Myxomatosis - 5/26/2005
A virus which is endemic among wild rabbits and can be contracted by domestic rabbits.
Rabbits who spend any time in the garden are most at risk, although even indoor rabbits can contract the virus through being bitten by mosquitoes and fleas. Keeping your rabbit protected from fleas (especially when you have other pets) with a product like Advantage and keeping the hutch and run screened from other rabbits and insects will help prevent your rabbit from contracting the virus. But the only way to make sure your rabbit is protected is through an annual vaccination. The Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine protects them against both Myxomatosis and VHD classic strain 1. Please note for full protection your rabbit will also need an annual booster of Filavac -K C+V to protect them from the RHDV2 variant strain. These vaccinations should be given at least 14 days apart. Please contact your vet for advice.
The disease is caused by direct contact with an infected rabbit or carried by mosquitoes and fleas that have bitten infected rabbits. Infected rabbit fleas can be transported in hay sold commercially.
The beginnings of the virus may cause lethargy, red, swollen and watering eyes. These then progress to include swelling around the face. Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for the condition and most rabbits that contract the virus will die.