All rabbits, including house rabbits, can be infected by Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). Both these diseases are invariably fatal. Fortunately, vaccinations are available and these are the only effective methods of protection. At Mount Vets, each time we vaccinate your rabbit, we always give a complete health check and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
A combined vaccine against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease can be given from 5 weeks of age and gives immunity to both these disease for up to twelve months. Annual vaccination is recommended to maintain adequate protection throughout your rabbit’s life.
Myxomatosis is a viral infection that is spread by fleas, mites and mosquitoes. House rabbits, although at lesser risk than outdoor rabbits, may still have exposure to fleas and mites bought indoors with bedding material or other pets. Fleas and mites can survive for many months in hay. Myxomatosis causes runny eyes, swollen genitalia, high fever and lumps on the skin and body. If an unvaccinated rabbit catches myxomatosis, death usually occurs within 1-2 weeks.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) is a virus that is highly infectious and causes sudden death, often with few or no clinical signs. VHD is well established in the wild rabbit population in the UK. VHD is transmitted through food, clothing or footwear contaminated with infected wild rabbit droppings. It can also be transmitted by birds and insects or even on the wind. This highly resistant virus can survive in the environment for many months.