Vaccination protects against two commonly fatal diseases of rabbits.
This is a viral disease which is still common in the wild rabbit population. Transmission from wild rabbits to pets is by the rabbit flea so infection can occur without direct contact. The first symptoms are generally discharge from the eyes and swelling around head, ears and sometimes the genitals. Within a few days the eyes maybe swollen shut. Death can occur within a few days to several weeks. Those that recover may take weeks or even months to do so fully.
RABBIT HAEMORRHAGIC DISEASE (RHD )
This disease was first reported in China and came to the UK in 1992. It is spread by direct contact with infected rabbits but the virus can survive for many weeks on clothing, other animals or objects. Symptoms may be loss of appetite, difficulty breathing and dullness through to sudden death. The disease can progress very rapidly.
When to vaccinate?
A single injection provides protection against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease for a whole year. There is no need to have a 2 week interval between the RHD and Myxomatosis vaccines and it is no longer necessary to have the Myxomatosis vaccine given every 6 months.
A small swelling can sometimes develop at the site of vaccination, but it will disappear slowly and is of no consequence.