In Australia there are 2 main viruses of that rabbit owners need to be aware of.
Myxomatosis was introduced by the Australian government for control of the wild rabbit population. It causes inflammation and fluid to build up around the eyes, ears and genitals of affected rabbits. In almost all cases, infection with myamatosis is fatal and there is no vaccination currently available for domesticated rabbits in Australia.
The second virus of concern is calicivirus. This virus, RHDV-1 (and variants RHDV-1 K5 and RHDV-2) ) have also been released by the Australian government to help control wild rabbit populations. Virus releases have occured in a number of sites across Australia including WA as recently as 2017 and 2018. Unlike myxomatosis there is a vaccination available to help protect againt calicivirus. To be fully vacciated rabbits that have not been vaccinated before require 2 vaccines 4 weeks apart, The current recommendation is that rabbits then require boosters every six months. Our vaccinations also include a full heath and dental check up. Please phone us if you would like to make an appointment.
Both myxomatosis and calicivirus can be spread by direct contact with other rabbits as well as by insects such as mosquitoes. Therefore, as well as ensuring your rabbit is fully vaccinated for caliciviurus there are also a number of other precautions you can take to minimise the risk of infection.
- keep you rabbit indoors
- rabbit proof your back yard to prevent access to wild rabbits
- remove uneaten food on a daily basis
- control insects (especially flies, mosquitoes and fleas)