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EMERGENCIES 01225 832521

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Myxomatosis is a highly infectious and usually fatal viral disease of rabbits characterized by swelling forming around the face, especially eyelids, nares, lips and base of the ears and throughout the body. Respiratory signs may also occur. Infection is transmitted by contact with infected wild rabbits or via insect vectors (including the rabbit flea and mosquitoes). Unfortunately there is no effective treatment and the only way to efficaciously prevent it is by means of vaccinations.


Viral haemorragic disease (RHD) is another fatal viral disease of rabbits. Variants of this virus have also been identified. In particular, RHD2 is related to but significantly different from the original virus and can transmitted by infected rabbits to susceptible ones through various routes. Flying insects or footwear seem to be more effective sources of infection for pet animals. Even hay could be a source of infection, as well as urine, faeces or tissue from infected rabbits that were  hiding in the hay before they died from this disease. There is no specific treatment for affected rabbits and again the only effective way to prevent it is vaccination.


According to a recent survey only 46% of rabbits in the UK are vaccinated.


The Nobivac Myxo-RHD is a vaccine which protects against both myxomatosis and RHD. This vaccine should be used from 5 weeks of age but it is not considered effective against RHDV2. Therefore, some vaccinated rabbits exposed to RHDV2 may still succumb to the disease. There is now a specific vaccine against this disease.





1. At least annually and earlier if the rabbits are deemed “at risk” (e.g. boarding kennels, shows, or whenever there is increased contact with other rabbits).


2. The Nobivac Myxo-RHD is licensed for use in rabbits from 5 weeks of age and lasts for 1 year.


3. The vaccine which protects against RHD2 may be given at least 2 weeks apart from this previous vaccination.


We are currently only available to vaccinate against RHD2 at Rosemary Lodge but will be running this out across the branches over time.


Myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease