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VACCINATING YOUR RABBIT

What vaccines are available for my pet rabbit?

Calicivirus

In Australia, the only rabbit vaccine (CYLAP® RCD) available is for Calicivirus (Haemorrhagic Disease Virus). Rabbit Calicivirus Disease is a highly fatal disease spread by biting insects and direct contact with infected rabbits or contaminated materials. It is prevalent in the Australian wild rabbit population and is regularly released into the environment as a population control strategy.

Myxomatosis

Unfortunately, there are no vaccines available in Australia against Myxomatosis. The only way to protect pet rabbits is to limit their exposure to biting insects. The best ways to do this are:

§  Keeping your rabbit inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active

§  Covering hutches with mosquito netting

§  Using regular flea prevention such as Revolution® or Advantage®

 

How regularly should my rabbit be vaccinated?

For young rabbits, the first Calicivirus vaccination is administered between the ages of 8-10 weeks. All rabbits require a booster one month after the initial vaccination and then every 6-12 months for life.

 

Are there any risks associated this vaccine?

As with the use of any vaccine, some side effects can be expected in a few individuals. Severe reactions are considered very rare for this vaccine and most rabbits show no ill effects. Reactions may be minor and short-lived or require immediate care from a veterinarian and may include:

§  Skin reaction around injection site: pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss

§  Lethargy/sluggishness

§  Loss of appetite

§  Lameness

 

What should I do if I think my rabbit is having an adverse reaction to the vaccine?

If you suspect your rabbit is having a reaction to the vaccine, please contact our clinic immediately.

 

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