Vaccinating your pet rabbit.

MyxomatosisHeading towards Autumn means that the rabbit disease, myxomatosis, is reaching a peak time of year.

Myxomatosis is a man-made disease that was created to control the wild rabbit population. It is highly contagious amongst rabbits and even if your rabbit lives indoors- it is still at risk from this disease. The disease is spread via parasites like mosquitoes and fleas who jump from diseased rabbit to healthy rabbit and infect them.

The incubation period for myxomatosis is up to two weeks but initial symptoms may be loss of appetite or mild behaviour changes. The first noticeable symptoms will be from the mucous membranes like the eyes, nose, anus and genitals. These will swell, appear red and ulcerate.  As the disease progresses it will cause painful skin, blindness and lethargy. Myxomatosis is usually fatal, even with veterinary intervention, the survival rate is low. The best way to tackle this disease is to get your rabbit vaccinated.

Another disease fatal to rabbits is Viral Haemorrhagic Disease or VHD. This disease is highly infectious and can be spread via birds, insects and our own clothing. It is able to survive for months in the environment and even indoor rabbits can become infected. VHD causes haemorraging from organs in the body, particularly the lungs.

Vaccinating your rabbit is simple.

At Westover Veterinary Centre we offer an annual myxo+vhd vaccine which can be administered to rabbits over the age of five months. Unlike previous styles of vaccines, this combined vaccine eliminates the need for numerous visits to the vets for seperate injections.

To book an appointment please telephone the Small Animal surgery on 01692 403202 or go to our Appointment Request page on the website.