Rabbit health

Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease

October 8, 2019

Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease

Rabbit breeders have long known that myxomatosis and hemorrhagic septicemia are the most dangerous contagious ailments for their wards. The last disease of rabbits is provoked by pasteurella. Against both ailments, control measures have been developed, vaccines are being produced, the use of which has become an integral part of the technology for the production of rabbit meat, as well as skins.

Globalization presented a surprise to Russian rabbit lovers. from China, the previously unknown attack, the viral hemorrhagic rabbit disease, HBVC, penetrated the Far East. The causative agent affects the liver and lungs. It is known that rabbits prefer not to eat three meals a day, like other mammals, but to consume food up to 80 times a day in small portions. When infected with a hemorrhagic virus, they do not touch food. Blood spills from the mouth and nose. Rabbits develop cramps and fever begins. The disease affects the largest animals, after they reach 90 days of age. This article is intended to familiarize rabbit lovers with the signs of the disease and how to deal with it.


RNA virus is extremely contagious, resistant to adverse environmental factors. It occurs regardless of the season. Sick rabbits become virus carriers. For other species of mammals and humans, the causative agent is not dangerous. The main ways of infection of a rabbit are considered the following:

  • Contacts with sick animals, as well as virus carriers.
  • Stern.
  • Manure.
  • Litter.
  • Fur products obtained from infected rabbits.
  • Shoes, clothing staff.


The latent period lasts 2–5 days. Viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits proceeds lightning fast or acutely. In the first case, sudden death occurs without symptoms preceding the pathology. A rabbit breeder can see corpses or short-term agony.

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Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease

Symptoms of the manifest form are characterized by inhibition of the rabbit. Lost appetite, paroxysms occur. The animal throws its head back, makes convulsive movements with its paws, moans or squeaks. Fever develops. up to 40 ° C. The onset of death of a rabbit is preceded by nasal outflows of a yellowish color or bloody. The virus causes a bleeding disorder.

When opening the rabbits that died from hemorrhagic disease, they find blood spots on the internal organs. This fact is explained by a violation of blood coagulation, which gains the ability to seep through the walls of blood vessels. The liver is enlarged, flabby, disintegrates in the hands, brownish-yellow color. All organs are hypertrophied, catarrhal infection is observed in the intestine. Death occurs due to pulmonary edema.

Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease


Suspicion of a hemorrhagic disease of a viral nature appears in the presence of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden death without preliminary symptoms.
  • The disease spares rabbits.
  • The animals were not vaccinated against VGBK.
  • Nasal discharge of yellow or red color, most often posthumous.

Fresh corpses or the liver of the deceased 3 hours ago or earlier, the rabbit, are sent to the diagnostic laboratory. The material is placed in a hermetically sealed container, disinfected with 5% chloramine, placed in an ice container, sealed, delivered to a research organization. A cover letter informs about the epizootic state of VGBK.

Control measures

The treatment has not been developed. Rabbits with satisfactory fatness sent for slaughter. The rest are killed without spilling blood. The veterinarian carries out sampling for the diagnostic laboratory, quarantine is imposed on the rabbit farm.

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According to the rules of restrictions, in an unreliable point it is forbidden:

  • Receipt and export of rabbit meat, fur products, feed, equipment, live animals.
  • Organization of exhibition events.
  • Trade in rabbit products.
  • Feeding rabbits vegetative waste from points selling vegetables.

The following activities are carried out in the settlement:

  • Housekeeping of the rabbit population under administration control.
  • Clinical examination of animals.
  • Slaughter of patients, as well as suspected HBV, in a bloodless manner.
  • Disposal in a kiln or biothermal pit.
  • Conducting passive immunization with specific serum.
  • Vaccination of clinically healthy individuals.
  • In the absence of an immunizing drug, animals are slaughtered for meat under the supervision of a representative of the veterinary service. After boiling rabbit meat is sold on site. Offal and entrails are disinfected and disposed of in a Beccari pit. Rabbits, as well as animals that do not meet slaughter conditions, are killed without spilling blood. They are disposed of in a biothermal pit or burned.

At the rabbit breeding enterprise, manure is cleaned, the premises are mechanically cleaned, followed by disinfection. Fur products are stored in a two-layer disinfected fabric packaging, sent to enterprises engaged in processing in accordance with the requirements of the veterinary service.

Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease


The following vaccines are used to prevent HBVC:

  • Killed aluminum hydroxide formol vaccine.
  • Lyophilized tissue vaccines:
  1. Formol.
  2. Theotropin.
  3. Thermo.
  4. Complex lyophilized to prevent HBV
  5. Divalent. pasteurellosis VGBK.

The choice of vaccine is carried out according to the epizootic situation. When eliminating the disease, a monovalent drug is used. Rabbivak V vaccine is in demand. The first vaccination is given to clinically healthy rabbits, one and a half months old, with a live weight of 0.5 kg or more. If rabbits were immunized during the incubation period, death is observed 4 days after injection. After 3 months, re-vaccination is required, followed by annual vaccinations. If necessary, vaccinate all livestock, including pregnant and lactating females.

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If there is no infection on the farm, and preventive immunization is necessary, a complex vaccine is used, most often against myxomatosis and HBV. This must be done in the spring, before the summer of mosquitoes. Blood-sucking insects are the main carriers of myxomatosis. Some rabbit breeders believe that it is more reliable to use not a complex vaccine, but to immunize against each of the ailments separately. In this case, a gap between vaccinations of at least 2 weeks is necessary.

The use of the associated drug HBVpasteurellosis is indicated in areas where outbreaks of hemorrhagic septicemia of bacterial etiology are observed. In this case, myxomatosis is prevented separately. The general rules for vaccination are disinfection of the injection site and the use of individual injection needles. disposable insulin syringes or special injectors.

Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease


The technology of rabbit breeding involves the prevention of diseases, because the treatment of acute infectious ailments is ineffective. In all situations, it is useful to contact the veterinary service, to observe the recommended preventive measures regarding HBV, myxomatosis, as well as pasteurellosis. Make sure that the hygiene standards are respected and the rabbits ’diet is balanced according to their needs. This will help to avoid the losses caused by infectious diseases.

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