Greenwich Rabbit Rescue

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VACCINATIONS

Its vital for you to vaccinate your rabbit as soon as possable.Myxomatosis  and VHD at about 8 to 10 weeks old.The new jabs are now a combi of both and need to be given only once per year now.

 There is a new VHD 2 virus as well as VHD1 YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR VET FOR THIS AS WELL.



MYXOMATOSIS  is a viral disease spread by FLEAS and other blood sucking insects such as  MOSQUITOES. The first symptoms are swollen eyes and swollen genitals
The injection can be given as early as 6 weeks old. Its a twice yearly injection. If you live in a high risk area then its wise as well as injections to cover the hutch doors with netting. .
 until the winter months. Also its best in the warmer months not to have your rabbits out in the run when the mosquitoes come out. This is normaly about 4 ish. You could cover
your run in old curtain nets to stop them getting to your rabbit.If you have your cage of the floor by 18 inches then fleas will not be able to jump to the cage. Price can vary from £25-35 for the jab. The myxi jab is  guaranteed to work and is your best defence. Its not common for rabbits to have fleas but if you have other animals like cats , dogs . foxes coming in then they can pass your rabbit fleas. Check your rabbit over regularly Flea treatments will only last for a month so need to be done often..Fleas can lay egs in the cage that can stay there for a very long time before hatching so when you had them it may be worth taking a blow torch to the nooks and crannys.







VHD viral haemorrhagic disease is very infectious disease easily spread  via contaminated cages food or bedding. It can survive on clothing for months.
Birds and people can pass it on. It can be a very quick killer and the rabbit may only show signs of general illness. Death is very quick, and you may not get the loss
 of blood associated with the disease.The injection can be given at 10 weeks old. Its a once per year injection. This injection will guarantee they do not get VHD

 

                                                    

AILMENTS

HAY MITES

This the most common problem of rabbits. You will know if your rabbit has them as a bald patch will appear usually on the back of the neck. There will be dandruff as well. You may notice they will be scratching as well. If left untreated this can get out of hand and cause injuries and pain to the rabbit. Its very easily treated by the drops on the neck [ from good pet shops], or go to your vet and they will use Ivamectin. The hay mites come in on bedding such as hay or straw so cannot be avoided. Most pet shop hay ready bagged has been dust extracted so your bun will be less likely to get it. Some rabbits are more prone for it to get out of hand on there body than others.


MYXOMATOSIS

This is the most notorious rabbit disease. Its a virus, the symptoms are firstly swollen eyes genitals. Sometimes swelling of the  ears. The rabbit will have a lack of appetite and loose weight.
Death is normally after 11 to 18 days after.
Treatment is unlikely to be any good. If they have had their jabs there is a chance of a recovery, but if not theres no hope.Early intervention by the vet is the rabbits best chance.The jabs can be given from 10 to 12 weeks of age.  The best way to protect your rabbit is to have the jabs twice a year and in the summer months do not have them out of their cage after about 3. pm. Cover the cage in netting to keep out mosquitos. Do check your rabbit for fleas often.
The main carriers of myxi are fleas and mosquitos. They will bite a rabbit infected with myxi and then move on to your rabbit. If you live in a high risk area then always get the jabs twice a year. If in a very low risk area then once in the summer months, not forgetting if you go away with your bun the area you are taking him to.


VHD

Viral haemorrhagic disease is a virus that causes sudden death to rabbits.Its often proceeded by convulsions, nose bleeding.
Jabs can be given between 10 and 12 weeks. The virus is spread by people on clothes birds, insects and rodents.

WORMS
worms are not common in pet rabbits. They would be seen in the droppings. They do not normally cause the rabbit a problem though, and can be easily treated by the vet with panacur


VENTS
You are unlikely to come across this unless you have breed from your rabbit.Its proper name is Rabbit Syphilis.The signs of it start with white spots and later crusty lesions on the genitals.The rabbit does not become ill at all. It can be transferred to the face and lips when the rabbit cleans it self.  Incubation is 8 weeks after coming in contact with it. Some rabbits can carry it and it may only come out when the rabbit is stressed.If you have a rabbit that is carrying it and you use it for breeding then it will come out. The baby rabbits get it as they are born but show no signs of it till they are breed from. It can be treated with PENICILLIN, the only time this drug should be used on rabbits.Its three injection over a 3 week period. Vets cannot agree whether this is a cure or it masks the symptoms.


