Our domestic and flat rabbits can become infected with two life-threatening diseases that are widespread among wild rabbits. Wild rabbits serve as a reservoir for the pathogens. Vaccination protects your rabbit from infection. In the following, both diseases are briefly presented:
Myxomatosis is a viral disease transmitted through direct contact with infected animals, contaminated feed or flying insects.
Diseased animals first have inflammation of the eyelids. This is followed by severe swelling of the mouth, nose, ears, paws, and anal region. The swellings in the face can be so severe that the rabbits get a lion-like appearance. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for myxomatosis. The animals are treated purely symptomatically (antibiotics against secondary infections, painkillers as well as artificial feeding). Nevertheless, a cure of diseased, unvaccinated animals is rarely possible.
RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease)
RHD is also caused by a virus. Transmission occurs through contact with infected animals, through food, litter or flying insects. The course of the disease is often per acute, i.e., the animals die suddenly within a few hours without having shown any symptoms beforehand. Typical for the course of the disease are, apart from the punctiform haemorrhages in the skin, central nervous symptoms, which mainly manifest themselves in convulsions. Bleeding from the intestine and genital openings is often found in animals that die per acutely. A cure for this disease is not yet possible.
To keep the risk of myxomatosis and RHD as low as possible for our domestic rabbits, we recommend a combination vaccination against both diseases. We use a new and safe vaccine in our practice that only needs to be vaccinated once a year (Nobivac Myxo-RHD). The vaccination can be given from the 5th week of life.
In addition to vaccination, hutches should be screened with fly screens, contact with wild rabbits should be prevented and no unwashed food from fields and forests should be fed. Regular parasite control and optimal husbandry and feeding strengthen the immune system.