Myxomatosis – The Importance of Vaccination
Many people purchase their pet rabbits from pet shops, where they are offered little if no advice and the pets are certainly not vaccinated.
Each year thousands of wild and pet rabbits die a painful death from what is a preventable virus, myxomatosis.
Myxomatosis was originally introduced by farmers to control the wild rabbit population. It is a species specific virus that causes the eyes, ears, mouth and anus to swell. The rabbits eventually die from starvation as it is in too much pain to eat, or otherwise die from secondary infections like pneumonia.
All this is preventable, for around £15 a rabbits can be vaccinated. This needs to be repeated annually. We always vaccinate, this is our first task when rabbits are rescued by us.
Myxomatosis normally lies dormant over winter and becomes present in the spring as blood sucking insects such as fleas and midges transfer the virus from animal to animal. Despite the harsh winter we have already had 4 confirmed cases of myxi rabbits in the area.
We are urging everyone to vaccinate and keep it up to date for your rabbits sake. ALL BUNNIES FROM OUR RESCUE CENTRE ARE MYXI VACCINATED. Please don’t go to breeders, pet shops or petting farms as bunnies from these awful places are NEVER VACCINATED. Vaccinations can now also been done on a 6 monthly basis which we are now urging people to do. We have never seen myxi so early in the season and we are predicting that the cases of myxi this summer will be sadly very high.