She asked me if I had a male rabbit at home, and I said yes, he's a neutered male.
Then, she proceeded to tell me that she doesn't want to risk having Athena and Sally mounted by him, which may injure them after the surgery.

I go to pick them up in about 4 hours, so I will ask again if they had any other reasonings.

Thank you,


Understood, and that totally makes sense from a safety perspective. I would go with my previous assertion - as long as Athena and Sally are both ladies, you can let them heal together, and have them close to the other two "non-healers" to keep them from feeling like they're being punished.


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Christine Whetstone


I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.


I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues


Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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