Rabbit Testicles: Common Problems, Symptoms & Best Practices

Rabbit Testicles

Rabbit testicles are an important part of your rabbit body, especially during gestation. That is where the sperm cell comes from and travels to the body of the female rabbit after mating to form baby bunnies. 

But just like other animals, rabbit testicles can experience problems and issues regarding their testes function. It is important to know this kind of information especially if you are taking care of rabbits for breeding purposes. 

In addition, rabbit testicles are also related to some of their behavioral issues, such as aggression and territorial habits. According to Vet Care Pet Hospital, male rabbits become aggressive due to the hormones inside their testicular reproduction.  It often causes fighting within the rabbit in the same shelter since animals are territorial in nature. 

All About Rabbit Testicles

Male rabbits have their own testicles that commonly drop from nine to twenty weeks of their age. After birth, young male rabbits’ testicles are located in the abdominal part of their body. According to some studies, the growth of rabbit testes is slow, and you can observe the normal size forty-five days after their birth. This is to keep up with the pace of spermatogenesis or the start of the production of sperm cells for male rabbits. 

That is why, while your pet rabbit is young or has been neutered, you will be required to inspect its genitals. This ensures you don’t experience any testicular problems in your pet’s body. And also to be safe if there isn’t any infection or parasitic infestation

To properly inspect the rabbit’s testes, gently put your finger on each side of the rabbit’s genitals, open it, and lightly place pressure downward. 

You may inspect what goes out; sometimes, the rabbit’s penis first pops out. There is also a possibility that the penis does not show out; this commonly happens in a younger rabbit. You may notice a long tube-like with a small circular shape opening. 

Common Testicles Problems for Rabbit

Testicular Cancer 

Most male animals can have cancer in their testicles. This type of illness is common, especially for adults and unneutered male rabbits. A disease like this is caused by unknown cells in your body called cancer cells. Commonly cancer spreads across the whole body and attacks the immunity of the species. And according to some reports, testicle cancer spreads more quickly than others. 

In addition, testicular cancer among rabbits does not show many symptoms other than the testicles becoming large and the rabbit beginning to lose weight. That is why sometimes owners overlook the idea of their rabbit having cancer and will just find out if their pet is in a severe case of cancer. 

To avoid and decrease the chance of your pet having testicular cancer, one of the best ways to prevent this common problem is by neutering your rabbit while it is still young. Doing such neutering not only prevents testicular cancer but also helps reduce the aggressive behavior of the rabbit. 


Ketosis is an unusual disorder that can become deadly in about 1 to 2 days. According to MSD Veterinary Manual, ketosis is more usual for the newly born or the first litter, which is why it’s a life-threatening type of disease for your rabbit. This reproductive health problem for your pet is commonly caused by obesity and rabbits that do not have an active lifestyle.

If you think your rabbit has ketosis, the clinical symptoms they will show are loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, and even dullness of the eyes. The usual remarkable changes in their physical changes are having fatty deposits in their liver and kidneys that they commonly notice after their death. 

Moreover, if your pet is diagnosed with ketosis, your vet may inject some fluid that has glucose that may eventually correct the disease. It may also help if you breed the rabbit early before they become too fat.

Genital Infections or Pasteurellosis 

Infections in the body of your rabbit, including the testicle of them, are caused by several bacteria or organisms. This can lead to several health risks because they attack the function of your pet’s system.

If your rabbit is diagnosed with genital or is known as pasteurellosis, one common sign you will notice is the inflammation of your pet’s reproductive tract and testes. Like other problems, pasteurellosis is typically seen in adult rabbits because of their vulnerability.

When both horns of the rabbit’s uterus are affected, there is a chance they will become infertile. Hence, your rabbit will be unsuitable for breeding. 

One of the only symptoms of an infection in the rabbit’s uterus is the thick, yellowish-gray color of the testes or vaginal release.

