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:
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.