Why do rabbits die for no apparent reason, and what should I do?
Mortality of rabbits occurs on farms infrequently. But if it does, it does tangible damage to their owners. The main cause of death is viral and bacterial infections that enter rabbitry along with active and passive vectors. To minimize the likelihood of infection, it is necessary to limit the penetration of microorganisms and their reproduction through compliance with preventive measures and timely treatment of diseased animals.
Causes of death of adult rabbits
Almost all diseases from which rabbits die massively have a viral or bacteriological nature. Sometimes animals at home die from other causes - trauma, predators. But these are isolated deaths.
The main viral diseases transmitted from one individual to another are:
- hemorrhagic disease (HBV).
The clinical signs of viral infection are different.It can be:
- inflammation of the mucous membranes;
- temperature increase;
- runny nose
- decreased activity and appetite.
Viruses are transmitted by airborne droplets, through direct contact with an infected individual or household items. Such diseases are treated with antiviral drugs. The main preventive measure is timely vaccination.
What else do rabbits die from? The next large group of diseases is bacteriological. They also cause mass death. Bacteria are a kind of cellular parasites that, when multiplied, lead to poisoning of the body.
As a result of their life, intoxication occurs. If the infection is not treated, then its symptoms increase until the death of the pet.
The main bacteriological diseases include:
Symptoms of intoxication are similar to symptoms of viral diseases, but are local in nature. For example, gastrointestinal upset, salmonellosis and others. Treatment will be with antibacterial drugs. Antibiotics and antibacterial drugs are not interchangeable and cannot be used instead of each other.In addition, for most diseases, its own set of medicines is used.
There are also pathologies of non-viral origin that can lead to death. These are disorders in the gastrointestinal tract and the impact of the external environment: frostbite, shock, injury, high air temperature.
Viral diseases are characterized by the defeat of healthy body cells. As a result of this exposure, cells die. New virus spores are released into the environment along with saliva, feces, urine and infect the following organisms.
The spread of viruses can be very high. For example, the influenza virus has the greatest activity. In just a few days, it can cause an epidemic in the region. Effective protection against infection is regular vaccination.
Rabies is caused by the specific Neuroiyctes rabid virus, which affects the central nervous system. From the site of the bite, it spreads in the body along with the bloodstream. Having penetrated into the cells of the nervous system, the virus remains there until the death of the rabbit.
The carrier of the virus can be any warm-blooded animal. Neuroiyctes rabid enters the body along with virus carrier saliva. Outbreaks of the disease occur in early spring, because at this time wild animals often go to people's homes in search of food.If your rabbits are kept in cages and do not come into contact with wild animals, then their chance of getting rabies is minimal.
The prodromal infection period lasts about 3 days and is asymptomatic.If during this period the virus stops its development, then the animal becomes a virus carrier. At this point, taste preferences may change, mood often changes, the rabbit can bite itself or others.
At the intraneural stage, the virus develops actively. The rabbit refuses food, is poorly oriented in space, and can become aggressive.
At the next stage, symptoms include:
- profuse salivation;
- partial paralysis;
- failure of the hind limbs;
- involuntary bowel movements and urination.
The disease ends with the death of the animal. From the moment of infection to death, about 2 weeks pass.
Treatment and prevention:
- The answer to the question of what to do, unfortunately, is not encouraging. Rabies virus is incurable. It equally successfully develops in the body of any warm-blooded. Its development can be stopped, but the person or animal will remain virus carriers. Therefore, the animal is simply destroyed, and the carcass is burned. If other infected rabbits are detected on the farm, they will also be disposed of.
- Prevention includes restricting contact with foreign animals and mandatory rabies vaccination. The most used vaccine is Rabican. The first vaccination is done at the age of 2.5 months, when the mother's immunity ceases to act. The dosage depends on the weight of the rabbit. Then revaccination is carried out annually.
Did you know? The relationship between saliva and rabies was guessed in ancient times. Then it was believed that the disease causes a special worm that lives under the tongue. And only in the XIX century it was experimentally proved that infection occurs through the entry of a virus with saliva into the mucous membranes.
