We recommend that all rabbits are vaccinated against major diseases.
Even rabbits kept in the centre of town may be exposed to these diseases as a result of wildlife visiting their garden, and therefore we would strongly advise that all pet rabbits are protected by annual vaccination.
This viral infection is regularly seen in the wild rabbit population and is diagnosed with increasing frequency in pet rabbits. Symptoms of this disease include conjunctivitis, swelling of the skin (especially around the head, eyes and mouth), pneumonia and depression leading to death. Transmission is from an infected rabbit, the virus often being carried by biting insects such as fleas or mosquitoes.
If your garden backs onto open ground you should consider your pet to be at risk; even a pet rabbit in a hutch can come into direct contact with a wild rabbit as they inquisitively touch noses through the wire. Fortunately there is an effective vaccination against the disease that should be given annually, preferably in the spring, to keep your rabbit healthy.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)
This viral infection has only been present within the British Isles for the last decade. It is a particularly nasty disease causing the rabbit to become rapidly ill with internal bleeding into the lungs, the intestine and the urinary tract. Death usually occurs very quickly and in many cases the rabbit is simply found dead in its hutch. Airborne spread is possible and we would advise that all rabbits should be protected by vaccination. Advances in vaccine technology mean that we can offer protection against both these diseases from 5 weeks of age with a single annual jab using Intervet/MSD’s Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine.