Two particularly dreaded disease in rabbits are mixomatosis and RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease). They are lethal for many unvaccinated rabbits, although more and more unvaccinated rabbits are now surviving these diseases. They are caused by viruses, which in turn are transmitted by mosquitoes and flies. However, rabbits can also become infected by direct contact with other infected rabbits or through contaminated food.
How to prevent?
- It is particularly important to vaccinate rabbits. You can vaccinate against each disease individually. But there is also a combination. The best way is to ask your vet. Even if a rabbit is vaccinated, it can get sick, but the course of the disease is often less severe and the chances of surviving are considerably higher.
- Protection for insects, e.g. by fly screens on the windows (when kept inside) or by screens when kept outside
- Forage from meadows with (diseased) wild rabbits is particularly dangerous in infected areas and for unvaccinated rabbits. Hay (also the packaged!) and vegetables from the supermarket may also grow in the middle of an infected area! Heating does not kill the pathogen. It is therefore recommended to feed very regionally from an unaffected area. Always wash off fresh food thoroughly.
- Increased caution if RHD and myxomatosis appear in the environment (no objects of friendly rabbit owners borrow, no contact to other rabbit owners or rabbits, caution with veterinary appointments!
- Humans and other animals cannot become infected, but can be carriers of these diseases.
After the outbreak of the disease:
Unfortunately, there are no remedies for myxomatosis and RHD. You can only treat symptoms. However, it is possible to support a diseased rabbit with the help of naturopathic means, among other things by strengthening the immune system and the liver, which is one of the most important measures for this disease.
- Echinacea, horseradish and ginger as well as therapy with medicinal mushrooms are particularly recommended for the immune system.
- If the respiratory tract is affected and the rabbit has difficulties breathing, inhalations are helpful. But, caution: Not every inhalation device is suitable (danger of scalding). Under no circumstances should the rabbit be placed directly in front of an inhaler. There are several atomizers that are quite suitable.
- Furthermore, liver, kidney and intestine must be strengthened. There are good naturopathic means (amongst others medicinal mushrooms)
A specialist should be consulted for naturopathic treatment. Some remedies must be introduced carefully, as otherwise they can cause strong initial reactions. Special knowledge and experience is required in this respect.
Surviving rabbits are still infectious for some time after their recovery as they excrete the pathogens. It may take several weeks or months, so it is recommended not to incorporate new rabbits for eight weeks as a precaution. During this time the rabbits should be kept alone or with other survival rabbits.