Viral hemorrhagic disease
The synonymous name of the disease is necrotic hepatitis, hemorrhagic pneumonia. With this disease, death occurs suddenly. The virus that causes HBVC infects rabbits older than 3 months. When examining the carcasses of a dead animal, edema of the internal organs is detected - it is they that lead to the death of the rabbit.The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets and through contact with food (general drinking bowls, feeders, litter).
The latent period lasts 2-3 days. External symptoms are absent, except for general lethargy and refusal of food.
On the 4th – 5th day, the following are observed:
- sudden death of an animal.
Convulsions occur immediately before death. But sometimes a rabbit can just squeak and freeze with his eyes open. Mortality from HBV is 100%.
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- As a treatment, immunostimulating serum is used if the rabbit is decorative and there are no other animals around. If not, then the animal is killed and disposed of, because during treatment and recovery the pet remains a virus carrier that infects not only everyone around it, but also animals on neighboring farms. Rabbitry is disinfected, and quarantine is declared on the farm.
- Vaccines from VGBK are included in the mandatory list of vaccinations. The first is done at the age of 1.5–3 months, and then annually. For vaccination, Rabivac is used in a dosage of 1 ml per 1 individual.
Myxomatosis occurs as a result of infection with the Myxomatosis cuniculorum virus. Mortality from this disease also reaches 90-100%. Myxomatosis cuniculorum comes from South America. The virus was introduced to Europe specifically to reduce the number of wild rabbits.But, unfortunately, then people could not assume that they could not cope with an actively developing virus. It is transmitted along with blood-sucking insects from a sick animal to a healthy one.
Signs of myxomatosis:
- purulent conjunctivitis;
- tumors on the head, external genitalia;
- discharge from the nose;
- high body temperature;
- general weakness.
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- To normalize the immune system, gamavit is used in a dosage of 0.2 ml subcutaneously 1 p. per day until complete recovery. The broad-spectrum antibiotic Baytril will have the main therapeutic effect. Dosage of 2 ml per 10 kg of live weight. For the treatment of conjunctivitis, eye drops are prescribed.
- Nevertheless, it is not recommended to treat myxomatosis, since the animal remains a virus carrier forever. And repeated relapse is just a matter of time. In addition, the virus carrier is a constant source of danger to the rest of the livestock.
- For prophylaxis, vaccination with Rabivak is carried out at a dosage of 1 ml per 1 rabbit twice a year: in spring and autumn.
- Cell disinfection is carried out monthly to eliminate blood-sucking insects.
Important! The period of maximum reproduction of blood-sucking insects is May and June. Rabbits should be disinfected at this time especially carefully.
Bacteria, like viruses, are in the surrounding world constantly. These are unicellular organisms that secrete toxins in the process of life. As a result, poisoning of the body occurs.
Do rabbits die of bacterial infection? Of course, if treatment is not started on time or complications arise. A sick rabbit becomes inactive, refuses food, his body temperature rises, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea can occur. With increasing intoxication, the condition worsens, and the animal may die.
Signs of viral and bacterial infection are similar. The difference is that the virus acts on the body as a whole, and bacteria on a specific focus. Bacteria affect the intestines, skin, respiratory system, circulatory system. If signs of the disease are detected, the sick animal is isolated. Treatment is with antibiotics.
The bacterium Pasteurella multocida is the causative agent of the acute infectious disease of pasteurellosis. Transmitted by contact through the skin in places of bites or scratches. Pasteurellosis is possible in many animals, including small ungulates.The main signs of the disease:
- runny nose
- inflammation at the site of a bite or scratch.
It is accompanied by infection of the whole organism and the death of the animal on the 3-4th day. There is also an increase in temperature, lack of appetite and diarrhea. Atypical form is accompanied by abscesses.
Treatment and prevention:
- The treatment of bacterial infections is based on a course of antibiotics. Pasteurellosis is treated with biomycin at the rate of 0.2-0.3 g of the substance intramuscularly administered twice a day for 3-4 days. To enhance the effect, sulfonamides - ethazole, phthalazole are included in the course. Forms of release of drugs - tablets. Therefore, they are crushed and fed to the animal at the rate of 0.3 g per 1 adult rabbit. Some treatment regimens include alternating antibiotics and antimicrobials.
