• Anaesthesia rabbit/rodent
  • Aftercare after surgery
  • Before your dog/cat undergoes surgery

Anaesthesia rabbit/rodent

Anaesthesia rabbit/rodent

Your rabbit or rodent will soon go under anaesthesia for a procedure (surgery, dental treatment, X-ray, etc.). Some things will go the same as with a dog or cat, but some things are completely different.

Here are some things that are important:

Not sober

A significant difference with dogs and cats is that your rabbit/rodent should NOT be sober for anaesthesia. Rabbits/rodent cannot vomit, which is often the reason for fasting in dogs and cats. Another reason is that rabbits and rodents have a fast metabolism so fasting can cause their sugar levels to drop too much. Therefore, they are allowed to eat and drink until just before and immediately after anaesthesia.


Rabbits and rodents are relatively small animals that can cool down quickly. To prevent this from happening, we put them on a heating mat during the procedure. We regularly check the temperature so that we can intervene in time if necessary. After the procedure, your rabbit/rodent is immediately woken up with an anti-narcosis injection so that it can regulate its own temperature again. If necessary, your animal can be placed in an incubator. Recovery will be faster if your animal is at a good temperature.


For any surgery or dental treatment, your rabbit/rodent will receive a painkiller via injection. Depending on the operation, you will be given painkillers for several more days. The less pain your animal is in, the faster it will start eating on its own again. Anaesthesia In the past, rabbits and rodents had a much higher anaesthetic risk than dogs and cats. Nowadays, anaesthetics have become a lot safer and much more is known about anaesthesia in rabbits and rodents. We also have the possibility of administering oxygen.

We take care to minimize the anaesthetic risk. Fortunately, the chance of something happening is quite small. Going home again We always call when your pet can go home again. After anaesthesia, your pet will stay with us for a few hours for observation. Your rabbit/rodent may only go home if it is well awake and has eaten and/or defecated.

This way, we know that the gastrointestinal tract is well underway again. At home, it is important that you keep an eye on your rabbit's appetite. Especially in the first days after anaesthesia, your animal may eat less, or sometimes even refuse to eat. The droppings may be smaller or even absent, also indicating less/no appetite. You can then try tasty treats: parsley, celery, endive leaf (only if your animal is used to eating greens!). Place the food in front of your pet in such a way that it can eat whenever it wants without effort. Should your rabbit/rodent refuse to eat, it is important that you force-feed your animal (inject food with a syringe and water into the mouth).

Because of its fast metabolism, a rabbit/rodent should always keep eating. You can give your animal supreme science recovery or baby food with carrots without potatoes, among other things. For more information on this, see our advice letter "force-feeding your rabbit or rodent". Should your animal have a surgical wound, the advice is to remove the straw/sawdust and put a towel in its place. Rabbits that normally live outside may, if the operation was minor and the rabbit is well awake, simply go back outside.

Do you have any questions following the above information? Please contact us.

Aftercare after surgery

After care after surgery


Your pet has undergone an operation. In this letter, you will find more information about the aftercare he/she needs after the operation.

Back home

Once at home, because of the anaesthesia, your pet may still be a little shaky or sleepy. Therefore, make sure it has a quiet resting place: separate from other animals and/or the children and make the room dim if necessary.

This place should also be safe: make sure your animal cannot fall or jump off anything. Provide a cozy warm lying area, but do not make it too hot. You can cover the animal up if necessary. Temporarily setting up a crate is a good option. Do let dogs out regularly on a short leash. Make sure cats have easy access to their own clean, low litter box.

Eating and drinking

Your pet may resume eating and drinking small bits according to the instructions below. However, the animal should drink on its own again within a day after surgery and eat on its own again within two days.

Any peculiarities or doubts?

Do you notice any peculiarities in your pet after the operation or are you unsure whether it is doing well? If so, always contact your vet Information and further instructions.

Eating is allowed from: as soon as your pet is well awake, small bits. / late at night

Drinking: is allowed as long as not too much at once

Medications: administer according to prescription (see label medicine packaging) not applicable

Sutures: dissolve by themselves, have them removed in _____________ days at our practice/at your own vet not applicable

Test results: you will be contacted by telephone as soon as the results are available not applicable

Collar/T-shirt: keep it on for ___________ days only if the patient wants to touch the wound not applicable

Check-up: make appointment for check-up around _________ telephone contact around ___________ if everything goes well: no check-up visit


Do you have any questions following the above information? Please contact us.

Before your dog/cat undergoes surgery

Before your dog/cat undergoes surgery


If your dog/cat is due for an operation soon, here you will find more details on the precautions associated with the procedure.


Before the operation, your dog/cat must be sober. This is to prevent the animal from vomiting and food from entering its trachea and/or lungs. Therefore, the dog/cat should not eat anything from 18:00h on the evening before the operation. Drinking (only water) is still allowed, so the water bowl can remain (a saucer of milk is not). To make sure your animal does not eat elsewhere, it is wise to keep him or her inside from that time onwards. So do not forget to install a litter tray or keep the dog on a leash when walking. Often, dogs will also need to be walked on a leash for a few days after surgery and cats will need to stay indoors during that time.

Clean and vermin-free

Make sure your pet is clean and free of pests such as fleas or worms.

However, do not wait until just before surgery to start treatments against these: as they can affect anaesthesia in some cases. There should be at least a few days between the flea treatment and/or worming and the operation. If you are in doubt about this or your dog suddenly shows other health problems, report them to your vet as soon as possible.

Good exercise

Walk your dog thoroughly prior to the procedure so that his bladder and intestines are as empty as possible. Make sure the animal does not get dirty, so walk him or her on a leash. Make sure you are present with your animal at the agreed time. Your dog should be on a collar and on a leash, and your cat should be transported in a sturdy and sealable cat carrier.

Being available

Make sure you can be reached by phone during your animal's surgery. Remember to communicate the correct phone number to your vet/assistant. Make sure someone stays with the dog/cat for the rest of the day when it is back home after surgery.

Do you have any questions following the above information? If so, please contact us.

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