Myxomatosis outbreak in KlosterneuburgIn the media at the end of September 2010 there were intensive reports about a myxomatosis outbreak in Klosterneuburg. Here are some facts about this rabbit disease. Myxomatosis is a dangerous disease that every rabbit owner should know about. This is a viral disease that always has both a high rate of spread and mortality. Every few years there is an outbreak of the disease. However, excessive alarmism should be warned against.
Myxomatosis (rabbit plague)
Myxomatosis is a dangerous disease that every rabbit owner should know about. This is a viral disease, which always has a high rate of spreading and mortality.
The causative agent of myxomatosis
Myxomatosis (rabbit plague) is a viral disease caused by the leporipoxvirus myxomatosis, which belongs to the poxviruses, that causes almost exclusively at domestic and wild rabbits occurrence. field hares are largely insensitive to the disease. There is no danger for humans and other domestic animals.
The myxomatosis virus belongs to the family poxviruses.
After overcoming an illness – which is extremely rare – the virus is still active in the animal's organism for up to 6 months and is therefore contagious. Other animals or humans are not endangered by the myxomatosis virus, infection is only possible in the laboratory, the virus is therefore host-specific.
The virus is most often transmitted indirectly by biting, bloodsucking insects Insects such as mosquitoes and Fleas instead of. An increased insect population of the vectors in warm and humid summers. In the fall leads to a clustered occurrence of the disease in these seasons. Effective protection against mosquitoes is therefore important, especially for larger herds. Rabbits kept indoors or only indoors are less at risk (fewer mosquitoes). animal to animal by sniffing. mucous membrane contact are transmitted. Other animals can also partially transmit the virus – even if they themselves do not contract the virus.
Signs of disease/symptoms
After an incubation period of 3 to 10 days the first symptoms appear.
In the acute course of the disease occur swelling and inflammation of the eyelids, mouth, ears, lips and genital area on. At the beginning of the disease the animals are still quite lively and eat well, but after 1 – 2 weeks they stop eating. After about 10 to 14 days the disease usually ends with the Death
In the chronic course of the disease, increased Pustules on. Nodules and edema form, especially on the head and legs.
A cure is possible in individual cases. In some cases the rabbit recovers, but continues to carry the disease.
Treatment and prospects of cure
The myxomatosis is hardly curable, even if antibiotics and other medicines like homeopathics are used supportively, most animals die from the Myxomatosis. Depending on the virulence, the mortality is 20 to 100%. If an animal survives, it still transmits the virus months after the disease and is not immunized.
Preventive against myxomatosis can be Vaccination offer protection against infection with an attenuated live vaccine.
At Young animals a basic immunization is carried out: 1. vaccination at the age of 4-6 weeks, repeat vaccination after 4 weeks, further vaccination mode: every 6 months.
Should your older rabbit If you have not been vaccinated so far and you would like to make up for it now, we recommend the 1. Vaccination at the beginning of March/April and a repeat vaccination after 4 weeks, further vaccination mode: every 6 months.
All animals should be vaccinated 2 times a year in principle. Ideally vaccinate in early March/April. A further vaccination can then be given after 5 months, so that in late summer when there are many blood-sucking insects, vaccination protection is guaranteed. The vaccination protection lasts 6 – 9 months.
Even if there are hardly any cases of myxomatosis in one year, you still have to vaccinate 2 times a year. Due to vaccination fatigue, the disease can spread further. Will strike all the more violently next year! The virus lasts 6 – 7 months, so it is also necessary to vaccinate in winter, despite the decreasing dangers. Additional protection provides cleanliness and caution.
As a preventive measure, healthy rabbits can be treated with a homeopathic myxomatosis nosode in the event of an epidemic outbreak of myxomatosis. You can find out more from your homeopathic veterinarian.