- As a prophylaxis, rabbits are vaccinated with formol vaccine twice a year.
- Quarantine measures should also be observed when new rabbits are settled in an existing livestock.
Did you know? Natural vaccination can be observed in ants. If one of them is infected with spores of the parasite fungus, then the ants pass the spores to other uninfected individuals. They are not enough to get sick, but enough so that all members of the anthill can form immunity.
Tularemia is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Commonly found in animals in the wild. Synonymous names of the disease: plague-like disease, small plague, rabbit fever. The disease was named after the region in which it was first detected in 1911.Scientists at the California anti-plague station found strange gophers, similar to plague, buboes in gophers. Later, in 1912, the causative agent of the disease was identified.
All rodents are susceptible to the disease, so the bacterium can enter the rabbitry along with other rabbits, mice or rats.It can also be transmitted through blood-sucking insects, penetrating through the mucous membranes and wounds on the skin.
- enlarged lymph nodes;
- temperature increase;
- runny nose
- sudden weight loss in animals.
A pathological examination of fallen animals reveals necrotic foci on the liver, spleen and lungs.
- Determining how to treat pasteurellosis, the main course and treatment of wound surfaces should be noted. The main course of treatment includes tetracycline antibiotics twice a day for 10-14 days. The dosage is determined by the doctor, taking into account the weight of the animal.
- Suppurations are only treated surgically in a veterinary clinic due to their high infectivity.
- The main preventive measure is the disinfection of rabbitry from blood-sucking insects. Vaccination to prevent this disease in rabbits does not exist.
Important! Francisella tularensis is transmitted from animals to humans. Therefore, be careful when contacting an infected rabbit. In ancient times, hunters were at risk of infection due to contact with the skins of infected individuals.
The causative agent of coccidiosis is coccidia. These are bacteria that infect the liver and intestines of rabbits. It is believed that these bacteria all the time exist in the body, but they become dangerous only if the conditions for their active development appear. Farmers have noticed that such conditions occur if the animal is often changed feed.Bacteria can be transmitted through general food, common habitats (litter, feces) and household items. In this case, the spread of the disease is affected by non-compliance with sanitary standards in the habitats and crowding of pets.
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- acute diarrhea;
- alternating constipation and diarrhea;
- spotting in feces;
- increase in body temperature;
- lack of appetite;
- slowdown in development and growth;
- dull and dirty hair;
- sagging or swollen belly.
At the last stages, cyanosis of the skin is observed, and at autopsy, nodular lesions of the internal organs are observed.
Treatment consists of the use of anticoccidic drugs. This group includes a broad-spectrum drug "Baykoks". It acts on the shell of the bacteria, destroying it. The composition of the drug allows you to effectively eliminate the disease, not only at the initial stage, but also at later stages.
Important! Coccidia are resistant to disinfection, but are destroyed by exposure to hot water. Therefore, rabbit habitats are periodically treated with steam or hot water.
The drug is diluted in water in a ratio of 7 mg per 1 kg of body weight and is evaporated throughout the day. The course of treatment lasts 2-3 days, while a new solution is poured into the drinker every day. If the animal refuses food and water, then the drug is administered using a pipette. In advanced situations, the course can be repeated in a few days.
Containment conditions can cause death of animals. So, in nature, rabbits live in packs and communicate a lot. It is believed that if you deprive the rabbit of communication, he lives less and may even die from loneliness. But, of course, scientific data confirming the death of rabbits precisely from loneliness does not exist.
Rabbits do not know how to sweat, because they do not have sweat glands. The optimum air temperature for them does not exceed +18 ° C. Therefore, in the summer, the animal may overheat from the heat. But in winter, in the presence of drafts, hypothermia is possible, followed by infection with viral infections.
Rabbits after childbirth can die due to physiological characteristics or complications. The small pelvis can cause the rabbit to become stuck and unable to be born, which leads to the development of inflammation and death of the rabbit. Inflammation of the postpartum period can also be a reason for this.
Treatment of non-communicable diseases is symptomatic.It is carried out simultaneously with the elimination of the causes that led to the disease.
Causes of death of little rabbits
If the rabbit is vaccinated and healthy, then up to 2 months the rabbits retain good immunity thanks to the antibodies received from the mother's body. After a while, their number decreases, and an unfavorable environment can contribute to infection of young animals.
So, a dirty cell is a source of staphylococcus, and the presence of skin parasites can become a source of infection. Lack of heat will also negatively affect newborn survival. To prevent disease, you need to maintain cleanliness and timely vaccinations.At the age of one month, rabbits from vaccinated rabbits are not threatened with infectious diseases. The only cause of death can be staphylococci - bacteria that can actively multiply in a contaminated mother liquor if sanitary standards are not observed.
In first-rabbits, young animals can die due to insufficient amount of fluff in the nest - from hypothermia. Young rabbits do not tear down to a bribe, which is the cause of the pathology. Poor feed can also cause animal death.
Infectious diseases are associated with exposure to viruses or bacteria on an animal. In order for the microorganism to cause the disease, it must secrete substances that poison the body - toxins. Infectious diseases are characterized by a latent incubation period with subsequent manifestation of signs of the disease. Duration depends on the type of microorganism.
Diseases are classified according to one of two schemes:
- the place of localization - intestinal, skin and others;
- type of pathogen - viral, bacterial, fungal.
An animal with good immunity tolerates diseases more easily, and its symptoms will be less pronounced.
Did you know? Rabbits can breed from 4 months and in their entire life acquire 800 descendants: children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bacteria of the Staphylococcaceae family are widespread in soil and air. They are representatives of the usual microflora of the skin of both man and animal. Staphylococcus is an infectious disease that is caused by these bacteria in contaminated rabbits with high crowding.In newborns rabbits, these bacteria cause septicopyemia. The main symptom is the appearance of ulcers on the skin of different sizes. Abscesses arise as a result of active reproduction of bacteria.
Together with the blood flow, they are transferred to the following organs, which as a result causes intoxication and death of the baby rabbit. The source of infection is damaged skin - wounds, scratches on the skin. Staphylococci can also enter the body along with mother's milk. The death of young animals is observed 2-3 days after the appearance of ulcers.
Treatment of adult rabbits for staph infections is to take a course of antibiotics. For example, penicillin intramuscularly at a dosage of 15,000 units per 1 kg of rabbit weight every 4 hours. The course lasts 3-4 days. Visible abscesses are necessarily opened, purulent exudate is removed, and the wound is treated with disinfectants.
Important! Rabbits are extremely sensitive to antibiotic dosages. Some of them (ampicillin, lincomycin) are contraindicated for them. In order not to overdo it, you must strictly follow the schedule and dosage of the drugs as determined by the doctor.
Infectious stomatitis is the effect on the body of a filtering virus. It causes active salivation. If the virus is in the mother's body, then in newborns this disease will be congenital. Another way of its penetration is through the mucous membranes of the mouth from the environment.The synonymous name for the disease is a wet muzzle, or mokret. The disease is especially dangerous for rabbits up to 3 months old.
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- active salivation;
- sores on the mucous membranes of the mouth;
- wet coat on the face;
- general lethargy;
- refusal of food.
The mucous membranes become inflamed 4 days after the infection enters the body. A whitish coating appears on them, and after a few days, the coating darkens and sores begin to form.
The course of treatment includes taking antibiotics to stop the activity of bacteria and disinfect affected surfaces. Penicillin is administered intramuscularly or orally, 0.1 g once daily for 3 days.
The oral cavity is treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. And then an antibacterial emulsion is applied to the mucous membranes. It can also be streptocide. Wool also needs to be decontaminated. For example, copper sulfate - a 2 percent solution is applied to the face twice a day until the end of the course of treatment.
Low temperature (below +38.1 ° C) is a symptom of shock. To increase body temperature, you can warm the rabbit with hot water warmers and be sure to consult a doctor.
