Myxi outbreak and Ask the Expert.

We’d like to remind you once more about keeping vaccinations up to date. It’s only a few days ago that a distraught member in Essex has asked us to let everyone know that myxi is rife there at the moment. If you know of any outbreaks please let us know, or share them here.

Please don’t let your rabbits miss or be late for any of their vaccinations. Until the new vaccine becomes available later this year, keep to the dates your rabbits are due, annually for VHD and six-monthly for Myxomatosis.

A few weeks back we asked our Facebook followers for FAQs on Myxi and VHD, and this threw up some questions about hay too. Over the next few days we’ll be publishing one or two of your questions daily with answers from our Vet expert advisor Richard Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc MSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) MRCVS .

Thanks to everyone who took part and contributed, we hope that this is both interesting and useful:

Myxi – Q1)How effective is the new combined vaccine against myxo. Have heard of lots of cases of pseudo myxo in last 12 months on vaccinated rabbits. Will this still happen with combined vaccine, is it a new vaccine more appropriate to recent strains?

A1) Data sheet for it is now online.

In theory, this new vaccine should be better, and it has been tested against virulent strains.

Cleaning protocol

We have been asked about a cleaning protocol that would prevent rabbits from contracting Myxi or EC from their accommodation, for example in boarding or rescue establishments, and suggest the following:

Thoroughly clean the area to remove any scale or residue. Use Ark-Klens , which is a benzalkonium chloride disinfectant and as such it should be effective against EC and myxi, to routinely disinfect the housing. Periodically use Virkon (as an inorganic peroxygen compound) to kill any other viruses.

Note: Other benzalkonium chloride disinfectants and inorganic peroxygen compounds may be available, in addition to those named above.

Myxi and VHD cases still being reported

Myxi continues to rear its ugly head around the UK and I doubt it will ever go away. Reports come in daily from members.

VHD is the silent killer, but as our leaflet explains it is “Deadly, But Preventable “

In the last 4 weeks a confirmed report came in of a death from VHD in Burgess Hill West Sussex and from Burton On Trent and Warwick.. There is an unconfirmed report in the Nottingham area.

The virus can survive for up to 105 days in the environment, but this is at low temperatures , with a sliding scale of downward viral survival duration at higher temperatures. So this is the best time to have an outbreak. If your rabbits are not vaccinated, and want your bunnies to live a happy and healthy life, please have them vaccinated

RWA/F member and veterinary nurse Laura Slinger who works for the practice that admitted the VHD case told us . The VHD case was a 6 year old english butterfly, never vaccinated, found her Saturday morning collapsed and twitching – rushed in, bleeding from eyes, vulva and anus, abdomen full of blood – it really has hit home how many people continue to say ‘ah vaccination its not necessary anymore’ – it is the first VHD and I think the 4th domestic myxi case in my 12 year career so far, just terrible, really affected me! I’m not as tough as everyone says

VHD Outbreak

It is not often that we receive reports of VHD outbreaks.

VN Laura Slinger who is a veterinary nurse in Burton On Trent, has seen a case of VHD at her practice. Also a case of myxi. Reports in the last few days have come in of deaths from myxi in Leybourne Kent and sightings of wild rabbits in East Yorkshire, West Sussex, Gloucestershire and South Wales.