Rabbit health and well-being is incredibly important, and as owners, you can do much to ensure a long and healthy life for your pet.
One of the most important things you can do for your pet rabbit is to vaccinate in order to prevent two deadly diseases: Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemmorhagic Disease (RHD).
Myxomatosis is a virus spread by biting insects and contact with infected rabbits – and is widespread in the wild rabbit population. Once caught, the rabbits develop swellings, high fever, inappetance and usually die within two weeks.
RHD is another virus common in wild rabbits, and is spread by rabbit-rabbit contact or from the environment and infected materials.
The virus causes a high fever and internal bleeding. Unfortunately there is no effective treatment.
Both these viruses can affect indoor and outdoor rabbits. Thankfully, they can be prevented by yearly vaccinations, which can be given from five weeks of age.
Another important, distressing condition to be aware of is “Flystrike”. Especially when the weather gets warmer, flies become attracted to the smell of faeces and urine, and if your rabbits fur is soiled, this may become an ideal place to lay their eggs.
Once hatched, maggots then begin to eat the rabbit’s flesh, and sometimes can be fatal.
Regularly check your rabbit, and regularly clean and disinfect your hutch. Controlling your rabbit’s weight is also very important. Fly prevention products are available, however good husbandry and care is the most important step to prevent this disease.