While your rabbit emits substance from their genitals that comes from the urethra, sometimes their testicles become large and swollen also. Pasteurellosis is a long-term infection for rabbits, and study also shows that it can be passed while in the breeding stage, so those infected animals should not be bred. 

Your vet may advise doing a surgical removal on the infected reproductive organs that follows antibiotic usage for your pet rabbits. The findings of the genital infections are based on the symptoms and some laboratory tests that discern the bacteria. The treatment is difficult and may not fully remove the organism; those antibiotics are just used to give a temporary suspension.


Treponematosis among rabbits is caused by a bacteria called Treponema. Infected rabbits could not be allowed to mate because rabbits can get this disease through sexual intercourse. That is why it commonly occurs in both female and male rabbits. Once the female rabbit gets pregnant and has the bacteria of this infection, it can also be transmitted from the doe into its baby rabbit.

Fortunately, this type of genital disease is not transmissible to other domestic animals and humans. But it can threaten the life of your rabbit if not treated early. 

Treponematosis is easy to see because it forms small blisters and a slow-healing sore that becomes layered with a heavy wound located in the genital region of your rabbit pet. That is why it’s important to occasionally check the reproductive parts of rabbits to ensure they do not have some underlying disease. 

Once they are diagnosed, your vet may inject a penicillin G to eliminate the genital disease. If you have a group of rabbits in one cage, all rabbits must be required to be treated and examined even if they are not showing some symptoms. That is to ensure that no further problems will occur. Detection is still based on the symptoms and laboratory tests to determine the bacteria.

After 10 to 14 days of medication and treatment, the sores caused by bacteria will heal on their own. And your rabbits that have fully recovered will be allowed to breed without risk of transmitting the infection.


Mastitis is another testicular disease in rabbits called staphylococcal, but there are also tendencies that other types of bacteria can be involved. Mastitis can cause pain and risk because of inflammation of your rabbit’s mammary glands, affecting feeding activity. 

Sometimes they will not digest the food well and lose their appetite, causing them not to eat for several days. You will also notice that they will increase their drinking habit rather than eating food. In severe cases, bacteria can also attack the blood cells of your rabbit, causing an infection that quickly becomes the reason for early death. 

To know if your rabbit has mastitis, the first sign that you should look at is your pet’s mammary gland because it becomes hotter, reddened and sometimes swollen. After such a sign, it may become colored blue and is usually called the “blue bag” or the “blue breast.”

The fever is usually shown. If your vet advised you to use the antibiotic as treatment, the rabbit could definitely save its life, but it may damage one or more mammary glands. And because penicillin causes diarrhea in rabbits, rabbits treated with an antibiotic may feed on hay or some other rabbit food that contains a high-fiber diet.

If You Want To Know More About the Other Health Risks of Rabbits, Read this Article: Definitive Guide to Your Rabbit’s Health

Importance of Neutering Rabbits For Health Advantages

For many years, many veterinarians professionally recommended neutering their beloved pets. This is because many health advantages will contribute to animals once they are neutered.

Neutering or spaying is a surgical process of removing the testicles of male animals and female eggs. According to the Veterinary Center of America, neutering rabbits is a method to sterilize and infertile the part of the reproduction system of your pet to not produce sperm cells anymore. 

Although this procedure will depend on the reason for caring for rabbits because some owners have rabbits for breeding purposes, however, if you buy a rabbit just to pet and take care of them, neutering is an ideal procedure that you should do for your pet while they are young. 

The ideal time for the surgical procedure of removing the testes of your rabbit is between six to eight months of their age. This will make the surgery easier because the testes are not fully grown. Proper bone growth will also be affected by the surgery at this age of your pet’s life.

Moreover, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported that the capacity of your pet’s daily activity would be unaffected. Rather having testicles removed will have the tendency to behave better. Territorial issues within the same cage will also be lifted. Hence, your neutered rabbit will be a more likable companion.

