Male rabbits are neutered for a variety of reasons. It helps minimize fighting behavior, makes it impossible to impregnate females, and prevents testicular cancer.

At the Long Beach Animal Hospital use of the carbon dioxide laser is mandatory for all neuters.  Our rabbit patients appreciate the fact that after surgery there is negligible pain, swelling, and inflammation.

This laser pain control, in addition to the pain injection we give before the rabbit wakes up, and the pain medication we send home, makes for a smooth and rapid recovery.

Doctor setting up the laser machine

The laser is calibrated specifically for each surgery and patient

Dr. P teaching laser surgery to a student

We have extensive experience using the laser over several decades, and commonly teach other doctors how to use it. In this picture Dr. Palazzolo is teaching one of our externs. If you follow our Facebook page you will see the externs post a Daily Diary of what they learned for the day while they are training with us.

Sometimes people get a jaded mindset when it comes to routine surgeries like neuters, that are performed by the thousands, especially at low cost spay and neuter clinics. It is a major surgery, and we treat it as such at the Long Beach Animal Hospital, which you will learn about in this page.

Several days prior to any surgery please bring in your pet for a preanesthetic exam and blood panel to confirm your pet is ready for anesthesia. At that time one of our doctors will go over any questions you have.

On the day of surgery we need your bunny in the hospital between 7:30 AM and 8 AM. Do not give your bunny anything to eat or drink the morning of surgery.

Performing pre-surgical exam

On the day of surgery we perform a pre-surgical exam prior to starting the procedure

Our veterinary surgeon will call you after the surgery is complete and your bunny is awake. It can go home in the late afternoon the day of surgery unless instructed otherwise.

Please call our office at 4 PM for pickup time, you will be given written post operative instructions then. We are open in the evening if you need to pick up later.

Graphic photos and videos on this page

Enlarged right testicle

The reason this male rabbit has one testicle substantially larger than the other is due to cancer. Removal of this testicle is needed for treatment. If this pet had been neutered at a young age this problem would not have occurred.

Infected right testicle

This rabbit has a severely infected testicle. The normal testicle is the pink object on the right. This is painful, and needs to be removed surgically. You will see this surgery at the end of this page. 

Surgical Preparation

When the rabbit’s pre-anesthetic blood panel and physical exam are completed, it is anesthetized and brought into surgery.

Rabbit in anesthetic cage
We use a special gas anesthetic that is gentle and safe. This is the induction chamber that is filled with 100% oxygen prior to administering any anesthesia. We do this to make the anesthetic safer. 

Warm water bottles

Our surgical patients are kept warm with a circulation warm water blanket and additional warm fluids

Nurse anesthetists monitoring anesthesia

Our rabbit patients are closely monitored when we perform surgery

Nurse keeping anesthetic records

Detailed records are kept of the anesthesia and surgery

Anesthetic monitor

We keep a close tab on important physiologic parameters for all of our surgeries. Monitors like this give us an early warning of an impending problem.

Nurse monitoring anesthesia

We don’t rely only on the monitor, and take a “hands on” approach with the stethoscope and continual observation 

Surgeon washing his hands

Once our surgeon has scrubbed up and is  in sterile gown, gloves, and mask, the surgery begins

Surgeon sorting instruments

As soon as our surgeon is done scrubbing he gowns up and prepares the sterile instruments. We want our surgeon ready to start the procedure as soon as our patient is prepped. This minimizes anesthetic time. 


Rabbit prepared for surgery
Our patient has been prepped and our surgeon is ready to drape

Surgeon draping patient
When our surgeon puts on the sterile drape the surgery is ready to commence

Making laser incision in scrotum
We use the laser for all or our neuters. It has significant advatanges over the scalpel blade. In this picture our doctor is just starting the laser incision. Notice the lack of bleeding.

Laser incision with no bleeding
With the laser there is no bleeding and much less post-operative pain and swelling. You can see the testicle appearing on the left where the scrotum has been incised by the laser.

Exposed testicle
The testicle has been brought out of the scrotal incision and is ready to be removed. This is a closed castration, because we have left the tissue covering the testicle, called the tunic, intact. Further down this page you will see an open castration.

Suture on testicle
Our surgeon has already put the first suture on the testicle, and is now ligating with an additional suture. We do this double suture on all of our neuters for safety reasons.

Laser incising testicle with no bleeding
We use the laser again to cut the testicle away from the body. Throughout this whole procedure there has been no blood.

Tissue glue on scrotum
When we have removed both testicles we seal the scrotum with tissue glue. This is much more comfortable than sutures for such a thin scrotum
This short video shows this initial incision and lack of bleeding
Necrotic testicle wrapped in gauze
This is that badly infected testicle you saw previously. It is wrapped in gauze to maintain sterility during the surgery

Gauze over infected testicle
Our surgeon is carefully removing the badly infected scrotum and testicle

Testicle being clamped
The other testicle is now removed. This is an open castration because we have cut through the tunic, the covering over the testicle.

Necrotic testicle removed
A comparison of the two show how severe the infection was

Laser therapy on scrotum
All of our bun bun neuters get a treatment with our cold laser to reduce swelling and pain after surgery. This one deserves it!

Cat with laser glass on its foot
The best part of the cold laser treatment is the opportunity it gives you to wear these cool glasses for everyone in the room

Staff holding a rabbit

We keep all of our smaller patients cozy warm after surgery. We have warm towels, warm water packs, and warm rooms for this. Sometimes our staff wants to do it themselves. 

Staff giving oral medication to rabbit after surgery

When your pet goes home we will give you a discharge sheet of instructions. Our staff can assist you in the giving medication if need be, and you are always welcome to come back the night of surgery to help us give medication if you are unable. We are open until midnight to assist you. 

The surgical laser and cold laser allow us to do this surgery with our patients comfort in mind. It is so much better than using a scalpel blade. We have much more information about laser surgery.

Return to Rabbit Diseases Page.