Vaccinate your rabbit and save its life

2nd July 2017


At Bollington Veterinary Centre we believe vaccinations are one of the best gifts you can give your rabbit, and with it will come the chance of them living a long and happy life.

Rabbits are great pets, especially when they’re happy and healthy. To keep them that way, we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to protect them against some dangerous diseases.

It’s quick, simple and effective. If you keep your pet vaccinations up to date, you can have peace of mind, knowing that you’re less likely to encounter stress and heartbreak.


Contact us today to vaccinate your pet


Did you know that less than 20% of pet rabbits are vaccinated? This results in many loved animals being at high risk of infection.


Vaccinating your rabbit

These days a simple injection can protect against the two most deadly diseases – Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).


Why are rabbit vaccinations so important?

If your rabbit contracts Myxomatosis or RHD, it will almost certainly die. Both diseases are common and widespread in the UK and there are no effective cures. Myxomatosis causes distressing physical effects, while VHD often causes sudden death.


What is Myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a disease caused by the Myxoma virus, a type of pox virus that affects rabbits. It affects both wild and domestic rabbits, and is spread by blood sucking insects such as the rabbit flea. All breeds of domestic rabbit can be affected, and whatever the lifestyle of your rabbit there is a potential risk of this disease.

Look for signs such as bulging eyes and localised swellings around the head, face, ears, lips, anus and genitalia. Severe swellings can lead to blindness and distortion around the face within a day or two of the onset of symptoms, leading to difficulty with feeding and drinking. Bacterial respiratory infection often complicates the disease resulting in a fatal pneumonia.


What is Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease?

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a highly infectious and fatal disease that affects both wild and domestic rabbits. The Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease virus (RHDV) is a Calici virus of which there are now two distinct strains, these being RHD-1 and RHD-2.

It is a relatively new disease of rabbits that entered Europe in 1996 from Asia and swept through Britain in 1998. The RHD virus hangs about in the environment and can spread very quickly and with ease.


Symptoms of RHD include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • High temperatures
  • Sudden death


Are there side effects from vaccinations?

We do very occasionally see some minor side effects – but they’re very rare, mild and transient.


The important take home message:

  • Given how safe the new vaccines are and how effective they have become, we STRONGLY recommend that you get your pet rabbit vaccinated regularly.
  • Even if you don’t personally see Myxomatosis or RHD, be aware that both diseases are out there and are very harmful to your pet.
  • The new variant of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD-2) means it is more important than ever to review your bunny’s vaccinations.


Contact us today


If you haven’t spoken to us already about the new form of RHD then give us a call and book your rabbit in for a health check and a vaccine review.

This is a clear case where prevention is clearly the best policy, as avoidance of the diseases is almost impossible.