Breeding rabbits is a profitable activity, but animals need careful care.The reason is susceptibility to various diseases, and some of them are dangerous to humans.
Therefore, the rabbit breeder should be aware of rabbit diseases and preventive measures to prevent them.
Differences between a sick rabbit and a healthy rabbit: signs of an unhealthy animal
Description of a healthy individual:
- lack of appetite problems,
- lack of discharge from the ears and nose,
- feces of dark color of a roundish form (similarity to peas),
- dark shade of urine (may vary depending on the feed)
- smooth coat,
- manifestation of activity.
Signs of a sick animal:
- lethargic behavior, constant sitting without movement,
- hard breath,
- hair loss in large quantities,
- the presence of wounds on the skin,
- purulent discharge from the ears and nose,
- bloated abdomen (a symptom occurs with a violation of the intestines).
Types of rabbit diseases, main signs and treatment options
Types of diseases are presented in the table:
|Non-infectious (bloating, catarrh of the intestines, conjunctivitis, sunstroke, various injuries)||Causes: |
|Infectious (myxomatosis, pasteurellosis, cysticercosis)||The causative agents of infection are parasites and viruses.|
This disease is an invasive type. The localization of the pathogen is the intestinal mucosa, liver ducts.
External signs of an individual:
- abdominal enlargement
- possible cramps
- emaciated state.
Young individuals are prone to the disease, the disease is transmitted from one rabbit to another.
Reasons for development:
- irregular cleaning
- lack of space
- keeping adults with rabbits,
- the use of bran made from wheat,
- deficiency of vitamins and minerals,
- excess protein (decay creates ideal conditions for the reproduction of the parasite),
- a sharp transition to a new diet.
Coccidiosis treatment options:
- Iodine. You need 2 ml of iodine per 1 liter of water. The resulting solution is added to the drinkers of rabbits. The method does not require high cash costs.
- Sulfonamides. Drugs provide a good result. A significant drawback is the development of immunity in the pathogen over time.
Pathogen - tapeworm (pork tapeworm larva). Localization places: internal organs, bones, organs of the central nervous system.
Ways to get into the body:
The following changes occur in the animal’s body: parasites enter the liver through the walls of the stomach, and into the lungs and heart through the bloodstream.
- pain in the abdomen and liver when pressed (main symptom),
- alarmed behavior
- lack of appetite,
- intense thirst
- the mucous membranes are pale in color,
- sedentary lifestyle.
The necessary treatment:
- Group deworming. The drug Mebendazole. The course of treatment is 3-5 days (with an interval of 2 days). The medicine is given with a portion of the feed (25 mg per 1 kg of weight).
- The drug Panacur (calculated as 7.5 mg per 1 kg of weight). The time of admission varies from 3 to 5 days.
Signs of an unhealthy animal
Each disease has its own distinctive signs, but there are a number of symptoms indicating disorder in the rabbit's body. If they appeared in an animal, it is necessary to urgently consult a specialist in order to avoid the spread of the disease to other individuals and to start treatment on time.
Many diseases begin with the following symptoms:
- atypical behavior
- the rabbit lies with his eyes closed
- the animal is breathing hard and often, thirsty all the time,
- hair loss
- discharge from the nose or eyes
- the appearance of formations on the body,
- the animal is paralyzed, it trembles or cramps,
- violation of the stool.
Pathogen - pathogen. The method of entry into the body is through food, drink, contact with other individuals. Another method of infection is air.
- rapid breathing, wheezing is possible,
- decreased appetite
- lethargic and indifferent state
- a significant increase in body temperature,
- mucous discharge from the eyes and nose.
After the death of the first individual, it is necessary to take the body of the animal to the veterinary laboratory for an accurate diagnosis.
- The use of sulfonamides (tablets). The course is 3-4 days. The dose for adults is 0.3 g, for young ones, 0.1-0.2 g.
- Intramuscular injection (tetracycline). The treatment lasts 3-4 days (2 injections per day).
Myxomatosis is an infectious disease. Pathogens are viruses of various strains.
Carriers in nature:
- the appearance of discharge from the eyes,
- swelling in the nose, ear,
- loss of coat
- apathetic state
- inflammation of the external genitalia.
The result of the disease is fatal. The course of the disease is very fast.
Animals that have become infected must be disposed of; their meat is unsuitable for consumption.
The causative agent of the disease is a pond (small clam).
The main symptoms are:
- the presence of edema in the eyelids,
- the mucous membrane of the eyes is yellowish,
- deterioration of the coat.
