March 2013 Offer: 10% off Rabbit Vaccinations!
Here at Richmond Vets, we see several cases per year of sudden death in rabbits especially in the summer months. One common cause of sudden unexplained death in pet rabbits is viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD), which causes acute illness, severe internal bleeding and is inevitably fatal. The virus is spread by biting insects, most notably mosquitoes and midges so is more commonly seen as the weather warms up in early summer right into Autumn. However reports do tend to occur at other times of year occasionally. The virus can also be transmitted mechanically and carried on footwear and clothing for example. It does not affect humans. The good news about this deadly disease is that it is easily prevented by an annual vaccination. Outdoor rabbits are particularly vulnerable, although house rabbits are also at risk as biting insects frequently enter homes on summer evenings. So our recommendation is to vaccinate all pet rabbits against this horrible disease.
Similarly, a common disease of wild rabbits which many people are familiar with is Myxomatosis and is equally dangerous to pet rabbits as VHD. Again, this is a viral disease spread mostly by the rabbit flea but also biting flying insects, and often decimates entire local wild rabbit populations. Due to buildup of natural immunity and recurring outbreaks of the disease it tends to be more prevalent in certain areas some years and not in others. The cyclical nature of the disease in the wild rabbit population means it is difficult to predict outbreaks, so a good rule of thumb is that if you live in an area where there are wild rabbit colonies within several miles radius, err on the side of caution and have your pet rabbit vaccinated against Mxyomatosis. In low risk areas, yearly vaccination may suffice, and the best time for this is in early Spring before the weather gets warm and biting insects begin to become more active and widespread. In endemic areas it is best to vaccinate against this disease every 6 months. Richmond and surrounding areas are considered endemic areas and have outbreaks in the local rabbit population from time to time. As anyone who has encountered an infected wild rabbit in the countryside will attest, Myxomatosis is a horrible disease causing severe pain and suffering to affected individuals, most of which die a prolonged and miserable death. Swelling and discharge around the eyes, nose, mouth, genitals and anal region are characteristic. Blindness and lethargy, leading to anorexia and death follow. The disease is difficult to treat in pet rabbits as often by the time your rabbit becomes ill it may be to late to start treatment. In the case of both diseases, prevention is very definitely better than cure!
March is the ideal month to start a vaccination programme for the bunnies in your life. It is not too late to start vaccinations even if your rabbit is several years old and has not been vaccinated before. For this reason we are offering 10% OFF primary vaccination courses as well as annual rabbit boosters for the month of March for new and existing clients! We recommend a biannual health check for all rabbits to highlight any problems with weight, diet, dental health and other problems that may go unnoticed. As they are naturally a prey species, pet rabbits have a tendency to hide illness until they become quite unwell. A biannual health check and vaccination programme tailored to your rabbits lifestyle will hopefully ensure a long, happy and healthy life for your floppy eared friends!
If you have any questions or would like to avail of this offer, please do not hesitate to call on 0208 9401090. We are happy to answer any queires or concerns you might have.