Why rabbit vaccinations are so important …
February 21, 2022
With spring just around the corner, you may be thinking about moving your rabbit’s hutch back outside and letting your rabbit spend more time in the garden. Before you do, it is wise to make sure your rabbit’s vaccinations are up to date.
At Clarendon Street Veterinary Surgery in Cambridge, we want to be sure rabbit owners are aware of the diseases that can affect their pets and how these can be prevented through regular vaccinations.
Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) can strike even if your pets live well away from other rabbits, and sadly, these diseases have have high mortality rates. Fortunately, vaccinations are available to protect your pets. So why not get in touch with our team to check if your rabbit’s vaccinations are up to date, or to book a booster right away?
Why rabbits need vaccinating
Clarendon Street Vets’ Head Vet Patrick von Heimendahl, shares the key facts about these horrible rabbit diseases below.
- This is a really nasty disease that spreads quickly, develops fast and is usually fatal.
- Domestic rabbits do not need to be in contact with wild rabbits to catch this disease; it is passed through fleas, mosquitos, midges, and mites, which can travel over relatively large distances to infect your pet
- Symptoms include nasal and eye discharge, eye inflammation leading to blindness, swelling, redness/ulcers, problems breathing, appetite loss, and lethargy
- Even with the best possible veterinary treatment, very few pet rabbits survive Myxomatosis so vaccination is essential
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)
- VHD often occurs in outbreaks, spreading quickly from rabbit to rabbit
- Your rabbit does not need to be in contact with other rabbits to catch it as the virus can be carried in feed, on bedding, by wild birds and insects, and on the feet of rabbit owners who have been walking in an infected area
- There are two strains – VHD-1 has a higher mortality rate (almost 100%) but VHD-2 can also affect younger rabbits under 6 weeks old that may not succumb to VHD-1
- Symptoms of VHD-1 include respiratory distress, fever, appetite loss, lethargy, convulsions, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose before death. Signs of VHD-2 can be vague.
- VHD is easily preventable with vaccines
So, what vaccinations do rabbits need & when?
You can protect your pet against Myxomatosis and VHD with annual rabbit vaccinations from just five weeks old. In some circumstances, we may advise more frequent vaccinations.
If your rabbit has been vaccinated and you cannot remember when their booster is due, get in touch and we can check.
A rabbit vaccination appointment also gives you the perfect opportunity to talk to Clarendon Street Vets’ experienced team about your rabbit’s health in general.