Cute, fluffy and soft – who does not love an adorable rabbit? They are an excellent family pet, love company and are very social.

What is Myxamatosis?

Bunnies need special care, like all pets. One thing to keep an eye out for is Myxomatosis – a fatal virus in pet rabbits that has recently seen an increase locally.

This virus was introduced into Australia in 1950 with the goal to eradicate pest rabbits. It worked for some time, but the remaining wild rabbits developed resistance to the virus. Pet rabbits do not have this resistance and are very susceptible to the virus. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas, other blood sucking insects, and direct contact.

Symptoms of Myxamatosis

Signs you may notice in your pet are:

  • Swollen eyes, mouth, nose, ears and genitalia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Droopy ears.

Prevention

Bunnies can die within 10-14 days, so it is best to prevent your rabbit being exposed to mosquitoes or being infected by wild rabbits. Try keeping the hutch covered with insect-proof netting or keep your rabbit inside, especially at dusk and nighttime.

If you suspect your rabbit has contracted this disease, please isolate your rabbit and call Berry Vet Clinic immediately.