Rabbit diseases and their treatment - Myxomatosis, Infectious Rhinitis

In this article we look at two common rabbit diseases, myxomatosis and infectious rhinitis.


Clinical signs and transmission

The infection spreads throughout the body. We observe soft, blunt tumours (myxomas) as rounded spots, especially on the ears. There is also general swelling under the skin, and especially around the eyes, ears, anus and muzzle. The rabbit stops seeing, does not move, does not accept food and loses weight. The disease may be acute, but a latent form of the disease also occurs.

Acute disease also leads to high mortality. The latent form leads to other health problems such as increased susceptibility to Pasteurella bacteria, which is difficult to get rid of. The virus occurs in different forms with varying aggressiveness. In the external environment, the virus is very resistant and survives well.

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The sick rabbit excretes the virus with secretions from its nose and eyes. Contact between rabbits spreads the virus very quickly. Indirect transmission (via tools, feeders, etc.) is also possible. But the most important influence on transmission is from stinging insects (rabbit flea, mosquitoes, lice, etc.).


Vaccination with vaccine is definitely recommended - MXT, MMVAC (combined and rabbit plague), Myxoren, Pestorin mormyx (combined vaccine). Consult your veterinarian for the most effective vaccination schedule.


Pasteurella (infectious rhinitis)

Pasteurellosis is one of the most common and serious rabbit diseases.


Symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, yellow paws (from wiping the nose), runny eyes, diarrhea, abscesses (cheeks, lungs, breasts, uterus), mastitis, neck stiffness, and internal exuberance. Many rabbits are hidden carriers of pasteurella. The main source is breeding females. Pasteurella bacteria are highly variable.

The disease occurs in acute or chronic form. Acute manifestations of the disease are associated with high stocking densities, poor ventilation and high levels of ammonia and humidity.

Treatment and prevention

Treatment: oxytetracycline according to the severity of the problem 4 g per 10 litres of water. Tylmicosine in feed at 200 g/kg for 7 days, OL: 0 days. The creation of an antibiotic screen (tetracycline, draxin, possibly enrofloxacin) is also recommended. A vaccine can also be used for prevention: Pasorin. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Pasteurella is a gram-positive bacterium. Optimise the microclimate and reduce the amount of dust. Pasteurella bacteria can survive in the drinking water system, so it is very important to clean the system regularly. It can occur in combination with Bordatella multocida.