Myxomatosis in rabbits: causes, treatment

Myxomatosis in rabbits: causes, treatment

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In recent years, more and more Russians are engaged in rabbit breeding. Rabbit meat is valued for its extraordinary taste and aroma, dietary properties. In addition, you can get a large number of rabbits in a relatively short time due to the fertility of animals. But cultivation does not always go smoothly, there are pitfalls.

Rabbits, like any pets, suffer from various diseases. Many ailments are deadly for eared pets, if you do not notice the problem in a timely manner and do not treat the animals. Rabbit disease myxomatosis is a serious and dangerous disease. One sick rabbit can kill all the livestock. The symptoms, features of the course, methods of treatment and vaccination will be discussed in the article.


When dealing with rabbits, you need to monitor their condition daily. In addition, the owner must understand the symptoms of the most common rabbit diseases, including myxomatosis, in order to prevent the spread of the infection to the entire herd. Any illness makes the rabbit inactive, lethargic. Animals refuse to eat, drink water.

You can understand that a rabbit is sick with myxomatosis if you know the symptoms:

  1. This serious and dangerous condition begins in the eyes. The mucous membrane becomes inflamed as in conjunctivitis: redness and swelling appear around the eyes. After a few days, the eyes of rabbits with myxomatosis begin to fester, swell and become inflamed.
  2. Rabbits become slow, inhibited, most of the time they lie motionless in the cage.
  3. In rabbits, the temperature rises sharply, up to +42 degrees. Even a thermometer can be dispensed with by touching the animal's body.
  4. The coat becomes dull, hard, without shine, falls out in clumps.
  5. Over time, the swelling appears on the lips, ears, nose and eyelids. Often, the genitals of rabbits become inflamed.
  6. Launched myxomatosis leads to partial immobilization of the animal. Even always protruding ears lie on the floor, since the rabbit is not able to lift them.
  7. Often, the severe stage ends in a coma, from which the animal most often does not come out.
  8. Fibrous nodes form on the head, muzzle and legs.

The incubation period of the disease can last from 5 days to 2 weeks, depending on the resistance of the virus, the form of the disease and the immunity of the animal. It is not always possible to determine the disease of rabbits at the beginning of development. This is just what is depressing, since the treatment does not start on time. The mortality rate of rabbits from myxomatosis is high, up to 95% of cases are rarely cured, most often they die.

In addition, myxomatosis often occurs with concomitant infections, in particular, pneumonia. You can get rid of the disease with the help of timely vaccination means.

How rabbits get infected

What causes myxomatosis in rabbits? The infection, as a rule, develops in animals with the beginning of the warm season, when insects appear, carriers of the virus:

  • midges;
  • flies;
  • mosquitoes;
  • fleas;
  • lice.

The myxomatosis virus is also transmitted by rodents: mice, rats. Rarely, but the infection of livestock occurs through sexual contact.

Important! People caring for rabbits do not get myxomatosis.

Types of disease and features of the course

Rabbit myxomatosis is a serious disease that can mow down an entire herd overnight.

Attention! Recovered rabbits remain carriers of the infection.

The disease takes two forms:

  • edematous;
  • nodular.

Edematous form

Edematous myxomatosis in rabbits proceeds quickly, within two weeks. Sick animals rarely survive, almost all die. In order to prevent the spread of myxomatosis, animals need to be examined daily and revised. Any suspicious rabbit should be quarantined.

Myxomatosis begins with inflammation of the eyes, they begin to watery. Animals suffer from conjunctivitis and blepharitis, a dry crust forms around the eyes. It is difficult for animals to rotate their heads, since any movement causes pain. Later, myxomatosis passes to the nose, as evidenced by a runny nose, which makes breathing difficult. The rabbits begin to wheeze.

On the body of a rabbit with myxomatosis, growths are formed that resemble edema. They can be very large, even the size of a walnut. Liquid accumulates inside the build-up. A rabbit suffering from myxomatosis loses appetite, no food pleases him. At the last stage of the disease, the ears hang - this is evidence that the pet will soon die.

Attention! Rabbits sick with myxomatosis must be removed from healthy individuals. It is better to burn the dead animals.

Nodular myxomatosis

This form of the disease is considered mild and treatable. At the first stage, no changes are noticeable in rabbits. They continue to eat as usual. You can see the onset of the disease by the tiny nodules on the head. Sometimes they pass (become subtle), but then they reappear, increasing in size. At this stage, it is advisable to start treatment for myxomatosis.

The next stage of the disease is accompanied by lacrimation, discharge of pus from the eyes, from which they stick together, the rabbits do not see anything due to severe edema. The enlarging nodules spread to other parts of the body, turning into edema.

If you do not take measures and do not start treatment, the nodular form of myxomatosis can go into the edematous phase after 10 days. Animals have difficulty breathing, he begins to wheeze. The appearance of a rabbit with growths is unpleasant.