To prevent the disease, it is better not to use grass from natural water bodies.
The required treatment is the introduction of carbon tetrachloride (1-2 ml). A necessary tool is a probe.
Refers to infectious diseases, can affect many organs. The causative agent is a polymorphic bacillus of Listeria.
Methods of infection:
- from female to fetus (across the placenta),
- while taking food
- airborne droplets.
The main symptoms are:
- decreased appetite
- limb paralysis
- digestive tract disorders,
- the pet throws its head back.
- spontaneous abortion.
There is no cure for the disease.Infected individuals must be destroyed by incineration. The event helps prevent the spread of the disease among other animals.
It is an infectious disease. The causative agent is the bacterium Francisella tularensis.
Ways of infection:
- through water and food,
- bites of blood-sucking insects,
- airborne droplets.
First, bacteria enter the bloodstream, the next stage is the defeat of the lungs and various tissues.
The main symptoms are:
- secretion of fluid from the nose,
- rapid weight loss
- lymph node density, the next stage is spontaneous opening,
- the appearance of seizures.
They treat animals with antibiotics (tetracycline or chloramphenicol). Medicines have a positive effect in the early stages.
The causes of rhinitis:
- injuries of the nasal mucosa,
- allergic reactions
- transferred cold.
- an increase in the nose (in severe cases, swelling of the mucous membrane is possible),
- the color of the discharge from the nose is light green,
- hard breath,
- decreased appetite.
- The use of inhalation.
- Antibiotics. You can eat rabbit meat after the drug is excreted (after 1 month).
- The use of immunomodulators. Drugs are administered intramuscularly. The disadvantage is the high cost.
Trichophytosis - ringworm and ticks
Virus spores are causative agents of ringworm.
Symptoms of infection:
- the appearance of spots of a small reddish tint (1-2 cm),
- severe itching
- breaking off the coat.
- Microderm vaccine. A side effect is drowsiness.
- Antibiotic Griseofulvin (with food). Take 20 mg per 1 kg of weight.
- Special shampoos. They have an antifungal effect.
- the animal constantly scratches the ears,
- crusting at the site of the bite,
- the appearance of brown lumps of sulfur in the ear.
The necessary treatment:
- The use of acaricidal drugs.
- The use of antibiotics (in the presence of purulent lesions of the skin).
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (to reduce itching).
Symptoms of the disease:
- the occurrence of shortness of breath,
- the appearance of cough
- discharge from the nose
- a sharp decrease in appetite,
- difficulty swallowing food.
- Take the animal to a warm room.
- Provide proper nutrition and mandatory intake of vitamins.
- Instill an nose with an antiseptic solution.
- Use antibiotics and drugs to lower the temperature.
Gastrointestinal poisoning and disease
- fluid bowel movements
- decreased appetite
- apathetic state.
The necessary treatment:
- The introduction of antibiotics for 5 days (20 mg per 1 kg of body weight).
- Syntomycin for diarrhea.
- The inclusion of easily digestible feed in the diet.
- constant itching in the spine (animals itch)
- too active animal behavior.
- Bathing an animal (an insecticidal shampoo is used).
- Disinfection of the cell.
- Use of drops against fleas (Frontline, Advantage or others).
The method of infection is contact with dogs, cats, chickens. Most often, animals that are kept in unsanitary conditions become infected.
- heavy drinking
- frequent urination
- the appearance of mucus in the feces,
- weight loss
- heavy hair loss.
- The use of anthelmintic drugs (Albendazole, suspension Shustrik, Levamisole 10%).
- The use of folk remedies (pumpkin seeds, wormwood, needles).
Human rabbit diseases
Diseases of rabbits that are dangerous for humans:
- Cysticercosis. Prevention - taking antihelminthic drugs.
- Fascioliasis. To prevent the disease, thorough hand washing after contact with animals is necessary.
- Pasteurellosis. Regular cell disinfection is a way to prevent infection.
- Listeriosis. Prevention - hygiene.
- Tularemia. Disinfection of hands and clothing is required.
