If you’re a rabbit owner wondering about getting your bunny spayed, you probably want to know exactly how long the surgery takes. Spaying, which is the removal of the ovaries and often the uterus, is an important part of rabbit care and health.

The good news is that while no surgery is quick, a spay procedure is not overly long or complicated.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The surgery itself typically takes 20-40 minutes. However, you’ll need to factor in prep time, anesthesia time, and recovery monitoring at the vet’s office. So in total, plan for your rabbit to be at the vet for 2-5 hours.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the length of a rabbit spay operation. We’ll cover the timeline from start to finish, the different phases of the procedure, what times are typical, what can affect the duration, and more.

We’ll also provide tips to make surgery day go as smoothly as possible for you and your bunny.

Pre-Op Preparation

Dropping Off Your Rabbit

Before your rabbit spay operation, you will need to drop off your furry friend at the veterinary clinic. It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have all the necessary information from the clinic regarding drop-off times and any specific instructions they may have.

Some clinics may require you to fast your rabbit prior to the surgery, so be sure to ask about any dietary restrictions beforehand. Additionally, make sure your rabbit is comfortable and secure in a carrier during transportation to the clinic. This will help reduce stress for both you and your bunny.

Pre-Surgery Exam & Tests

Once your rabbit is dropped off at the clinic, a pre-surgery examination will be conducted by the veterinarian. This examination is crucial to assess your rabbit’s overall health and ensure that they are fit for the spay operation.

The veterinarian will check your rabbit’s heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature. They will also perform a thorough physical examination, looking for any signs of illness or abnormalities. In some cases, additional tests such as blood work or X-rays may be recommended to further evaluate your rabbit’s health status before proceeding with the surgery.

Administering Anesthesia

Anesthesia is an important part of the spay operation as it ensures that your rabbit remains comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the clinic’s protocols and the individual needs of your rabbit.

Prior to the surgery, the veterinarian will carefully calculate the appropriate dosage based on your rabbit’s weight and health status. They will then administer the anesthesia, typically through an injection or inhalation.

It’s important to note that anesthesia always carries some risks, but the veterinarian will take all necessary precautions to minimize any potential complications. Once the anesthesia takes effect, your rabbit will be ready for the spay operation to begin.

The Spay Surgery

Spaying is a common surgical procedure performed on female rabbits to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of certain reproductive diseases. It is important to know what happens during a rabbit spay operation to ensure the well-being of your furry friend.

Shaving & Disinfecting

Before the surgery begins, the rabbit’s fur around the surgical site is shaved and the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This is done to minimize the risk of infection during the procedure. The veterinarian will take great care to ensure the rabbit is comfortable throughout this process.

The Incision

Once the area is prepared, a small incision is made in the rabbit’s abdomen. The size of the incision may vary depending on the size of the rabbit and the veterinarian’s preferred technique. It is crucial for the veterinarian to make a clean and precise incision to minimize any potential complications.

Removal of the Ovaries and/or Uterus

After the incision is made, the veterinarian will carefully locate and remove the ovaries and/or uterus. This is the key step in the spay surgery as it prevents the rabbit from reproducing and eliminates the risk of certain reproductive diseases.

The veterinarian will use specialized surgical tools and techniques to ensure the procedure is performed safely and effectively.

Closing the Incision

Once the ovaries and/or uterus have been removed, the veterinarian will close the incision. This is typically done using absorbable sutures, which eliminates the need for the rabbit to have stitches removed at a later date.

The incision site will be monitored to ensure proper healing and to prevent any potential complications.

It is important to note that the duration of a rabbit spay operation can vary depending on various factors such as the experience of the veterinarian, the size of the rabbit, and any additional complexities that may arise during the procedure.

It is best to consult with your veterinarian for specific information regarding the length of the surgery for your rabbit.

For more information on rabbit spay surgeries and the benefits they provide, you can visit www.rabbit.org. They provide a comprehensive guide to rabbit care and can offer advice on finding a reputable veterinarian for the procedure.

Recovery Monitoring

Waking Up from Anesthesia

After the rabbit spay operation, the rabbit will gradually wake up from anesthesia. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the individual rabbit and the type of anesthesia used.

It is important to note that the rabbit may be disoriented or groggy during this time, so it is essential to provide a calm and quiet environment for the recovery process.

Post-Op Monitoring

Once the rabbit has fully awakened from anesthesia, it is crucial to closely monitor their recovery. This includes observing their breathing, heart rate, and overall behavior. It is normal for the rabbit to be lethargic and have a reduced appetite immediately after the surgery.

However, if there are any concerns regarding excessive bleeding, difficulty breathing, or prolonged unconsciousness, it is essential to contact a veterinarian immediately.

During the recovery period, it is also important to ensure that the rabbit is kept in a clean and comfortable environment. Providing a soft and warm bedding, along with a quiet and stress-free area, can help facilitate the healing process.

Additionally, it is crucial to restrict the rabbit’s activity level to prevent any post-operative complications.


Once the veterinarian is satisfied with the rabbit’s recovery, they will give the green light for discharge. The timing of discharge will vary depending on the individual rabbit and the specific surgical procedure performed.

The veterinarian will provide detailed instructions regarding post-operative care, including medication administration, wound care, and any necessary follow-up appointments.

It is important for rabbit owners to closely follow these instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Regular check-ups and monitoring of the surgical site are crucial during the post-operative period.

If there are any concerns or questions, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

Total Time at Vet for Spay

Average Timeline

On average, a rabbit spay operation takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes from the start to finish. However, this time frame can vary depending on various factors such as the rabbit’s size, age, overall health, and the experience of the veterinarian performing the procedure.

It is important to note that this time estimate refers to the actual surgical procedure and does not include any additional time spent at the vet clinic for pre-operative preparations or post-operative monitoring.

What Can Lengthen the Procedure?

Several factors can potentially lengthen the rabbit spay procedure. One factor is the presence of any underlying health issues that may require additional care or attention during the surgery. Additionally, if the rabbit is in heat at the time of the surgery, it can make the procedure more challenging and time-consuming for the veterinarian.

Furthermore, unexpected complications or difficulties during the surgery, such as excessive bleeding or difficulty accessing the reproductive organs, can also extend the overall duration of the procedure.

Care Tips to Minimize Time

To minimize the time spent at the vet for a rabbit spay operation, there are a few care tips that can be followed. Firstly, it is important to ensure that your rabbit is in good overall health before scheduling the surgery.

Regular check-ups with a rabbit-savvy veterinarian can help identify any potential health issues that may need to be addressed prior to the procedure. Secondly, following the vet’s instructions for fasting your rabbit before the surgery can help streamline the process.

Lastly, providing a calm and stress-free environment for your rabbit during the pre-operative and post-operative periods can help promote a smoother and quicker recovery process.

For more information on rabbit spaying procedures, you can visit reputable sources such as The House Rabbit Society or consult with a knowledgeable veterinarian specializing in rabbit care.


In summary, the rabbit spay surgery itself takes 20-40 minutes on average. But factoring in preparation, anesthesia, and post-op monitoring, you should expect your rabbit to be at the vet for around 2-5 hours for the full procedure.

While every spay surgery is different, you now have a general timeline of what to expect. Be sure to follow all of your vet’s pre- and post-op instructions. With proper care, your bunny will be able to return home the same day to recover in comfort.

Within a few weeks, your spayed rabbit will be healed and back to her happy, energetic self.

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