After a month of treatment, the disease subsides, but the rabbit remains the carrier of the myxomatosis virus. The danger to other animals is not reduced. Recovered rabbits should not be immediately happened to produce offspring. It is possible to completely save the animal from myxomatosis with antiseptics and antibiotics, if treatment is started in a timely manner.

Attention! The myxomatosis virus also persists in rabbit meat.

Treatment and care

Myxomatosis, a terrible disease of rabbits, has become known since the 60s of the last century. Despite the fact that many years have passed, there is still no definite answer regarding the treatment of rabbits at home. There are veterinarians who believe that a disease such as myxomatosis is incurable even at an early stage of development. Although some specialists still try to save patients by using antibiotics.

Over the years of animal breeding, the breeders themselves have developed care features:

  1. Rabbits sick with myxomatosis are placed in a warm place. Due to a decrease in immunity, they do not tolerate cold and heat well.
  2. Despite the fact that animals refuse food, the diet needs to be varied. The food should be tasty and fresh. You can add pumpkin pulp and fresh pineapple juice. Clean water should always be in the drinker.
  3. With a complete refusal of food, rabbits are forced to feed from a syringe, otherwise he will not have the strength to fight the disease.
  4. To facilitate breathing and eliminate wheezing, aromatherapy with eucalyptus or tea tree oil is performed.

Folk recipes

For more than half a century of myxomatosis, the breeders themselves have been looking for ways to rid their pets of a serious illness. They have come up with many ways to treat rabbit disease.

Here are some recipes:

  1. Fry sunflower oil and dab sore spots with a cotton swab. You can only use unrefined oil in which the nutrients have been preserved.
  2. It helps well in the treatment of myxomatosis camel thorn. If you don't have such a plant, you can get the herb at the pharmacy. You need to pick up a jar of thorns and pour boiling water over it. After two hours, strain and inject the solution into the shin. For an adult rabbit, 5 ml is enough, for babies - no more than 2 ml. Treatment of myxomatosis can be started only after consultation with specialists.
  3. The healing of numerous wounds left after opening the edema is facilitated by urine. Before use, it is kept in the sun for at least two hours. Places affected by myxomatosis are treated with the resulting "medicine" using a cotton swab. The wounds will heal faster. And mosquitoes can't stand the smell of urine.

Treatment for myxomatosis at home:

Vaccination as a method of prevention

Any animal owner understands perfectly well that it is better to prevent disease than to cure it. As a rule, rabbit breeders raise thoroughbred rabbits, so the loss of livestock is expensive. To protect animals from death, you need to take care of preventive vaccinations against myxomatosis. There is a special preparation for vaccination of rabbits - an associated vaccine. It can be injected under the skin or intramuscularly in rabbits.

Why are vaccinations given? First, furry pets develop antibodies that can resist the myxomatosis virus. Secondly, the immunity of the animal is increased. The vaccine for myxomatosis begins to work after 9 days, its strength lasts up to 9 months. During this period, you can safely happen animals to obtain a healthy offspring.

You need to vaccinate rabbits from mid-spring. At this time, insects, the main carriers of the virus, are actively multiplying. The vaccine is administered to animals once a year. The cost of vaccination in veterinary hospitals is rather big. But it must be carried out without fail, otherwise you can lose all the livestock overnight.

Many rabbit breeders, who have devoted more than one year to animal breeding, vaccinate against myxomatosis themselves, buying the vaccine from veterinary pharmacies. The instructions describe all recommendations regarding dosage.

Attention! A clean needle should be taken for each rabbit during injection.

We introduce the vaccine against myxomatosis on our own:

Instead of results - is meat edible

Owners of animals and veterinarians treat the issue of eating meat from rabbits who have had myxomatosis differently. There is still no definite answer. Although, from a medical point of view, meat cannot harm the human body.

It is clear that the meat of a rabbit that has died from myxomatosis or other disease should not be eaten in any case. Dead animals are best burned to prevent the spread of the disease.

Some breeders kill sick animals at the first sign of infection. The meat must be rinsed in cold water. During cooking, it is well overcooked or boiled for at least two hours. It is better to pour the broth.

Important! The myxomatosis virus is practically safe for humans. Dies at a temperature of 55 degrees in 25 minutes.

Let's return again to the question of whether it is possible to eat the meat of a rabbit that has had myxomatosis. Some people, despite the proven safety, still prefer to destroy sick animals, they believe that the virus can harm health.

The meat of sick rabbits can be eaten, but not everyone can eat it. After all, the appearance of sick rabbits cannot but cause disgust. Look at the photos posted in the article: animals do not look like themselves, they are just some kind of monsters overgrown with tumors, with swollen red eyes.

There is also a group of people who believe that sick animals should not be eaten in any case, since meat retains negative energy.

Watch the video: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease RHDV2 - Updates and Information from Oxbow Animal Health (November 2022).

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