Disease Prevention - General Points
Compliance with the elementary rules of keeping animals allows not only to achieve rapid weight gain, attractive fur and reproduction activity, but also significantly reduce the risk of diseases and injuries.
|Disinfection and sanitation||In the cells of animals you need to regularly clean. Drinking bowls and feeders should be washed thoroughly at least once a week. If the animal is sick, it is necessary to immediately disinfect the home and all equipment|
|Quarantine||Animals brought from other places must be housed separately from animals already on the farm for three weeks. During this period, the farmer has the opportunity to make sure that all rabbits are healthy. After that, they can be settled next to other individuals, but better in separate cells. If suspicious symptoms appear in individual animals, they should immediately be removed from the rest. Animals in contact with them must be kept in quarantine and monitored|
|Visual inspection||Regular examinations of animals prevent a number of dangerous diseases. An extraordinary assessment of the condition of the rabbits should be carried out before mating and scrolling, newborn babies, before laying out the rabbits from the mother|
When examined in healthy rabbits, the following should be observed:
- good appetite,
- high activity
- shiny smooth coat
- lack of discharge from the nose and eyes,
- body temperature within 38.5-39.5 ℃,
- heart rate of 120-160 beats per minute,
- respiratory rate - 50-60 times per min.
An experienced farmer talks about the principles of animal care and methods of disease prevention in the following video:
Disorders in the digestive tract
Domestic rabbits often suffer from digestive problems. In adults, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract usually result in:
- poor-quality feed (rotten, ripe),
- high content in the diet of legumes,
- an overabundance of fresh fruits and vegetables,
- unsanitary conditions.
Regarding rabbits, when transferring babies up to 1.5 months of age to roughage (with a lack of milk in the mother), there is a high risk of ulcers on the gastrointestinal mucosa, the development of inflammation.
The presence of gastrointestinal pathology can be determined by the following symptoms:
- softened feces or diarrhea, often with mucus or blood impurities,
- lack of bowel movements
- loss of appetite,
- apathy, decreased activity.
Depending on the problem, the following treatment methods are used:
|Constipation||The animal is given inside 1.5 tsp. castor oil, the abdomen is rubbed with a 5% salt solution (1 tsp per 100 ml of water), warm soapy water is used as an enema. After the procedures, the rabbit is released to run. If defecation has occurred, the animal can be offered carrots, oat broth|
|Bloating||Inside give 5 ml of a 10% solution of ichthyol, do a gentle massage of the abdomen, and then let it out for a walk|
|Diarrhea||Adults are given activated charcoal (1 tablet per 10 kg of live weight), synthomycin (0.1 g 1-2 times a day) and 2 tsp. decoction of oak bark. Exclude juicy feed from the diet. To treat diarrhea in young animals, 1 tablet of synthomycin is dissolved in 2 liters of water and 2 teaspoons of rabbits are fed. 2 times a day|
If there are digestive problems, the animal is shown a hungry diet, but not longer than 12-20 hours. Then the soft food is offered to the rabbit in small quantities: mixed feed brewed with boiling water, boiled potatoes.
This disease of rabbits is often found in representatives of giant varieties, individuals with excessive body weight, as well as with weak and gentle pubescence of the paw pads. Most often, the soles of animals are injured when kept in cages with a mesh or rack floor. An infection gets into the wounds that appear. Complications of plantar dermatitis in rabbits are promoted by unsanitary conditions in the aviary.
Symptoms of the disease in rabbits develop gradually:
- at first, corns and cracks appear on the soles of the paws, sometimes there are slight bleeding. Then purulent inflammation forms in the places of wounds,
- animals lose their appetite, constantly move from one paw to another,
- in advanced stages, the animals can no longer sit, so they have to lie still.
Many novice farmers underestimate the severity of the disease, but the lack of timely treatment can even lead to death.
In the initial stages of development of plantar dermatitis, treatment gives a successful and quick result. Wounds are treated with zinc ointment (10%). The dead tissue areas are cleaned, after which the pads are lubricated with antiseptics (iodine, brilliant green, etc.). Ulcers must be sprinkled with tetracycline or treated with Vishnevsky ointment. Bandages should be applied to these places and changed daily.
A prerequisite in the treatment of pododermatitis is a clean and dry pallet in the cell.
Launched stages are also treatable, but the rabbit will have to take much longer.
Basic preventive measures:
- solid floor in a cage,
- regular cleaning and litter change,
- rejection of individuals predisposed to this disease.
Other common diseases
Rabbits are gentle animals, so they need to be protected from stress, drafts, direct sunlight, adhere to the optimal temperature regime.
In the absence of cell insulation in the cold, elevated temperature and humidity in animal habitats, and the presence of drafts in animals, the following problems may arise:
|Pathological condition||Symptoms||Treatment methods|
|Frostbite of ears||Swelling of the ears |
· The appearance of bubbles with a clear liquid,
· Necrosis of the skin
|It is necessary to transfer the animal to a warm room and treat the frostbitten areas with melted fat (goose, pork, rabbit).|
With severe swelling, 1% camphor or iodide ointment is used.
