Rabbits should be vaccinated.
It is strongly recommended that all pets should have an annual health check. This involves a full clinical examination from a Vet to ensure there are no problems which could benefit from prompt attention at an early stage.
In addition, advice can be given on parasites, neutering, microchipping and dietary requirements. This health check is also a prime opportunity for booster vaccination. These boosters are administered by a small injection and supply the best protection available against major infectious diseases. These diseases have few effective treatments and are invariably fatal.
What do we routinely vaccinate our rabbits against?
Myxomatosis: This deadly disease is spread by biting insects e.g. flea, flies, midges etc. and doesn’t require direct contact with any other rabbit. So whether your rabbit lives entirely indoors or outdoors, they are all at risk. We see myxomatosis every year in wild rabbits and have some very severe outbreaks in domestic bunnies.
The disease is invariably fatal, but our latest vaccination provides very good protection. Starting from as early as 5 weeks of age, we now usually vaccinate every 12 months and it takes approximately 3 weeks to take effect from the start.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD): RHD is usually fatal and can rarely be treated. The viruses, RHDV1 (well known in the UK) & RHDV2 (which first appeared in the UK in 2015) can persist for between 200 days to a year in the environment and can be carried home on clothes, shoes, hands, and carrion (e.g. crow) faeces.
They can cause sudden deaths where they act so fast that there are no symptoms seen, or a slightly slower course of events with bleeding and liver failure. Our combined Myxo/RHD Vaccine provides good protection against RHDV1, and can be done annually. A separate vaccination is needed for protection against RHDV2 and may need to be given annually or six months; dependent on the local risks.
In the meantime, rabbits should still have their normal vaccinations, and ones that go outside may have a natural boost to their immunity. If you are picking wild plants for your bunny- keep away from wild rabbit areas, and choose tall ones. If you lose a bunny- we would encourage you to have it tested to provide vital information for the other pet bunnies in the neighbourhood.
Keep an eye on our Website and Facebook page for further updates. Clients, please make sure that we have your email addresses for any alerts of local disease out breaks or vaccine availability.