High temperature (above +39.9 ° C) is also a sign of the disease. Perhaps the animal just overheated in the summer heat. Physiologically, rabbits can not sweat, so they can not lower the temperature through the sweat glands. This function is performed by the ears and breathing. To help the animal, you can wipe its ears with a damp, cool cloth.
At temperatures above +40.5 ° C, the animal must also be shown to a doctor. High fever is a sign of pneumonia and most infectious diseases.
Did you know? In the wild, rabbits live in burrows, which would more correctly be called cities. The European rabbit burrow can contain up to 450 individuals and have up to 2000 entries.
Digestive diseases occur in young animals as a result of malnutrition or during the transition from a milk diet to an adult. This is especially true for rabbits up to 1.5 months of age.If the transition occurs gradually, the food is easily digestible, then there are no problems. But if a failure occurs, the feed is not digested, then the pet may get sick.
Signs of an indigestion:
- lack of appetite;
- upset stool;
- mucous discharge in feces;
- increased acidity of gastric juice;
- increased production of gastric juice.
A gastrointestinal tract disorder can occur when consuming poor-quality feed: fermented, sweet, contaminated. If the animal has diarrhea, then the treatment consists of taking synthomycin in a dosage of 0.3 g. The drug is added to water and the animal is pipetted out. Juicy feed and everything that can cause a relapse are removed from the diet.
With constipation, on the contrary, juicy and fresh root vegetables, juicy herbs are added to the diet. Inside give a few drops of castor oil.
Tympania is the fermentation of starch-rich feed in the digestive tract. In the process of fermentation, gases are formed that press on the internal organs, making breathing more difficult and interfering with normal blood circulation. For treatment, the rabbit is stopped being fed and left to starvation during the day.
A solution of ichthyol 1% in a volume of 5 ml is evaporated inside. Also, the animal can gently massage the stomach and make an enema.If a rabbit is fed a monotonous food for a long time (hay, dry herbs), stagnation in the colon occurs - corpostasis. The animal is treated with warm enemas of castor oil and warm water. You can also give a laxative.
When toxins, pesticides, and poisonous herbs enter the intestines, poisoning begins.
The main symptoms are:
- refusal of food;
- increased salivation;
- loose stools;
- cyanotic mucous membranes.
The animal must be given milk and subcutaneously injected with 1 ml of calcium gluconate. With constipation, they make a warm enema.
Did you know? The biochemical composition of rabbit hair is keratin protein compounds. In order for the coat to be in excellent shape, pets need protein food.This is especially important if you grow them for fur.
How to understand that a rabbit is dying?
A near-death state occurs after several days of illness - from 3 or more. If the rabbit is not treated, then the disease will progress, and after some time the pet may die.
Signs of a critical condition is that the pet:
- does not take food;
- does not show activity and lies;
- has an increased or decreased body temperature;
- loses consciousness;
- he has cloudy sclera of eyes, shortness of breath, dirty, dull, untidy hair.
All oddities in habits that you notice should be reported to the veterinarian - this will help establish a diagnosis.
To protect rabbits from death, you must:
- Follow the vaccination schedule. The purpose of vaccination is to develop immunity to certain dangerous diseases. It eliminates the possibility of infection of the body or allows you to transfer the disease in a mild form.
- Maintain good living conditions in rabbitry: air temperature, humidity. Animals will feel good if the air temperature is within +16 ... +18 ° С. Other temperatures will lead to overcooling or overheating of the rabbit. And in the presence of drafts - they can cause a cold. Sensitive animals and dust. Their normal breathing is 60–100 breaths per minute. Therefore, inhalation of low-quality dusty or contaminated air will cause illness. Diffuse lighting is useful and necessary in rabbit habitats. But bright sunlight can cause heat stroke.
- Change litter regularly, wash and clean feeders and drinking bowls, and carry out disinfection. Fecal masses and the heat that they give off is an excellent environment for the development of many microorganisms. If the pathogen is introduced by pests or rodents, then the contaminated litter will become an opportunity to infect the entire population. Therefore, cleaning is one of the prerequisites for the well-being of pets.