Myxomatosis in rabbits: signs and treatment of the disease, prevention
Almost all rabbit breeders sooner or later face the fact that these animals are highly susceptible to various diseases. Often infections can destroy the entire stock. A disease called myxomatosis is considered one of the most dangerous.
What is myxomatosis in rabbits
Myxomatosis viral infection affects only rabbit-like hares, rabbits, and pikes. It is caused by various strains of the Myxomatosis cuniculorum virus. It originally originated in South America and was used in Australia in the 1950s for biological control of a huge population of rabbits on the continent. It was then used to combat the invasion of wild rabbits in France. These experiments ended with the virus infecting all of Europe.The disease is characterized by acute conjunctivitis and the formation of tumors on the genitals, neck, anus. After the pathogen enters the skin tissue, it begins to multiply on the mucous membranes and then penetrates through its lymph into its nodes. There begins the second stage of reproduction. The incubation period of the disease lasts up to seven days, and after a maximum of forty days the animal dies. The percentage of deaths from myxomatosis reaches 100%.
Did you know? The rabbit has very wide-set eyes. If he wants to see what is happening behind, he does not even need to turn his head.
Symptoms of the disease
Symptoms of myxomatosis are pronounced already on the third or fourth day after infection. The following symptoms occur:
- whites are the first to redden, then similar spots appear around the eyes, and later skin nodules become visible in the ears and near the eyes;
- acute ocular conjunctivitis;
- first mucus is released from the eyes, and then pus;
- eyelids swell and stick together;
- severe swelling is observed, especially near the genitals, anus, head;
- the animal is lethargic, inhibited;
- body temperature is very high, sometimes it can exceed 41 ° C. The animal is very hot to the touch;
- the condition of the coat is rapidly deteriorating - it loses its luster and color, hairs are strewed if it is easy to stroke the rabbit;
- lips, nose, ears swell to very large sizes;
- fibrous nodes form on different parts of the body;
- at the height of the disease, the rabbit is usually in a coma.
Sometimes the disease is too fleeting - the animal can die in 48 hours. It depends on the strain of the virus.
Routes of infection and risk factors
All insects, which can bite through the skin of an animal, carry the disease without exception. These are:
Infection occurs through:
- direct contact with an infected individual;
- general drinking bowls and feeders;
- the virus may be on clothing and instruments of the rabbit breeder;
- can get into food and through it to the animal.
The risk of infection increases at times in the summer with high humidity. It is at this time that blood-sucking insects are activated. A high degree of infection of the entire livestock, if in one cage contains many animals.
It should also be borne in mind that a rabbit that managed to recover from this disease is still able to transmit the infection and infect other animals.
Important! If you notice any signs of malaise in a rabbit, you need to isolate it without delay, so as to avoid infection of other pets.
Diagnosis of myxomatosis
Diagnosis of myxomatous infection should be done only by a veterinarian.He studies the rate of spread of the disease, symptoms, clinical signs, takes samples of biomaterials for research. The role of the latter may be areas of affected tissues and feces of animals. The material is sent for histological examination to the laboratory - there the initial diagnosis made by the doctor is confirmed or denied.
Home Treatment Methods
Myxomatosis treatment can help with early detection of the disease. Most rabbit breeders believe that it is impossible to cure myxomatosis, and therefore often the entire population is cut out. However, there are recommendations on how to treat the animal in order to give it a chance to survive.
Experienced rabbit breeders vaccinate young animals. This does not protect the animals from infection, but in case of infection, the disease is less painful. In addition, the mortality threshold is significantly reduced.
Vaccination occurs in several stages:
- the first vaccination is given to rabbits seven days after the time of deposition from the rabbit;
- in two months young growth is revaccinated;
- all manipulations are performed with disposable tools;
- after vaccination, animals are strictly monitored for 20 days.
Myxomatosis vaccine is effective for 9 months. If it is injected subcutaneously into the femoral region, then half of its dose and the same amount of solvent are used for one individual. In total, it is 0.5 milliliters in volume. The dosage of intradermal injection into the ear area is one fifth of a milliliter of the finished product. To prepare it, the medicine is diluted with the solvent in the proportion: 0.2 ml of solvent per serving of the vaccine. For more information on how to dilute the vaccine, see the instructions for its use.
Important! Only healthy rabbits can be vaccinated. In another case, the effect of the vaccine will not be.
It is possible to medically facilitate the course of myxomatosis as follows:
- daily sick animals under the skin are given injections of Gamavit in the amount of a fifth of a milliliter or Fosprenil in an amount of 1 milliliter. They are put to a complete cure;
- vitamin B is administered during the week to maintain immunity;
- a week of sick individuals are watered by Baitril. It is added to water, based on the proportion: 1 ml of product per 10 kg of animal weight;
- It is recommended to treat eyes with Ofloxacin in the form of ointment or drops;
- the eyes are washed with a solution of furatsilina or simple saline;
- it is advisable to rinse the nasal cavity with Aquamaris or sea water;
- if there are open wounds, they should be treated with healing and antiseptic agents.
Folk remedies cannot cure and prevent the disease, you can only alleviate its symptoms. There are several recipes that, according to experienced rabbit breeders, help animals recover faster:
- vegetable oil is fried in any container for twenty minutes. After that, the eyes of the animal are lubricated with it;
- it is advised to inject a solution of a camel thorn into sick animals in the shin area. Adults need five milliliters, and young animals are half as much. It is prepared as follows: fill any suitable container with thorns proper, pour boiling water over them, let stand for three hours and strain;
- collect a little urine into the container and let it stand in open sunlight for a couple of hours. After applying the liquid to the swab and lubricate the wounds of rabbits;
- in the early stages of the disease, feeding parsley, spruce and raspberry branches helps well.
It is very difficult to protect against myxomatosis, but nevertheless there are preventive measures, namely:
- vaccination of animals according to schedule;
- maintaining cleanliness in cells;
- ensuring sufficient airflow into habitats;
- disinfection of cells and equipment;
- restriction of access to pets of strangers;
- during periods of greatest risk of infection, animal habitats must be treated with repellents.
Did you know? The rabbit can jump three meters in length.
Rabbit recovery and care
If the pet survived after myxomatosis, he needs to provide improved conditions. This is done due to the fact that the animal is very weakened immunity after illness. It will be useful:
- protect animals from heat and cold, while it is important to avoid drafts;
- ensure the constant availability of your favorite food. It is better to use feeds that do not contain a lot of protein;
- make sure that drinking water is always fresh;
- regularly remove bedding from the cells and residues of feed;
- add vitamins and minerals to food that help strengthen immunity.
Is it possible to eat sick rabbit meat after vaccination
Many people are interested in the question whether the virus that causes myxomatosis is dangerous to humans. Virologists say there is no such danger. The causative agent dies at a temperature of more than 55 ° C in a minute, so the meat of a sick and vaccinated rabbit can be eaten after considerable heat treatment. However, some do not advise doing this for moral purposes. In addition, the sight of a sick animal causes disgust and therefore, most often, corpses are simply disposed of.
So, on the feasibility of treating rabbits for myxomatosis, opinions differ - primarily because the ill animal remains a carrier of infection for a long time. However, in many cases, animals recover and become immune to this disease.