HEAD TILT

Head tilt is the sudden onset of the head being held over to one side. Its very common in rabbits. Sometimes its called wry neck. The rabbit will loose its sense of balance when lifted up and will spin when put down.
There can be different causes of this complaint. One cause can be an infection of the middle and inner ear, and this is the most common cause. Stroke and head trauma may also be the cause.If its a stroke the eyes will move quickly from side to side.Brain virus is another cause and is called a protozoal parasite, this sends spores to the brain. Treatment is usually steroids, this will reduce the swelling to the brain.And id infection is thought to be the cause it will be antibiotics.You should be the rabbit is a smaller warm spot as their ballance is affected and there head may go so far over that there eye will be on the floor so may be damaged.

STROKE
Generally caused by blood clot. It can look like head tilt as there head will go over to one side But if you look at the eyes they will be flicking of the eyes from left to right.The treaatment is a high dosage of seroids to reduce the swelling in the brain. If there is no improvement within 24- 48 hours then the rabbit may not recover. Again place in a smaller cage,a warm place, with plenty of food and water. Try not to handle them as they will not have much ballanced and be very dizzy when picked up and put down.

TEETH PROBLEMS

These can be caused by two different things. One is caused by bad diet the other is inherited. If its passed on by the parent of your rabbit then its worse as it will involve the back teeth as well as the front. Bad diet mainly not eating hay is a common cause and will show it self later in life. Hay is so important to their teeth and should be available at all times. Front teeth can be removed and although a big painful op can ease the problem. If the back teeth are affected then your rabbit will have to under go operations on a regular basis to file the teeth down.
http://www.lbah.com/rabbits/malocclusion.htm


ABCCESSES

 Abccess is a pus filled swelling that can occur any were on the body. These can be very hard sometimes to cure and can lead to your rabbit being put to sleep. They are a bactirial infection. They can be caused by an injury such as a bite or wound, tooth root infection. Sometimes they can be removed with an operation and long term antibiotics. The trouble with abccess is they can travel in the body and pop up some were else at a later date.I have had good results with using Manuka Honey on abccess. The abccess needs to removed by the vet and the wound left open. Then it can be flushed daily and the honey poured in to opening after. This is repeated daily till there is no more pus and then pack out the wound in the honey and leave to heal over.

BARBERING


This is when the rabbit chews his or another's fur. The main cause of this is a bored rabbit. Chewing hair can lead of course to hair building up in the cut causing a hair ball and can be leathal.The hair should be checked in case they have parasites. If not then an enrichment course should be tried. This involves more out of hutch time,toys .There are more tips on the exersise page to do with obesity.

DRIBBLING This can be one of two things heat stroke or dental problems.Go to your vet.

HEAT STROKE
Rabbits and pigs are very prone to heat stroke great care should be taken in hot weather. There cages should not be in full sun. Protect them with an umbrella or canopy. There are tips on hot weather on another page. Signs of heat stroke are:mouth breathing as it gets worse  they will become weak, depressed, and in coordinated. as their temperature rises they may have convulsions leading to death. Treatment can be spraying with water, immersing in tepid water [ not cold] or wrapping in a wet towel. Take the rabbit to the vets as he may need fluids and a corticosteroids to combat the shock.

KIDNEY FAILURE

This happens when the kidneys stop working and can happen suddenly or over a period of time. The symptoms are drinking large amounts and excess urine. There may be urine scalding on the legs. The rabbit will become lethargic and depressed. There is no cure for this but treatment will help to ease things. Your vet may give Anabolic steroids to try to help the high blood urea. . Older rabbits are prone to this as part of old age.