Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Million Bunnies to Myxo Minister

One Million Bunnies to Myxo Minister

Thursday, February 3 · 9:00am - 11:30pm

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More InfoHave you or do you know someone who has tragically lost a pet bunny to myxo? Please join Radical Rabbit's campaign for the Year of the Rabbit to mail one million toy bunnies to the Minister for Sustainability & Environment and demand the myxo vaccine for our pet bunnies.

Print off this letter - http://www.radicalrabbit.org/myxo_letter.html

include your toy bunny and mail to:
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

I lost one rabbit to myxomatosis when I was a breeder and that was bad enough, it was very traumatic to watch and took her to the vet but nothing helped her.. the problem is that it is spread so easily by mosquitos. I hope that keeping our new bunny Roxanne indoors will help prevent her catching myx. She is vaccinated against calici virus but I wish she could also be vaccinated against myxomatosis.



Unfortunately there is no vaccination for this currently in Australia, only in Europe.

Fly wire on the hutch may be a helpful protection.
If your rabbit is out in a run during the day, it is wise to put it back into its’ mosquito proof hutch before dusk, or bring it inside.

Myxomatosis was first introduced to Australia in 1950 to control the wild rabbit population. It is mainly spread by blood-sucking insects, such as fleas and mosquitos but also from skin lesions. According to papers available the original virus killed about 99% of infected rabbits. However rabbits that did not die produced a high level of antibodies and any does (female rabbits) that survived passed these antibodies on to the kittens. There is also an accumulation of genetic resistance that has built up within the wild rabbit population, so the figures are much lower today.
How is myxomatosis spread? 
Blood-sucking insects, including mosquitoes, fleas, lice, ticks, and mites, are the main method of spread. Direct transmission is possible, usually by the aerosol route. Those rabbits infected via this route usually develop nasal & eye discharges as part of the disease process. Transmission is also possible via infected hutches or enclosures. An owner may spread the virus from one rabbit to another. Similarly, animals that are congregated at rabbit shows or fairs may become infected if one of the rabbits has the disease and is shedding the virus.

What are the signs of myxomatosis? 
The clinical signs of myxomatosis vary with the strain of virus involved and the species of rabbit infected. In pet rabbits, there are several forms of the disease.

Peracute form: The peracute form progresses most rapidly and may cause death within 7 days of infection, and within 48 hours of showing signs of disease. The only signs may be lethargy, swelling of the eyelids, loss of appetite, and fever.

Acute form: In the acute form, fluid swellings enlarge around the head and face, including the lips, nose, and around the eyes. The swelling around the eyes gives the rabbit a sleepy appearance. Swellings of the ears may cause them to droop. The area around the anus and genitalia also appears swollen. The lesions progress rapidly, and within 24-48 hours may become severe, causing blindness. The rabbit continues to have a fever and be depressed. Most rabbits die within 10 days of hemorrhage and seizures. In a susceptible population, over 90% of rabbits may die by this stage of disease.

Chronic form: The chronic form of the disease is less common, and occurs in animals that survive the acute form of the disease. Rabbits with this form develop thick ocular (eye) discharge and swelling around the base of the ears. Nodules called "myxomas" may develop, although with infection by the California strain of virus in domestic rabbits, myxomas are seldom present in infected animals. Affected rabbits may also show respiratory signs including difficulty breathing. Most animals die of the disease within two weeks. Rabbits that survive may shed the virus up to 30 days. Most rabbits who recover from myxomatosis are immune to re-infection for the rest of their lives.

How is myxomatosis diagnosed? 
The diagnosis of myxomatosis is made through observing the clinical signs, biopsies of the lesions, and virus isolation. In many cases, because the rabbit dies suddenly, the diagnosis is made post-mortem (after death).

How is myxomatosis treated? 
There is no effective treatment for myxomatosis. Affected rabbits may be kept more comfortable through the use of supportive fluids.

How is myxomatosis prevented? 
The best way to prevent myxomatosis is to control external parasites such as mosquitoes, fleas, and mites. Screening should be used to protect outside animals. Rabbits should be kept indoors, if possible, especially during the peak insect seasons of the year, and at dawn and dusk, when many insects, such as mosquitoes, are more active.

If a rabbit is suspected of having myxomatosis, the animal should be isolated and mosquito netting placed over the cage. Extreme care should be taken to prevent mechanical transmission to other rabbits through dishes, contamination of clothing, or other means.

The myxoma virus is resistant to inactivation under most environmental conditions and is not easily destroyed by disinfectants.

If a rabbit is exposed to an infected animal, she should be quarantined for a period of 14 days. During the quarantine, she should be handled as though she were infected and cared for as indicated above. After 14 days, if the rabbit does not become sick or develop a fever , it can be assumed she is not infected with the myxoma virus.

If myxomatosis occurs in an area, rabbits should not be taken to fairs, rabbit shows or anywhere these animals are congregated.

More Rabbit Health Care Info coming soon

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