Infectious Diseases Rabbits – Protecting Your Pet
Rabbits are subject to infectious diseases just like ourselves. There are two main infectious disease; Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD). Both of these diseases are widespread in the UK and can put all rabbits at risk of ending up seriously ill or even dying with the disease.
What is Myxomatosis?
This is a viral disease which is transmitted to rabbits by biting insects (for example mosquitoes and fleas), but it can also be spread from rabbit to rabbit if they are in close contact.
What are the effects of Myxomatosis in rabbits?
Myxomatosis causes tumour-like swellings around the rabbit’s eyes, nose, mouth, ears and genital area. In addition, a high fever can develop, immune suppression and other secondary respiratory infections, which in many cases leads to death.
Is there any treatment for the disease?
Unfortunately, this is a highly distressing disease for which there is no specific treatment. The best way of preventing your rabbit contracting the disease is through vaccination carried out by your Veterinary surgeon.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD)
This again is a highly infectious viral disease which is widespread. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is caused by a virus which in most cases results in sudden death. There are various strains of RHD. When this disease first started in the UK in the 1980s, it was due to virus strain RHD-1. Then in 2010 a new strain emerged RHD-2, which is now the main cause of RHD in the UK.
How do rabbits contract RHD?
RHD is contracted through biting insects, for example fleas and mosquitoes. It can also be passed on due to close contact with other rabbits. Furthermore, the virus can survive in the environment where infectious rabbits have been, for example a rabbit hutch, family home or enclosure, and unfortunately the virus can remain infectious for some time in the environment.
What affect does RHD have on a rabbit?
The bad news is the first sign of this disease can be death. This terrible virus acts quickly and in many cases without detection.
Protecting my pet
With the disease being untreatable, the best protection is prevention by keeping your rabbit’s injections up to date. Due to the increasing prevalence of RHD-2 in the UK, it is more important than ever that you keep your vaccines up to date. You can help keep your pet protected by ensuring that your rabbit has its yearly vaccines.
New vaccination Nobivac Myxo-RHD Plus
Nobivac Myxo-RHD Plus is a new vaccine for rabbits to help protect them against Myxomatosis, RHD-1 and RHD-2 all in one injection.
The vaccine works by preparing the immune system to defend it against the disease. The vaccine is now available from Dragon Vets, give us a call to book in your vaccination on 0191 4176923
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