The importance of vaccination is one of the key themes for this week’s Rabbit Awareness Week. We strongly recommend indoor and outdoor pet rabbits are vaccinated annually to protect against the three lethal diseases myxomatosis, Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 1 (RVHD1) and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (RVHD2). This is gorgeous lionhead rabbit Dumbles, who has not long been in to see us for his vaccination!
All three diseases are easily contractible. In addition to direct contact with wild infected rabbits, Myxomatosis is transmitted by flying biting insects and fleas and obvious symptoms are facial and genital swelling. Vaccinated rabbits can still occasionally contract the disease but symptoms are usually milder. Unvaccinated rabbits nearly always die. RVHD1 and 2 can be transmitted in many ways including: through contaminated hay, from picking the virus up on your shoes, it can be blown in on the wind, it can be transferred by birds and flying insects from their feet or droppings and you can also bring the virus home on your hands and clothes. RVHD1 is swift and fatal causing massive internal bleeding. Some rabbits may bleed from their nose and back passage but others die from it so quickly that there are no visible signs, and owners mistakenly assume death has occurred from a shock or a heart attack, or even heat stroke. RVHD2 is often fatal although some rabbits have recovered with rehabilitative veterinary care. There is no visible bleeding so it can be difficult to recognise, and often rabbits can seem ill or can die without any obvious cause. For more information, check out the vaccination-related videos with Binkey and Hayley on Rabbit Awareness Week’s Facebook page where you can also watch Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund’s Veterinary Advisor Richard Saunders talking about the subject.
Rabbits can now be protected against all three diseases with one single annual vaccine. Call us on 01922 411755 to book your bunny in! Don’t put your rabbit at risk!