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Vaccinations in Rabbits

In order for your rabbits to stay healthy for a long time, they should be vaccinated against certain diseases. Here you can find out which vaccinations are available for rabbits, which ones make sense, when rabbits should be vaccinated and what you should pay attention to when vaccinating rabbits.

There are some rabbit diseases that are very dangerous and almost always fatal. It is therefore important to avoid these diseases in the first place. Vaccinations help with this.

What vaccinations are there for rabbits?

Broadly speaking, there are four vaccinations for rabbits against the following diseases:

  • RHD1 and RHD2/ China disease
  • myxomatosis
  • rabbit flu
  • enterocolitis

However, not all of these vaccinations are recommended. One of the most important vaccinations is the RHD vaccination. This disease is extremely contagious and there is little chance of cure for infected rabbits. If you want to keep your rabbit in an animal boarding house during your holiday, you usually have to show proof of this vaccination.

Vaccination against myxatose, a dangerous viral disease, is also recommended. Rabbits that are not vaccinated against myxamate usually have little chance of survival.

Vaccination against rabbit cold and enterocolitis, however, is not absolutely necessary. At least not for rabbits kept as pets:

  • Vaccination against rabbit cold often has severe side effects and only makes sense for large rabbit populations (breeding/fattening). In addition, the vaccination only protects against some of the pathogens.
  • The disease enterocolitis mainly occurs when keeping large numbers of rabbits and rarely occurs in pet rabbits.

Vaccination rabbits: when is the best time?

It is best to talk to your veterinarian about exactly when you should have your rabbit vaccinated. The right timing is important, especially if the rabbit is to receive several vaccinations because there must always be a certain interval between the individual vaccinations.

Baby rabbits are first vaccinated against my mate when they are four to six weeks old. About four weeks later, the follow-up vaccination. This is referred to as the so-called “basic immunization”. Thereafter, the vaccination should be boosted every six months.

The first vaccination against RHD is given at around six weeks of age, with the second vaccination occurring around three to four weeks later. Rabbits are usually given a booster of the RHD vaccination semi-annually or annually.

Side effects of vaccinations in rabbits

Side effects of RHD and rabbit colds are usually limited to local swelling or an increase in body temperature of two or three degrees.

However, it is important that only completely healthy rabbits are vaccinated, no matter what! The veterinarian must therefore examine the rabbit thoroughly beforehand and take a stool sample. You should wait with the vaccination in the following cases:

  • shortly before or after an operation
  • parasite infestation
  • another disease
  • Stress from socializing, moving…

If the rabbit is vaccinated anyway, or the rabbit is not adequately examined, this disease can break out after a myxomatosis vaccination!

Indoor keeping of rabbits and vaccination

Before you have had your rabbits vaccinated, it is advisable to keep them indoors, because myxamatosis, for example, can also be transmitted via the grass. Also protect the rabbits from mosquitoes, as they can also be carriers of diseases.

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