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Vaccination provides protection against life-threatening diseases, which in the rabbit are Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). Unfortunately we still see rabbits that have these diseases, although they are preventable through vaccination.
The combined vaccine for Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhaghic Disease can be given as a single dose from 5 weeks of age, and will require an annual booster thereafter.
Myxomatosis is a deadly disease seen in both wild and pet rabbits. It starts with conjunctivitis, and then swellings on the head and genital areas appear. Affected rabbits get weak and eventually die. The disease can be passed by flies and fleas that have been in contact with an infected rabbit, as well as direct contact with an infected rabbit.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease is fatal, with death occurring within 48 hours. The virus causes major internal bleeding. Some rabbits may have bleeding from the nose or back passage, but quite often the rabbit will die with no outward signs. The virus is easily transmitted and can survive in the environment for months. It can be passed on through direct contact with an infected rabbit or through indirect contact with other animals, insects, owners, on the wind or from untreated hay.
• All rabbits should be vaccinated to prevent deadly diseases
• The combined Myxomatosis /VHD vaccine needs an annual booster
• Bleeding from the nose or back passage could suggest Viaral Haemorrhagic Disease which is fatal within 48 hours - so act quickly.
Treatment of sick and injured animals is obviously a very important part of our work, but we are great believers in preventative medicine.