Are you vaccinating your rabbits? If not, what’s stopping you? Us bunnies are pretty fragile creatures so anything that’s going to protect me from a nasty disease gets the paws up from me.
So, what should you be protecting your rabbit from?
Many of you may already be familiar with this disease, but you may not be aware that it is still widespread and very common in and around Worcester. Myxomatosis is carried by fleas and mosquitoes, and the disease is contracted through the skin into the blood stream from a bite from one of these critters. Myxomatosis can cause swelling of the head and genital area, nose and eye discharges, anorexia and depression (symptoms can last for 2 weeks before the rabbit dies – how horrible?) The vaccine may not completely prevent Myxomatosis but it does reduce the severity of the disease and vaccinated rabbits generally recover.
Rabbit Haemorrhage Disease (RHD)
RHD is a highly infectious condition. It may cause sudden death or may show clinical signs such as not eating, depression, laboured breathing, fitting and bleeding from the nose, followed by death. It can be spread from rabbit to rabbit but can also be brought into the home on clothes or on the feet of pets and people.
This is a new strain of RHD, against which the previous vaccine (to cover against Myxomatosis and RHD) does not protect. Thankfully, a vaccine is now available for RHD2 and depending on the risk to your rabbit, might need to be given once or twice a year. This vaccine does not protect against Myxomatosis, which means that it’ll be an extra trip each year to the vet for me (as both vaccines cannot be given at the same time), but hey - it’s worth it to stay healthy!
Vaccine time means that it’s also a chance to get an M.O.T from the vet and discuss any issues you may have. Keeping your rabbit healthy is vital to keeping them happy.
So I’m booked in for my jab – how about your bun-friend?