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dreamstime s 15835289Normally, it is advisable for rabbits at six weeks old to be given an initial course of two vaccination injections and these should then be followed by a six monthly or annual booster to protect your rabbit.

The key vaccinations you need to protect your rabbit against are:

(a)    Myxomatosis and

(b)    Viral Haemorrhagic Disease  (VHD).

Both diseases are killers and there is NO treatment for either of them.


This virus causes puffy swellings around the head and face at first but usually leads to death within 10 days due to pneumonia. Fleas that carry myxomatosis spread the virus.  The fleas inject a small amount of the virus into your rabbit's bloodstream when biting to suck blood. To prevent the disease you can vaccinate your rabbit from 6 weeks of age and repeat this vaccination annually. Control of the flea population with products advised by your veterinarian will also reduce the risk of your rabbit actually being bitten by an infected flea.

dreamstime 2330709Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

VHD is known to be well-established in the British population of wild rabbits.  This virus, which can strike with no warning,  causes internal bleeding that kills rabbits. It is spread by direct contact with the saliva or nasal secretions of infected rabbits, or by the virus getting onto a transport such as bird, feeding bowls or even human clothing. The virus can then be carried great distances to infect other rabbits (the virus can live on human clothing for up to 3 months).  Vaccination is the only way to prevent this increasingly common disease. The first injection can be given from 10 weeks of age and after that an annual booster will be required.

Both diseases are killers and there is NO treatment for either of them.  An initial vaccination and then a six monthly or annual booster will protect your rabbit against such tragic diseases.

Remember, vaccinate before it's too late - it could save their lives.

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