Myxomatosis in rabbits: symptoms, prevention and treatment

All rabbit owners should be aware of the serious problems which are associated with myxomatosis. This is originally a viral the disease was used by humans to control wild populations rabbits, then a special strain of the virus was created that provides high mortality among all rabbits, regardless of breed, age and environment. Even if your rabbit is kept exclusively indoors, it still remains vulnerable to infection through insects, lining and food. No survival vaccinated rabbits are very low and even operational veterinary help, most likely, will not be able to save him. Therefore, unfortunately, after diagnosis of myxomatosis, euthanasia is often recommended.

Myxomatosis in rabbits: symptoms, prevention and treatment

How is myxomatosis spread?

The main way myxomatosis spreads is through insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas that carry the virus through the blood infected animals. When an infected parasite bites a rabbit, then the virus enters the animal through a bite and begins to multiply. The first symptoms of the disease usually appear on the mucous membranes. membranes, such as the eyes, nose, and genitals, through approximately 5-14 days after infection. Swelling, redness and sores will be gradually increase. It can be devastating if together contains several rabbits. The virus can survive inside the parasite in hibernation during the winter, so it is important to take measures to Myxomatosis prevention all year round.

What are the symptoms of myxomatosis?

The incubation period of the virus can last up to two weeks. after infection, so you may notice changes in behavior and appetite your rabbit before he has others symptoms. Symptoms usually appear gradually, and may be mistaken for a respiratory tract infection, conjunctivitis or pasteurellosis. After the vet check your rabbit, he can decide to make an accurate diagnosis by sending samples to the laboratory for analysis, or he can start treatment immediately if symptoms are pronounced.

Myxomatosis does not immediately lead to death, some infected rabbits can live for several months, however, many of them die within 12 days. Without treatment the symptoms of the disease will intensify, the rabbit will go blind, and on his the skin will intensify painful irritations. In the end, the rabbit will stop eating and drinking.

What are the treatment options?

As a rule, maintenance therapy is used if there is a chance for recovery, however, many veterinarians recommend euthanasia. Keep in mind that myxomatosis is a very serious illness, from the consequences of which the rabbit will suffer all his life. Forecast treatment varies from patient to patient and depends on severity symptoms. Recovering rabbits tend to suffer from heavy scars. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you destroyed all bedding and things with which the rabbit was in contact.

How to protect a rabbit from myxomatosis?

The best ways to protect your rabbit from myxomatosis are vaccination and prevention.


Rabbits can be vaccinated against myxomatosis, starting with age at 6 weeks. Revaccination is usually carried out once a year, in May or June, to protect rabbits before the most dangerous summer period.

Vaccination does not provide immediate protection against infection, for she needs this up to 14 days to develop rabbit immunity after the first injection. Rabbits that have been infected with myxomatosis after vaccination, they have much milder symptoms of the disease, rather than unvaccinated rabbits.

Prevention from parasites

Myxomatosis is carried by fleas and mosquitoes, therefore it is important to protect and examine the rabbit for any bloodsucking pests. An easy way to prevent infection is to use one of the suitable insecticides developed specially for rabbits. Talk with your veterinarian about topical and affordable means in the form of a spray. Never use flea preparations not specifically designed for rabbits, as some chemicals contained in such products for dogs and cats are poisonous to them. Not forget to ask about the frequency of use of the product, as an overdose can also be harmful to rabbit health.

If you live in an area where myxomatosis is common, then you You can also use a mosquito net during the summer. It may to be better than keeping a rabbit enclosed all summer. Never keep the rabbit near ponds, lakes or ditches, as mosquitoes breed in these places.


Rabbits are gentle and relatively easy to maintain. creatures. Although the above information may be disappointing to their potential owners, it is important to remember that the correct and planned rabbit care regimen eliminates almost any risk associated with this and other diseases. When instituting a rabbit, discuss with your veterinarian what are the potential hazards, and also ask about preventive measures, to help minimize them.

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