If there are vesicles, then they should be opened, and lubricate the resulting wounds with zinc ointment.
In the presence of dead sites, the wounds are lubricated with iodine and a tight gauze dressing is applied.
|Heatstroke||· The animal lies on its stomach or side, |
Refusal of food,
|Immediately move the rabbit to a cool place. |
Cover your head and legs with a damp towel dipped in cool water
|Respiratory inflammation||Transparent or unclear discharge from the nose, |
Increased body temperature
|The animal is transferred to heat, drafts and other harmful factors are excluded, and food quality is monitored. |
In the presence of rhinitis, 3-5 drops of a 1% solution of furatsilin are instilled into the nose.
|Mechanical damage||Wounds, scratches, |
|Open lesions are treated with antiseptics, a cold compress is applied to the swelling|
Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (HBVC)
The virus that causes the disease is highly contagious, and therefore quickly spreads between animals. Infectious are not only infected individuals, but also their skins, waste products. The transmission of the virus occurs by airborne droplets, as well as through inventory, feed, waste water, etc.
Adult animals weighing 3-3.5 kg are most susceptible to the disease. Pathological changes occur primarily in the liver, proceed rapidly and are almost asymptomatic. Mortality from HBV reaches 90%. Recovering individuals remain carriers of the infection, therefore, also subject to destruction.
Treatment and prevention
There is no cure for hemorrhagic disease, so rabbit breeders should take care of timely vaccination of animals.
If an outbreak of hepatitis B virus occurs on the farm, sick and suspicious animals are killed, carcasses are burned. Their habitats are thoroughly disinfected. Disinfection is also subject to equipment, clothing and the surrounding area.
You will find a detailed description of preventive and quarantine measures in the article “Hemorrhagic rabbit disease” on our website.
Mokrets is most often observed in young animals aged 3 weeks to 3 months. If the disease is mild, then the rabbits recover on the 12th day. Otherwise, death occurs after a week.
Stomatitis is accompanied by profuse salivation, the appearance of white plaque (sometimes with sores) in the tongue, which acquires a grayish-red hue. Animals become lethargic. Despite maintaining an appetite, they can’t eat and drink normally, sometimes they begin to vilify. The hair on the lower jaw falls out, the skin becomes inflamed.
If, after the first symptoms are detected, treatment is started immediately, then after 2-3 days the therapy gives a positive result.
The oral cavity is treated twice a day with a 2% aqueous solution of copper sulfate. Many rabbit breeders advise using streptocide: grind 150 mg (half a tablet) into powder and put it in the animal’s mouth, repeat the procedure after 10 hours. In advanced cases, combine both methods.
If biting midges is found, treatment is necessary not only for patients, but also for healthy individuals who are given orally 1/3 tablets (100 mg) of streptocide. During the treatment period, it is important to pay special attention to the nutrition of animals, transferring them to soft feed.
If after recovery the disease does not return within 2 weeks, the rabbit is considered healthy. Its meat can be used as food. It should be noted that sick rabbits are used exclusively for commercial purposes, their breeding is prohibited.
The causative agent of this dangerous disease is unicellular parasites - coccidia (eimeria), which enter the body of animals with food and water. At the location of the parasites, the renal and intestinal forms are distinguished, which often occur synchronously.
The presence of acute parasitic invasion in the animal is indicated by:
- impaired appetite or its complete absence,
- ruffled, faded hair.
Treatment and prevention
Standard treatment regimens and dosages of drugs prescribed for coccidiosis can be found in a separate article on our website.
A good therapeutic effect is observed in the treatment of rabbits with sulfonamides. Drugs are given orally for 5 days. You can use norsulfazole (400 mg each) and phthalazole (based on 10 mg per 1 kg of animal body weight) or sulfadimethoxine (200 mg on the first day, 100 mg on the following days).
Prevention of the disease includes:
- regular cleaning of feeders and drinking bowls (at least 1 time in 2 days),
- burner disinfection of cells (twice a month),
- lack of bran, sour herbs and legumes in the diet,
- exclusion from the herd of ill animals.
How do you know if a rabbit is sick?
Not every disease has pronounced symptoms, but it is necessary to know the difference between a healthy and a sick rabbit. In order not to miss the first signals of the disease, pets should be inspected regularly. In the first days after birth, rabbits are examined daily, then every two weeks. Compulsory inspection should be subjected to animals before mating, and females before and after okrolya.
