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Viral Rabbit Disease Warning

30th September 2016

We’ve had a few myxomatosis cases in our practices recently, so here are a few tips and signs to look out for from Head Nurse Beatrice at easipetcare Dartford:

“Common clinical signs of myxomatosis are: swelling of the ears, eyes, mouth and genitals; very thick white discharge from the eyes; lethargy and loss of appetite. If an owner is concerned they should see a vet ASAP! If caught early it may be treatable but sadly it can be fatal. It’s very infectious so good hygiene is essential and if a rabbit is confirmed to have contracted myxomatosis it must be isolated from any other housemates, and the healthy rabbits should be handled 1st or by a different member of the family, and hands must be washed thoroughly to prevent spreading infection.”

What you need to know about myxomatosis:

  • Myxomatosis is a severe viral rabbit disease affecting predominantly wild rabbits but susceptible by domestic rabbits as well.  The disease, in fact, decimated the wild rabbit population when it arrived in Britain 50 years ago and still to this day leads to deaths in pets.
  • Myxi is usually spread by biting insects (fleas, mosquitoes) carrying the Myxoma virus as well as by Cheyletiella fur mites. However, direct rabbit-to-rabbit spread can also occur.
  • Vaccination against the disease does exist and is only required once a year.

The RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) urges all rabbit owners to make sure their rabbit is vaccinated against the disease and boosters are kept up to date.

Get Advice Today!

If you’re worried about the disease or need advice about similar symptoms affecting your precious bunny, speak to the team at your nearest practice who will be more than happy to help.

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