When breeding rabbits in a significant amount (from 20 pieces), the owners at some point face the problem of infectious diseases in pets. When animals are crowded, epidemics do not break out so rarely, and therefore, in order not to put your farm at risk, you should use an associated vaccine for rabbits. Pedigree animals and decorative rabbits are especially prone to infectious lesions, since as a result of long-term selection, their immunity has become weaker.
The most common infectious diseases of rabbits
Most often, rabbits, both on farms and in subsidiary farms, are affected by 2 diseases – this is myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD). Both diseases are incurable, and a sick pet is doomed to death, but before infecting the rest of the individuals. With an outbreak of diseases, 100% mortality is noted. Vaccination is the only way to prevent outbreaks of these diseases. The price of the associated vaccine is not high and amounts to about 200 rubles for 10 doses, therefore it is strongly not recommended to save on it.
Signs of Vgbc
The disease spreads rapidly among animals and manifests itself 2-4 days after infection. The course of the disease can be fulminant or acute. With lightning sickness, no symptoms are observed in pets, and the owner begins to find them dead without any external changes. In the acute form of the disease in rabbits, the agony lasts for 24-48 hours. In rabbits, the lightning-fast form is most often observed, and in strong adults it is acute. Symptoms of the acute course of the disease are:
• throwing back the head;
• convulsive movements of the paws;
• refusal to eat;
• plaintive squeak;
• discharge from the nose.
A sick animal and all individuals in contact with it are destroyed, after which a special treatment of the entire room is carried out. The locality in which the disease has appeared is quarantined. During it, all necessary measures are taken to prevent the further spread of the disease outside the quarantine zone. The presence of hemorrhagic disease indicates that the animals have not been vaccinated.
Signs of myxomatosis
This disease affects animals of any age and gender. Pathology affects not only domestic rabbits, but also wild ones. The disease is spread most often by blood-sucking insects, and therefore it can be brought into the economy very easily. For this reason, the main outbreaks of the disease occur in the warm season, although occasionally epidemics occur in winter. For prevention, a vaccine against rabbit myxomatosis is used.
The incubation period of the disease takes from 2 to 20 days, depending on the state of immunity of a particular individual. The course of the disease is of two types: classical and nodular. The classic form of pathology is characterized by gelatinous edema on the skin. All infected rabbits die. The nodular form is manifested by tumors, and it is experienced by 30% to 10% of animals, depending on the breed.
Rabbits with both forms of the disease also have similar symptoms:
• red spots on the ears and eyelids;
• pasting eyelids with pus;
• swelling of the back;
• swelling of the head;
• swelling of the genital organs;
• copious discharge from the nose;
• impaired labored breathing;
Adult rabbits can get sick for 2 weeks, after which they die, and young rabbits – within 1 week. The vaccine against myxomatosis is the only remedy that protects against the onset of the disease.
Features of the associated vaccine
The vaccination for rabbits used against myxomatosis and Vgbk is called associated. The drug is sold in dry form and has a light pink color. It can be stored at a temperature not lower than +2 degrees and not higher than +8 degrees. The maximum storage time is one and a half years. The medicine is diluted no earlier than 4 hours before the vaccination is given. For dilution, use distilled water, taken in a volume of 0,5 ml. Immunity in rabbits is formed within 2 days and lasts for 12 months.
When to vaccinate
Rabbits are vaccinated for the first time at the age of 45 days. The drug is administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously. Revaccination of young animals should be carried out after 9 months in areas considered safe for vaccinated diseases. In the same case, if the area is considered unfavorable, the vaccination is revaccinated after 3 months, not only for young animals, but also for adult rabbits. If there is a risk of an outbreak, the vaccine against myxomatosis and Vgtb is given every 6 months. Farm owners can find out about the disease situation in their area at the veterinary service.
How is the vaccination done?
It is best to vaccinate rabbits with the involvement of a veterinarian. If this is not possible, the owner himself must give a prophylactic injection to each pet in the age category older than 45 days.
The vaccine is placed in the thigh intramuscularly or subcutaneously. If the injection is given in the absence of skills, then it is better to inject the agent under the skin, since in this case there is no risk of injuring the nerve endings. The needle is inserted under the skin parallel to the tissues by 5-7 mm. An intramuscular injection is made into the cavity between the muscles. The syringe needle is also inserted 5-7 mm, but already perpendicular to the tissues. The vaccine for rabbits against myxomatosis and Vgbk should be injected very quickly, until the animal twitches.
In some cases, vaccination is carried out intradermally in the ear, and then the dosage of the agent, by reducing the portion of distilled water, should be reduced to 0,2 ml.
A separate syringe or needle should be used for each animal. If it is planned to vaccinate with a reusable syringe, then the needles are pre-boiled for 20 minutes.
The place where the vaccine for rabbits (associated or only against myxomatosis) will be administered is wiped with medical alcohol immediately before the injection. When vaccinating rabbits for the first time on their own, it is good that the veterinarian gives precise instructions for the use of the drug. You should buy the vaccine in veterinary clinics or veterinary pharmacies. In dubious places, it is categorically not recommended to purchase medicine from hands.
Possible complications of vaccination
The vaccine against HBV in rabbits is in most cases well tolerated by them, and even a slight deterioration in the condition is not observed. However, despite this, it is recommended to carefully monitor the condition of the animals for 20 days after the vaccine against a viral disease has been introduced. Complications are extremely rare. They may be:
• Abscess at the injection site – appears due to the entry of dirt during the injection. For treatment, ichthyol ointment is used, which is applied to the site of suppuration.
• Allergic reaction to the vaccine used for myxomatosis in rabbits – an anti-allergic drug recommended by a veterinarian should be given to correct the problem.
• Mild disease – complications should not be feared, since VHD and myxomatosis do not lead to death after vaccination, and the animal recovers in a few days.
Knowing how to vaccinate your pets correctly helps prevent complications.
Why vaccination may be useless
Carefully reading the description of the vaccine, you can see that it does not give a 100% guarantee against infection. This is due to the fact that in some cases the animal fails to form a normal full-fledged immunity. This can happen for the following reasons:
• severe weakness of the body;
• vaccination of a sick rabbit;
• severe infection of an individual with worms and external parasites;
• non-compliance with the rules for storage of the vaccine or its introduction;
• a particularly strong epidemic – with a very active and massive attack of the pathogen, even with good immunity acquired through vaccination, pets cannot withstand and get sick. It happens extremely rarely;
• vaccination during the incubation period of an already infected individual;
• Violation of the timing of revaccination.
The associated vaccine is not mandatory, which is why the decision to use it is up to the owner of the rabbits. Veterinarians agree that vaccination should not be abandoned.