Advantages of Neutered Rabbit

Decrease the chance of testicular cancer

Having your rabbit neutered decreases their chance of cancer on its testes. That is because when adults become older, they are prone to having health risks on their reproductive parts, and removing the testes during the early stage of their life will enhance your pet’s lifespan.

Promote good behavior and less stress

Since there are studies that the hormones from the testicular part of pet animals contribute to their behavior, neutering rabbits will help them control and lessen the aggression they may show you and other animals. In addition, your rabbit will also be stress-free, especially during the gestation or mating period. Some owners retrain their pets from mating to avoid getting their female rabbit to get pregnant, but this kind of practice has a big impact on stress levels, especially for male rabbits. 

Control rabbit population

Another advantage of neutering is to permanently remove the ability to produce offspring rabbits. Sometimes owners forget to have population control when taking care of rabbits. This results in unwanted pregnancy in rabbits. Although, as a first-time rabbit owner, you might find it great to add new members of rabbits in the shelter, the continuous increase of population leads to abandonment because they cannot take care of too many rabbits.

Before Neutering Surgery

After knowing the advantages of neutering your pet, you must not decide immediately to proceed with the surgery. Many factors should be first considered, such as age, weight, health, or if there is some underlying disease that your rabbit has. It is always recommended to visit your pet’s doctor first then. The doctors will assess if your rabbit is eligible for neutered surgery. And if yes, schedule the surgery immediately. 

After Neutering Surgery

Aftercare is important for any surgery. When your rabbit undergoes testicle removal, even though it is a simple surgery, you might not want to risk infection from the open wound in their body. 

Ask your pet’s doctor about the medication that your rabbit should intake. Usually, they will prescribe painkillers to administer post-operation. When it’s time to take your rabbit home, provide them a clean and safe place, and put a cup in their head if necessary to avoid your rabbit licking and scratching on the wound. 

Moreover, fodder your rabbit foods rich in fiber and a balanced diet. Report to your vet immediately if you think there are behavioral and body changes, such as urine color, poop texture, and eating habits. 

Key Takeaways

  • The rabbit testicle is part of the reproductive system of a male rabbit. This part is responsible for creating baby bunnies and mating because this is where the sperm cell is created.
  • Rabbit testicles are also responsible for some behavioral issues of the rabbit because of the hormones inside their body. Such as aggression and territorial behavior within the same area with other rabbits. 
  • Hormones inside the testes of your male rabbit can sometimes cause fighting if rabbits are within the same cage.
  • Like other animals, male rabbits have testicles that usually drop when they turn nine to 20 weeks of age. After birth, young male testicles are located in the abdominal part of the body.
  • To have the same pace and growth of spermatogenesis or the start of the production of sperm cells for male rabbits, the development of their rabbit testes is slow, and you can observe the normal size forty-five days after their birth.
  • The common testicular problems your rabbit can experience are cancer, genital infection, treponematosis, and mastitis.
  • Testicular cancer is caused by the cancer cells that usually target the adult male rabbit that has not been neutered.
  • Genital infection is also known as Pasteurellosis. This type of problem is caused by several bacteria or organisms that can lead to different health risks because they attack the function of your pet’s system.
  • During sexual intercourse of rabbits, the male testes can get infected by the treponema bacteria if the other mate is positive for Treponematosis. 
  • Neutering is a surgical process of removing the testicles of male animals. This is done to officially remove the sperm reproduction part of their body, making them unable to produce babies anymore. 
  • Several advantages of Neutering a rabbit area are decreasing the chance of testicular cancer, promoting good behavior for your rabbit, decreasing aggression, and controlling the population of rabbits.  
  • Before neutering, ensure that your rabbit is in a healthy state of their body to be able to not shock their system with the surgery. Feed them enough food and water. Ask your doctor if they are eligible for neutering because factors such as age, weight, and health can contribute to the operation’s success.
  • After the surgery, provide them with the medication your pet’s doctor gave. Avoid your rabbit licking and scratching on the operated testes at all because it can be infected by their saliva and the possibility of the wound opening up again. 

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