Healthy rabbits are active and eat well, their fur shines, and there is no discharge from the eyes. But if one of the symptoms described below was suddenly noticed, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
The main symptoms of the disease:
- the lethargy of an animal that constantly lies
- atypical behavior
- discharge from the eyes or nose,
- dull hair or hair loss,
- difficult and frequent breathing
- ulcers or formations on the skin,
- violation of the stool
- cramps or paralysis of the animal,
- the appearance of lice or fleas.
Infectious diseases are most dangerous because they pose a threat to human health. They develop due to the ingestion of viruses or microbes into the body of a pet. Carry danger and cutaneous parasites of animals. Since infectious diseases of rabbits are very common, it is recommended to know their symptoms and treatment methods.
Rabbit Infectious Diseases
The most common diseases dangerous to humansare:
- HBV or hemorrhagic disease.
Each of them has its own symptoms, the appearance of which is necessary to sound the alarm.
Natural focal infection most often affects young animals, and poses a danger to humans. Infection occurs by airborne droplets through drinking, food and mosquito bites.
Most often, the symptoms of tularemia are implicit, and in a latent form of the flow of signs of the disease, there may not be any. In the acute form, rabbits begin to breathe and cough hard, fever and small pustules appear. If the infection is not treated, then the lymph nodes increase in pets and there may be paralysis. Pregnant females have miscarriages. In an ill animal, tularemia develops permanent immunity.
The treatment of tularemia in rabbits has not been developed, therefore the prevention of the disease is very important. To this end, it is recommended to follow the rules of sanitation, disinfect the premises, observe personal hygiene, fight blood-sucking insects and destroy mice and rats.
After weaning, the baby rabbits are weakened by their immunity over time and they become more susceptible to disease. In order to prevent the most dangerous diseases, vaccines for rabbits have been developed. The most common vaccinations: from HBV and from myxomatosis. The first is done mainly from the age of 1.5 months. The immunity lasts 6-9 months, then revaccination is necessary. Today, complex vaccines have been developed that protect the animal from several diseases simultaneously.
You need to be vaccinated by following some rules. Adhere to the timing of vaccination, purchase the vaccine in safe places, monitor its expiration date. The animal must be absolutely healthy before vaccination. There is no sense in vaccinating against this ailment for a sick rabbit - it will be ineffective.
A rabbit is no less than a person susceptible to many dangerous diseases. Therefore, in order for the animal to benefit, it requires careful care and attention. At the slightest sign of a change in his behavior or appearance, measures must be taken.
Unicellular parasites of coccidia cause destruction of liver and intestinal cells in animals, due to which rabbits die. In most cases, young individuals under four months of age are infected. Parasites enter the digestive tract of a healthy rabbit from feces, where they are active for six days.
Symptoms of the disease:
- poor appetite for pets
- weakening of the body,
- ruffled and faded hair,
- increased thirst
- sometimes constipation.
The disease in acute form is accompanied by seizures and the death of the animal within two weeks.
Treatment is carried out with the help of sulfonamides, which include norsulfazole and sulfadimethoxine. The medicine is added to food. The course of treatment is 5 days. Norsulfazole is given at 0.4 g per kilogram of live weight of the individual. Sulfadimethoxin is treated according to the scheme: 0.2 grams on the first day and 0.1 grams on the following.
To prevent the disease, iodine is used, which is fed to females instead of water according to a special scheme. Also, with the aim of preventing coccidiosis, it is recommended to carry out the following activities:
- To make in cells not whole, but lattice, plank or rack floors.
- Once a week, lactating females wash their nipples with warm water.
- Feed only in feeders.
- Do not feed animals with acidic herbs, bran, and legumes.
- Every decade, disinfect cells by treating them with a blowtorch torch or scalding them with boiling water.
Recovering individuals in the herd is not recommended.
Hemorrhagic disease or HBV
Since the disease airborne between the animals themselves and through their derivatives, it spreads very quickly. VGBK can be transmitted through feed, raw equipment, vehicles, feces. The source of infection is wastewater.
Hemorrhagic disease is asymptomatic. A healthy-looking pet without any signs of illness suddenly dies, and sometimes it happens with screams. Risk group includes succola and lactating females. Quite often, individuals aged from two months to six years are affected. Good immunity from HBV in individuals up to one month of age.
Because the there is no treatment for HBV, animal mortality is about 90%. Recovering rabbits are also subject to destruction, as they are a source of infection. Places of keeping sick individuals, feed and places of their storage, equipment, transportation means are disinfected.
To protect animals from hemorrhagic disease, vaccination done on time will help.