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rabbit

Watch Out There is Myxo About!

A rex rabbit

Myxomatosis is a pox virus that affects rabbits. It was first introduced to Australia in 1950 to reduce the feral rabbit population. Initially it was rapidly fatal with very few survivors, however resistance has developed in the feral rabbit population and less deadly strain have emerged, allowing rabbit numbers to partly recover.

What should you feed your rabbit?

Rabbit in a field: Rabbit food- for rabbits

A lot of pet health revolves around feeding and this is especially the case for rabbits. While rabbits have a few breed related disorders (dwarfs can have altered head shape resulting in dental issues), infectious diseases (calicivirus and myxomatosis ) and husbandry issues (flystrike and heat stroke for example), alot of the problems we see are directly or indirectly related to the food they eat.

Rabbit parasites: what they get and what to do about it

2 white rabbits on straw

Rabbits are an increasingly common pet in Australia, along with their teddy bear looks, they have a wide spectrum of personalities and eccentricities that endear them to their owners. While not requiring routine intestinal worming, like dogs and cats, they can be affected by a number of external parasites. Outside rabbits are more prone to parasites however even inside bunnies are not immune, as the little critters often hitchhike on feed and bedding.

Myxomatosis: rabbit owners watch out!

Matt Young's picture
Protect your rabbit from mozzies, my old is about

What is Myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a caused by a virus that infects rabbits only. It is used for control of the feral rabbit population but can also affect pet rabbits. Infection is almost always fatal, and there is no vaccination available in Australia.

Infected rabbits developing swelling in the skin surrounding the eyes, on the ears and on the genitals. Eventually they will stop eating and then die from starvation.

Rabbit Calicivirus - New Strain to be Released In March

Rabbit Calicivirus, also known as Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), is a viral disease first released in Australia in 1996, in an effort to control feral rabbits. There are a number of different strains in Australia.  A new strain, RHDV1 K5, is to be released in the Illawarra and over 600 sites across Australia in early March. This timing corresponds with peak feral rabbit numbers.

How does it spread?

The virus is spread by rabbit to rabbit contact, flies and fleas, as well as contaminated clothes and environment.

Rabbit dandruff

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A black and white lop ear rabbit with dandruff

The most common cause of dandruff in rabbits is fur mites also known as walking dandruff or Cheylettiella. 

The cause

This is caused by mites which live in the fur of the animal. The mites cause itchiness and irritate the skin which then starts to produce dandruff. Sometimes clumps of hair will fall out or be pulled out due to irritation.

dandruff and red skin on a rabbit's skin

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Keeping your pets cool in the heat

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dog being cooled

 

 

Heat stroke (hyperthermia)

Heat stroke or hyperthermia is a really serious, potentially fatal condition that should be taken really seriously. The body is made to run at a safe temperature and if overheats the internal organs basically cook. Often the effects of excessive heat exposure aren't obvious immediately.

For example:

Crusty Rabbit Ears

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Rabbit with crusty ears

Rabbits tend to be very quiet creatures. They don’t complain unless they are in extreme pain. Just because they don’t say anything though doesn’t mean that all is OK with them. Their quiet nature also means that they don’t necessarily show obvious signs of pain or discomfort even when it is definitely present.

Take Thumper, for example. He came in because his owner had noticed lumps coming out of his ears. There were a heap of crusts that seemed to be growing out of the ear. These crusts were quite dry and firm but crumbled on the end:

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