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Vaccinating your rabbit

Vaccinating your rabbit

Why should I get my rabbit vaccinated?

Rabbits run the risk of contracting one of two possibly fatal infectious diseases: myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).

You can protect your rabbit from both of these with a combined vaccine.

For peace of mind, why not book a vaccination appointment at your local Vets4Pets today?

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This disease is caused by a type of pox virus which grows best in the skin of rabbits. It was accidentally introduced to the United Kingdom from France, where the disease had been used to control the rabbit population.

Myxomatosis is spread by blood sucking insects. A major insect parasite which transmits the disease in this country is the rabbit flea. There is also strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that mosquitoes transmit myxomatosis in the United Kingdom. Myxomatosis is not easily spread by simple contact between rabbits.

Affected rabbits develop a high fever, swelling around the eyes and go off their food and water. The most common cause of death is pneumonia.


Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) caused by a virus, only affects rabbits and hares over the age of 6 weeks.

It was first identified in wild rabbits in China in 1984 and rapidly spread to Europe and the United Kingdom.

The virus is spread in saliva and nasal secretions and is passed either directly from rabbit to rabbit contact or indirectly by the transport of the virus on people, clothing, other objects or animals


Brown and white rabbit sitting on white background

When should I get my rabbit vaccinated?

You can get your rabbit vaccinated once they’re 5 weeks old.

Generally, it takes about 3 weeks for the immunity to develop and your rabbit to be protected.

Immunity to these diseases does not last indefinitely and will gradually fall leaving your rabbit at risk. After the primary vaccination course, your rabbit will then need booster vaccinations every year for both diseases.

To find out the best protocol for your rabbit, please contact your local practice.