New Pets Cards N°04. Rabbit Vaccination

Like the dog or cat, the rabbit must be vaccinated preventively against certain types of diseases.

Contrary to what one might think, farmed rabbits are not the only ones to be affected by the vaccination, especially when it concerns diseases transmitted by biting insects.

What diseases does rabbit vaccinatin prevent?


Myxomatosis is a viral disease that can take two forms:

- a respiratory form

- a nodular form

A pet rabbit, even if it lives only inside, may be affected by the nodular form of myxomatosis since it is transmitted via biting insects (mosquitoes, fleas ...)

The contaminated rabbit presents cutaneous nodules on the face and in the ano-genital region. It is a disease that is difficult to treat and that involves the vital prognosis of the animal.

Primary immunization against myxomatosis is performed as early as 28 days of age. It can be renewed 6 to 8 weeks after the first injection and then the following vaccinations are carried out every 4 to 6 months depending on the vaccine used and the risks of contamination of the animal.

As with any type of vaccination, an intolerance to the vaccine may appear:

It ranges from a simple local reaction at the injection site to a more general attack with decreased appetite, fatigue and fever ...

Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you experience this type of reaction in your rabbit.

Viral Hemorrhagic Disease

Viral haemorrhagic disease is a condition caused by a virus that is transmitted:

- either by direct contact of the animal with a contaminated rabbit or its corpse,

- indirectly by contaminated water, the equipment used or by food (vegetables from the vegetable garden, straw or hay) brought from the outside ...

It is not impossible that insects can act as vectors.

The symptoms associated with this pathology are not very characteristic:

It can be initially a simple fever, associated with general fatigue and a decrease in appetite, but the appearance of respiratory, digestive or bleeding disorders can also occur. Sometimes the rabbit dies suddenly without having any symptoms.

There is unfortunately no treatment for viral haemorrhagic disease and it is inevitably accompanied by the rapid death of the infected rabbit.

Since the vaccine is very well supported, it is advisable to vaccinate all animals, including rabbits with little risk of contamination.

Depending on the vaccine used by your veterinarian, the primary vaccination can be carried out from the age of 4 weeks and will be followed by annual or biennial reminders.

In addition to vaccination, it is advisable to give your pet a pest control treatment for its action against biting insects. Your veterinarian will advise you on an effective pest control product that is safe for the rabbit.