when, how and against what diseases?

myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD) are two formidable hazards for rabbits. There is no cure for these diseases, so vaccination is a Only decision to protect your pet. At what age and how often should you be vaccinated? which Kind vaccines for his little lagomorph?

Why vaccinate a rabbit?

By vaccination, the domestic rabbit can be effectively protected from two diseases quite common in France, very contagious and especially dangerous, even fatal : myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD). If these diseases do not respond to any effective treatment, vaccines can reduce mortality by about 95% and significantly reduce the severity symptoms. Annual vaccination is also a good option. examination complete your animal with the veterinarian.

Vaccination against what diseases?

Even if your rabbit lives in interior and never leaves your home, he is more likely to contract myxomatosis, in particular through insect bites, and VGBV through vegetables, hay or grass coming from outside. in dot for these two diseases.


Myxomatosis is contracted by insect bites, ticks, fleas, and some mosquitoes, and can be passed from one rabbit to another. Death occurs quickly: within a week after infection, even in 48 hours for the most virulent forms. Introduced in France in the 1950s, this highly resistant virus manifests itself, in particular, by the appearance symptoms very visible:

  • Inflammation, swelling of the eyelids and conjunctivitis in the eyes;
  • discharge from the eyes;
  • Skin nodule (myxoma) on the face, eyes, ears and/or nose
  • Swelling of the head and genitals;
  • Fever;
  • Loss of appetite ;
  • labored breathing;
  • Fatigue, prostration of the rabbit.

viral hemorrhagic disease

viral hemorrhagic disease is transmitted directly between rabbits, as well as through contact with people, food, water or feces of infected animals. Thus, infection is possible when buying hay contaminated with wild rabbit feces, food brought in from outside, as well as through contaminated materials/objects (clothes, hands, shoes, etc.). In a lagomorph living ininteriorthe risk of pollution is less, but not zero, in particular with the advent of new version even more sustainable (VHD2) in 2010. hepatitis (liver damage) blindingly, VHD is untreatable and certain death intervenes within 24-48 hours after infection. After an incubation period of one to three days, symptoms appear suddenly and cruel :

  • decline;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever;
  • respiratory disorders;
  • sneezing;
  • diarrhea;
  • bleeding (nasal, anal and oral), which gave the name of the disease, are observed in only 10% of affected rabbits. The animal may also die without developing any symptoms. In this case, only an autopsy can confirm the cause.

What type of vaccination for his rabbit?

In 2012, a vaccine that combines myxomatosis and VHD1 appeared on the market. This non-adjuvant product limits the risk of side effects and allows you to use only one single injection for two illnesses. But to also provide immunization against HDV2, another injection was required several weeks apart. More recently, a new injectable product has been developed, mortality and clinical signs of myxomatosis and hemorrhagic disease of rabbits caused by strains classic HDV1 virus and HDV virus type 2.

When to vaccinate a rabbit?

It is recommended to vaccinate a rabbit from age 5 weeks then the reminder should be done once a year, every 12 months (8 months in high-risk environments such as farms). After the introduction, the vaccine is not yet active, it is necessary to wait Three weeks guaranteeimmunization rabbit. During this period, the animal must be isolated indoors and dewormed. Please note that vaccination is required medical know-how : An inappropriate gesture can cause serious or even fatal consequences for a lagomorph. Only one veterinary should introduce vaccines and note his intervention in health book animal for prediction dates reminder.

Vaccination: what are the side effects in rabbits?

If the unadjuvanted vaccine limits side effects, some rabbits may develop some reactions which usually disappear after a few days. Examples:

  • Fever;
  • Small painless benign swelling at the injection site;
  • fatigue
  • Loss of appetite.

Vaccinating rabbits: are there any precautions?

Like any vaccine, vaccines administered to animals cause a short-term weakening of the immune system. the immune system which may contribute to the establishment of another attachment. This is why it is strongly discouraged to vaccinate a rabbit:

  • weak or sick;
  • Recently treated with corticosteroids;
  • before surgery or before surgery;
  • In developing.

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