Why myxomatosis isn’t just a wild rabbit problem in Northamptonshire
August 21, 2022
Myxomatosis is often thought of as a ‘wild rabbit problem’ as the disease can be spread rapidly by summer’s ubiquitous supply of biting insects. However, domestic rabbits across the Northamptonshire area and beyond can contract this deadly disease too after being bitten by the same parasites.
Rabbit vaccinations are the only viable protection for your rabbits against diseases like Myxomatosis, and the two strains of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD), all of which are nearly always fatal. So, it’s vital that every domestic rabbit’s jabs are kept up to date annually.
How to reduce the chance of your rabbit contracting Myxomatosis
Apart from vaccination, other ways to reduce the chances of infection include:
- Protecting your pet rabbits from biting insects by putting mosquito netting around the hutch. This will help to prevent flystrike as well.
- If your rabbits are allowed to exercise outside avoid letting them out in the early morning or late afternoon when mosquitoes are more prevalent.
- Talk to our team about flea prevention for your rabbit. Our team can talk you through the most effective treatments.
A few words on RVHD
Like Myxomatosis, the two strains of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD-1 & RVHD-2) are nearly always fatal if contracted by un-vaccinated rabbits. RVHD can be spread on inanimate objects that have been contaminated with the virus including shoes, clothing, car tyres, rabbit hutches, and even your hands. Rabbits that have contact with an infected rabbit or their faeces, fur, or meat, are also likely to contract it.
How to reduce the chance of your rabbit contracting RVHD
The RVHD virus can survive on surfaces for up to 6 months, especially in colder climates. Given that your rabbit can contract the disease from everything from human clothes and hands to the wind, this virus is pretty much impossible to avoid. So there really is only one practical method of protection and that is vaccination.
We hope you are getting the clear message that rabbit vaccinations are vital for the ongoing health of all domestic rabbit populations in Northamptonshire and beyond. If your rabbit has not been vaccinated or you are not sure when their last jabs were, then please contact us for immediate advice.