Annual Health Checks and Vaccinations
Due to the length of time that lockdown has now been in force we are having to update our guidelines. We need to risk assess all animals that are due vaccinations to try and minimise travel and exposure to our staff.
Pocedure for NEWLY ACQUIRED RABBIT VACCINATIONS:
- Phone us or e-mail us your details and we will either call you back or respond to your email
- Once assessed we will book you in for the necessary consultations - one with a nurse (done by telemedicine) and one with our vet
- In order to maximise vaccination efficacy AND to reduce travel we would like to vaccinate baby rabbits at 10 and 12 weeks of age. We do appreciate that in high risk situations we may need to consider an earlier vaccination.
- All of the above is included in our rabbit packs
Pocedure for ANNUAL RABBIT VACCINATIONS:
- Phone and book your appointment as normal. Where possible we will arrange these appointments following the lockdown period.
Information on rabbit disease to help understand our protocol.
Myxomatosis is a fatal viral disease, which will affect all rabbits, not just wild strains. 99% of infected rabbits will die of the disease and yet less than 10% of pet rabbits are protected with vaccination. The disease is spread by blood sucking insects such as rabbit fleas and mosquitoes. The small amount of live virus placed into the skin when bitten gets into the rabbit’s blood stream and travels around the body. It settles in the skin of the head and genitalia, where it multiplies. Early symptoms of the disease are shown between five and 14 days following infection; these include puffy swellings to the face, lips, eyelids, ears, genitals and anus. These swelling rapidly progress over a matter of days to cause blindness and the affected patient will stop eating and drinking, thick crusting discharges of the eyes and nose are noticed and a fatal secondary pneumonia will result.
Sadly 99% of affected rabbits die, and this is usually within 12 days of the onset of symptoms. A small number of patients do manage to survive the disease with intensive nursing care over months, but will be left with scars and scabs on the face and body. Protection against myxomatosis is provided by vaccination and insect control
Vaccination is the best chance of protection against myxomatosis. A single injection is given to rabbits over six weeks of age. It then takes 14 days for immunity to be reached, . Annual booster vaccinations are required in May or June to provide protection during the warmer summer months when the risk is highest. In areas where the disease is rife and the risk is very high vaccination can be given every six months.
Complete insect control is difficult to achieve but the environmental flea burden can be reduced by keeping wild rabbits away and by applying the spot on product ‘Advantage’ to your rabbit. Mosquito presence can be reduced with nets and insect repellent strips. Dry bedding will also discourage them.
Viral Haemorrhagic disease (HVD)
HVD is a very serious condition, which causes internal bleeding, and causes the internal organs to shut down. Signs include depression, collapse, difficulty breathing, a high temperature, lethargy and bleeding from the nose. Unfortunately this disease kills – there is no cure. Vaccination can begin at 10 weeks.