tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS

Date:   17 January, 2010  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pig & rabbits.

Toa Payoh Vets Clinical Research
Making veterinary surgery alive
to a veterinary student studying in Australia
using real case studies and pictures

Rabbit Anaesthesia and Spay at Toa Payoh Vets -
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS 

First Written:  26 November 2008.  Updated: 17 January, 2010

Toa Payoh Vets
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0005
The successful entrepreneur planned ahead by boarding his 4 pet rabbits for 5 days so that the rabbits were not stressed prior to spaying and neutering on the 4th day. He brought his rabbit food, bowl and water bottles and installed them himself.
  Domitor Ketamine Isoflurane Gas Antisedan
Female, Pregnant
1.8 kg
0.5 ml IM 0.35 ml IM Good sedation and surgical anaesthesia.
Few seconds of gas to top up.
0.15 ml IM.
Wakes up <5 min.
Female, 1.5 kg
0.5 ml IM 0.35 ml IM Good sedation and surgical anaesthesia.
Few seconds of gas to top up.
0.15 ml IM.
Wakes up <5 min. 
Male, 1.25 kg
0.15 ml IM 0.28 ml IM Poor surgical anaesthesia. I need to top up with gas. 0.10 ml IM.
Wakes up <5 min. 
2 separate syringes were used in the above 3 rabbits.  Isoflurane gas 2% top up few seconds in a gas mask was used.
Male, 1.6 kg
Xylazine 2% @ 0.25 ml IM & Ketamine 10% @ 0.35ml IM in one syringe.  Isoflurane gas top up few seconds in a gas mask was used. No reversal drugs like yohimbine were used. Woke up around 30 minutes. Rabbit ate within 24 hours after surgery, like the other 3 rabbits.

In conclusion, these 4 rabbits well looked after by the owner who is very experienced in rabbit keeping, appear to have no problems with anaesthesia and surgery.

Surgery should be done within 5 minutes of injection. In Rabbit 3, there was a delay. He needed more than a few seconds of isoflurane gas to attain surgical anaesthesia. Baytril antibiotic SC was given after surgery to all 4 rabbits.

In one vet practice in the UK, a rabbit veterinarian stated in his website that he uses Domitor 0.5 ml/kg, Ketamine 0.35 ml/kg and Antisedan 0.1 ml/kg. He recommends Xylazine 2% 0.25ml/kg and Ketamine 10% 0.35ml/kg. He prefers Domitor but it is more expensive.

In the above cases, the dosage for Singapore rabbits seem to be less effective for the pregnant rabbit. As I have isoflurane gas to top up, there was no problem with the anaesthesia and surgery as a few seconds of whiff of the gas via the mask brought the rabbit to surgical anaesthesia. 

The above-mentioned rabbits were not given post-operation pain-killers as they ate within 24 hours after surgery. Plaster and bandage were wrapped around the female rabbits and they don't seem to mind. 

Weight in kg

Nov 20 1.8 1.5 1.25 1.6
Nov 21 1.8 1.5 1.3 1.6
Nov 22 1.8 1.5 1.3 1.6
Nov 23 - Surgery 1.8 1.5 1.25 1.6
Nov 24 1.7 1.45 1.25 1.5
Nov 25 - Goes Home 1.7 1.3 1.27 1.45

During the handover inspection with the owner on Nov 25, HIGH TEA had two swollen scrotum due to his vigorous licking. He was retained for observation for a few days. The other male rabbit's scrotum was almost invisible. The two female rabbits had their wounds taped and bandaged and did not appear to have problems.

Day 2 after neuter. Vigorous licking post neuter by male rabbit. Swollen scrotum. Toa Payoh Vets"HIGH TEA is better off eating the food he is used to rather than a different brand at the Surgery. I can buy the same brand for him," I suggested. The busy owner who seemed to be answering his mobile phone every few minutes took some trouble and time  to buy the rabbit food for HIGH TEA and brought the food in the afternoon. "I can't remember the brand," he said to me.

The above table showed that rabbits do lose appetite after surgery. They were warded 3 days prior to surgery but did not lose weight.

Spaying pregnant rabbit. Domitor. Ketamine.Antisedan. Toa Payoh Vets COFFEE was a prolific breeder but she does not have milk for her progeny with HIGH TEA. So, the pet shop operator is paid to care for the young ones. A litter almost every month was too much.

HIGH TEA was prolific too. He seemed to be monogamous and was not interested in BANKRUPT and so the latter did not produce any litter.   

"COFFEE will be most valuable for the pet shop operator selling rabbits," I commented. "As they are local rabbits and are not dwarf rabbits, each young rabbit should sell at $50.00 compared to over $200 for the dwarf rabbit."

"Nobody wants to buy the local rabbits nowadays," the owner brought me to reality.  In any case, he was not in the business of breeding rabbits. The "hopper" method of feeding the rabbits to prevent feed from being spilt onto the floor and grate and the hanging of water bottles onto the cage at Toa Payoh Vets were his ideas and these were excellent ones.

Another point to note is that rabbits do not need to be starved 12 hours prior to anaesthesia and surgery as they do not vomit. Some veterinary staff may automatically starve them as they do with dogs and cats (and people do need to be starved too).     

UPDATE AS AT JAN 17, 2010. The busy gentleman and his family came as their 2 dogs needed booster vaccinations, dental scaling and blood tests. He said the 4 rabbits were OK.

SOME RABBIT REFERENCES - Ileus in Rabbits - Dental Problems in Rabbits - Urinary Problems in Rabbits - Respiratory Problems in Rabbits - Head Tilt in Rabbits
Siem Reap Vet Visit by Dr Sing - Injectable Anaesthetics

  Toa Payoh Vets
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0005
tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)Toa Payoh Vets
Clinical Research
More cases are at: Rabbits & Guinea Pigs

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