Just like cats and dogs, your rabbits also need regular vaccines to protect them from dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. There are two main diseases you should protect your rabbit from, myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD).
Myxomatosis is a widespread disease that affects many wild rabbits up and down the UK, it’s a virus spread by mites and fleas as well as mosquitoes. One of the first symptoms of Myxomatosis is swelling around the face, eyes and ears which will often lead to blindness. Rabbits develop a high fever and eating and drinking becomes increasingly difficult for them. This unfortunately means rabbits will die after around 10-14 days of contracting the virus.
There’s no real cure for myxomatosis and recovery is very rare which is why it’s so important to protect against the disease.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease:
RHD is another disease that is very common in wild rabbits but can also affect our pet rabbits. It causes a high fever, liver disease and internal bleeding. It’s almost always fatal to rabbits and they can die quite quickly from it. The problem with RHD is that there are often no visible signs so it’s not something you can look out for, just like myxomatosis there is no cure for the disease so vaccination is essential.
It’s important to vaccinate both indoor and outdoor rabbits. In the past, your rabbit would have needed separate vaccinations for both diseases; however there is not a single combined vaccination that will protect your rabbit against both myxomatosis and RHD.
As well as combined vaccine there is also a separate vaccine available for both diseases. The myxomatosis vaccine can be given at six weeks old and boosters are then needed every six months to ensure maximum protection for your rabbit. The RHD vaccine can then be administered at eight weeks old, as the vaccines can’t be given at the same time and there needs to be a two week period in-between.
The combined vaccine which will protect your rabbit against both diseases can be administered at five weeks old, your rabbits will then need to have this vaccine annually to ensure they’re protected at all times.
Here at Eggshell, supplying chicken houses and rabbit hutches to our customers, we like to ensure the welfare of animals is always a top priority. Be sure to check out our other informational articles on how to care for both chickens and rabbits.