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Routine neutering of rabbits and rodents
  1. Claire Richardson

    Claire Richardson qualified from Edinburgh in 2002 and works at the University of Newcastle as the deputy named veterinary surgeon. She holds the RCVS certificate in laboratory animal science. Her interests include laboratory animal welfare, and pain assessment and alleviation.

  2. Paul Flecknell

    Paul Flecknell qualified from Cambridge in 1976. He is professor of laboratory animal science at the University of Newcastle and director of the Comparative Biology Centre. He holds the RCVS diploma in laboratory animal science and is a diplomate of both the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.


CONSIDERATION should be given to neutering rabbits, guinea pigs and rats to prevent unwanted litters, limit undesirable behaviours that accompany sexual maturity, prevent disease and treat reproductive disease. Numerous surgical approaches, using a variety of safe and effective anaesthetic and analgesic agents, have been described for the routine neutering of rabbits and rodents, but these may be less familiar to veterinary surgeons in practice than the techniques used for dogs and cats. This article illustrates how to conduct an ovariohysterectomy and castration in rabbits, guinea pigs and rats, reviewing the surgical techniques that the authors have found to be particularly successful in these species.

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