Rabbit Neutering in Primary-Care Education: Insights from a Surgical Clinic

Livia Benato, Jennifer Hammond
2018 Journal of Veterinary Medical Education  
Involvement in canine and feline surgical neutering clinics is generally considered to be a key element of primary care veterinary education, yet opportunities for veterinary students to develop their surgical skills with rabbit patients are uncommon. This is despite the fact that Rabbits are currently estimated to be the 3 rd most popular companion animal species and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) recommends that all nonbreeding rabbits should be neutered soon after
more » ... tered soon after they attain sexual maturity. We describe a pilot rabbit neutering clinic designed to provide high quality care for rabbit patients whilst offering opportunities for undergraduate surgical and case management skills development. We report on the clinical outcomes for patients. Rates of morbidity (n=18) and mortality (n=1) were low. Of complications reported, the majority (n=16) were considered minor. Challenges included ensuring staff and student training in the specific features of rabbit anaesthesia and recovery behaviour. We conclude that rabbit surgical clinics offer excellent learning opportunities for undergraduate veterinary students; and that with prior training in handling and close individual supervision it is possible to achieve good clinical outcomes and to have a positive impact on the welfare of companion animal populations. As a consequence, the aims of this evaluation study are:
doi:10.3138/jvme.0916-149r pmid:28813172 fatcat:2uzmsevjnvhn3dfxhvohdln52m