It is important to vaccinate your rabbit against Myxomatosis and Rabbit (Viral) Haemorrhagic Disease. Many rabbits remain unvaccinated and therefore vulnerable to disease that can not only cause great suffering but can also be fatal. ‘Myxy’ and RHD are both found in the UK and indoor and outdoor rabbits are at risk.
Cause: A virus.
Symptoms: The first signs of infection are puffy, fluid filled swellings around the head and face. Within a few days, these swellings can become so severe that they can cause blindness. Eating and drinking becomes more difficult and death usually follows within 12 days.
Spread: ‘Myxy’ most commonly spreads by the rabbit flea but it can also spread between rabbits in close contact.
Prevention: This includes the use of a safe and effective anti-parasiticide alongside vaccinating your rabbit once yearly. We use Novibac MyxoRHD which is effective in controlling Myxomatosis and VHD (strain 1) but unfortunately offers little or no protection against the new variant RHD (RHDV2). A separate vaccine is required against this disease.
Only one vaccination needed a year (lasts for 12 months).
Immunity begins within three weeks of vaccination.
We can provide vaccination from five weeks of age onwards.
VIRAL/RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE:
Cause: A virus.
Symptoms: Most affected rabbits will die rapidly without showing any symptoms. In those that survive longer, the signs can be vary but may include fever and convulsions, progressing to a terminal coma with affected animals usually succumbing within 12-36 hours. In a number of cases, a bloody discharge from the nose may be seen just before death.
Spread: The virus passes in the urine, droppings and respiratory secretions of affected animals and readily spreads to other rabbits either by direct contact, or indirectly by biting insects or via exposure to clothing, hutches, water and feed containers and other objects. RVHD in particular is highly infectious and contagious.
Prevention: At present you may or may not be aware that VHD is a real source of real concern for rabbit owners all over the UK. There has been an emergence of a new strain of VHD, and is being reported as close as Plymouth! As a result, it is wise to reduce interaction with other rabbits outside of their home group to protect against blood-sucking parasites and above all, we highly recommend you vaccinate against VHD2. Cover for the new strain involves the use of an additional vaccine.
One vaccination each year for low risk/twice a year for high risk rabbits.
In the UK, it is sensible to define high risk situations as rescue centres and breeders, unless they have a strict quarantine policy, and those rabbits which have greater contact with wild rabbits, as well as any geographical location where cases have been reported recently. All other rabbits are likely to fall into the lower risk category.
Onset of immunity seven days later.
We must give the vaccine two weeks apart from MyxoVHD (vaccine above). Your rabbit can have the vaccine from ten weeks of age.
£20 (£40/year if needed twice due to high risk).
It is a good idea to space the two vaccinations at six month intervals to allow for a six month health check for your rabbit. When they come in for their vaccines we will perform a full health examination. It is also opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have.
Worried about visiting?
We know owners worry about the journey to the vets. If this is something that concerns you please feel free to ask for an advice call from one of our Registered Nurses and they will be able to make it a more comfortable experience for you.
If you would like to book an appointment, phone 01626 835002 today.
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