Rabbit Health

Dear Rabbit Owners

Due to Covid-19, the guidance from the government encourages us all to “stay home and stay safe”. Veterinary practices have been allowed to stay open providing emergency care only during this time. This means that we are still here for you if your pet is unwell or in pain but we are currently unable to provide routine services including vaccination.

We understand that vaccination is an essential part of your rabbit’s health care but we need to delay these vaccines at the present time as they do not fall under the category of emergency care. It is our hope that this “stay at home” period will be relatively short and that therefore your rabbit’s risks will be relatively low.

We vaccinate for 3 viruses in rabbits, myxomatosis, and viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) types 1 and 2. All three of these viruses can be spread by direct contact with rabbits or on other substances (known as fomites).

The following information is adapted from guidelines set out in the “RWAF guide to rabbit care”

 

How can you minimise the risks of rabbit viruses?

The viruses are transmitted by direct contact either with infected rabbits or substances which have come into contact with rabbits or their urine/ faeces. Some of the viruses can survive for several months in the environment.

Possible routes of transmission include:

Contaminated hay

Insects and birds via contamination on their feet

Soil on human footwear, clothing or pet’s feet

Previously used hutches, runs and cage furnishings

 

Our advice for trying to minimise risks of rabbit viruses

Feed dust extracted, freeze dried, or kiln dried grasses or hay

Avoid wild foraging for plants such as dandelion

Be cautious with the use of dried forages.

Fit insect screens to outdoor enclosures, and use “on rabbit” insect repellent (such as rearguard or F10 wound spray plus insecticide)

Prevent access to outdoor enclosures by birds or vermin by using narrow mesh or roof covers.

Consider bringing your rabbits indoors if you cannot flyproof outdoor encosures.

Leave outdoor footwear in rooms to which your rabbit does not have access, have separate footwear for visiting or cleaning outdoor enclosures.

Use an appropriate virucidal disinfectant (we recommend F10 disinfectant).

Try to prevent or limit shared spaced between pets who leave the home (such as dogs or cats) and rabbits.

We understand that this is a very worrying time for rabbit owners. We will keep you informed of any changes to the current situation as we have them. If you have concerns please contact the surgery.

 

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time