Rabbits are wonderful pets that can bring joy and companionship to their owners. However, owning a rabbit also comes with responsibilities, including ensuring that they are healthy and protected against diseases. Vaccinating your rabbit is an essential part of rabbit care, and it plays a significant role in keeping them healthy.
There are several diseases that rabbits can be vaccinated against, and these vaccines are highly effective in preventing them. One of the most common and dangerous diseases that rabbits can contract is myxomatosis. This disease is transmitted through fleas, mosquitoes, and direct contact with infected rabbits. Unlike overseas, in Australia there are no registered vaccines for myxomatosis so owners must rely on other preventative measures like protecting their rabbits from mosquitoes and fleas and avoiding contact between pet and wild rabbits. Symptoms of myxomatosis include swelling of the eyelids, nose, and genitals, which can lead to blindness, respiratory problems, and even death.
Another important and potentially fatal disease is Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD), which is a highly contagious disease that spreads through direct contact with infected rabbits, their feces, and urine. It can cause liver disease, internal bleeding, and sudden death in rabbits. Rabbits can be vaccinated against VHD in Australia, and there are two registered vaccines to do this. To date, vaccination is the only way to prevent VHD, and there is no known cure for the disease.
It is essential to note that vaccination is not a one-time event. The two registered vaccines against VHD in Australia require booster shots every 6 or 12 months to ensure that your rabbit remains protected against the disease. It is therefore essential to work with a veterinarian who can provide guidance on the best vaccination schedule for your rabbit. At Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital we have both registered vaccines in stock and would be happy to provide further advice on how to keep you bunny happy and healthy.