When rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (HBVC) appeared and began to kill animals, multiple attempts were made all over the world to find a cure. Today, from 80% to 100% of the livestock die from the HBVC virus, which undermines the determination of livestock breeders to do this business. But we tell you that there is a solution. Of course, we will not talk about the miracle, but we will teach how to avoid infection, reduce losses and restore the farm after the epidemic.
The beginning of the disaster
Hemorrhagic infection was discovered in China more than 30 years ago. in 1984. It was this state that became the epicenter of the disaster, which cannot be avoided to this day. The unreacted epidemiological commission allowed the infected rabbit meat to leave the country.
The biggest losses were suffered by Italian rabbit breeders. In that year, about 600 epicenters of the occurrence of HBV were recorded in the country, in which 80 million rabbits died. In just a few months, farmers sank into a financial hole. And the virus continued its path, capturing Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
The infection got into Russia after 2 years and scattered throughout the country. The epicenter of the spread of hemorrhagic disease was the Far East state farm, bordering the PRC. Now, our experts were not able to timely recognize the infection. After only a year, in 31 regions of the Russian Federation, rabbits died from a virus, the treatment of which remained impossible.
About the virus and its effects on animals and humans
When HBVC is found in rabbits in RNA genes, there is no sense in treating it, more precisely, scientists still do not know how to do it. A dangerous virus infects the entire animal organism in a few days. Despite the fact that in some cases you will not notice a single sign until the representative of the hare family dies.
Despite the development of medicine, virologists can not cope with this "not killed" infection. The HBVC virus can live up to 5 years, it is not affected by chlorine-containing substances, and subzero temperatures can stop its development only for a while. Not a single breed of rabbits has a natural immunity to the disease.
To freeze a hemorrhagic virus, you will need to lower the temperature to more than.50 degrees, but after defrosting it will still be a threat to rabbits. Fortunately, infection is not dangerous for a person. Transmitted by contact and by air. The danger of infection remains throughout the year.
Habitats and distribution factors
The danger of hemorrhages is that infected animals die in a few days and cannot be helped. Therefore, all the efforts of rabbit breeders should be aimed at preventing the occurrence of the disease. At times, it can be very difficult to do this, because the virus kills everyone. from newborns to rabbits to adults.
Often the sickness is transmitted not by sick animals, but by the person himself and his inattention to details. The HBVC virus is found in animal excrement, in soil, in drinking water, flooring and feed mixtures, and is also transmitted through mating. But it is precisely the staff who often brings him on dressing gowns and the sole of shoes to rabbit cages or to food.
The hemorrhagic virus persists in the skins and fur of rabbits up to 3 months even after their death. Therefore, products from such skin are as dangerous as sick animals. In addition, poor-quality feed, unsanitary conditions of detention and non-observance of personal hygiene rules of personnel form favorable conditions for the spread of VGBK.
Forms of the disease and related symptoms
HBVC in rabbits can take 2 forms: acute or chronic. The difference between them is not only in symptoms, but also in the methods of infection. So, the acute course of the disease occurs with infection from the outside, and the virus gets chronic development if the animal is stressed.
For example, a rabbit transplanting from one cage to another is accompanied by a violation of its emotional background, which becomes favorable soil for infection.
With an acute hemorrhagic infection, the following symptoms appear in rabbits:
- loss of appetite;
- damage to the respiratory tract;
- loose stools.
At the same time, the chronic course of the disease does not betray itself. But over time, conjunctivitis, rhinitis or keratoconjunctivitis is detected in rabbits. If the breeders do not recognize the root cause of the disease in a timely manner and do not administer the serum to the animals, then rabbits will begin to have problems with the intestines, purulent pneumonia will open and the animal will die, after having infected the cousins.
Areas of damage in the body and cause of death
The HBVC virus infects almost all the internal organs of rabbits. After autopsy, disorders are noticeable in the kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, heart, and gastrointestinal system. Interestingly, it is not the virus itself that causes changes in the body, but its toxins, which are the cause of point and banded hemorrhages. First of all, the infection affects the liver, where it multiplies and poisons the body.
Changes caused by toxins are not compatible with life, therefore, it is practically impossible to save rabbits that have caught the virus. The liver and heart are enlarged, their walls are stretched and become flabby. When viewed under a microscope, you will notice many small hemorrhages called granular dystrophy.
The spleen increases 1.5-3 times and changes color to cherry. The kidneys become dark brown, increasing in volume by 1.5-2 times. In the gastrointestinal tract, catarrhal inflammation begins. At the last stage of the disease, rabbits have pulmonary edema, which becomes a critical point, after which the animal dies.
Clinical picture and diagnostic measures
A comprehensive approach is needed to diagnose the disease: taking into account epizootological data, symptoms and information obtained in a laboratory study. We talked about the symptoms of the disease above. As for epizootology, the massive pest of rabbits, which were not given a vaccine against infection, testifies to the HBVC virus.
But, to make sure the assumptions, the farmer urgently should send samples of pathological material to the veterinary laboratory. Since the focus of the virus is the liver, it is recommended to send it for research. It is important that the organ is removed from the body of the deceased rabbit within 2-3 hours of death.
The samples taken or the whole carcass are placed in an airtight (as far as possible) container, then it is treated with a solution of 5% chloramine, lowered into a container, covered with ice and sent to a specialist. Data on the situation on the farm is applied to the parcel, describing in detail everything that happens with the rabbits.
The basis for the treatment of any disease is timely diagnosis. To distinguish hemorrhagic disease in rabbits, an epizootological picture must be presented. Please note that at first the animals will die at different intervals, but with the spread of the virus on the farm, an epidemic will begin.
A distinctive feature of HBV is that the first to suffer from the virus are pregnant (pregnant) rabbits. Even if you administer the vaccine in a timely manner, it is practically impossible to get offspring from infected animals — they have a miscarriage.
If the rabbit managed to give birth before the virus enters her body, then the babies will be out of danger. In newborn rabbits, there is immunity to hemorrhagic disease in the first 30-35 days of life.
For males, the infection acts a little slower, but still leads to their death. If you notice such a picture in your household, immediately contact the epidemiological commission.
A chance for a favorable outcome
In order not to give you false hopes, we recall that treatment of HBV is not possible. Experts have not yet developed a single effective medicine. Worse, the epidemic starts abruptly, and if you did not vaccinate the rabbits on time, then there is practically no chance of their rescue. But even timely vaccination does not provide 100% protection against infection.
But some rabbits manage to cope with the disease on their own, then they acquire immunity to the virus. It has already been established that survivors of the HBV epidemic are more resistant to infection. Unfortunately, immunologists have not yet been able to figure out what exactly contributes to the recovery of animals.
Do not hope that it is in your household that there will be a high percentage of survival after the HCV epidemic. It is better to keep rabbits clean, vaccinate in a timely manner and monitor staff compliance with sanitary standards. At the first sign of a virus spread, immediately start the quarantine program.
Vaccine Prevention and Treatment
With such an ailment as hemorrhagic disease, neglect of prevention can lead to the complete destruction of the economy. The main thing is that when infected, the effect of the vaccine will be only at the very beginning of infection, and it is very difficult to catch this moment. You can feed healthy rabbits in the morning and find their dead carcasses in the evening.
But, if serum is introduced in a timely manner, then the effect will manifest itself after a few hours and will last up to a month. In the case of a single infection of a rabbit, treatment with a vaccine can give a positive result, but with an epidemic it is useless. It is better to use it for prevention and to prevent the virus from spreading.
In the prevention of HBV, the vaccine is administered to all animals at a time in the warm season. For vaccination, rabbits older than 6 months are selected. In the first procedure, it is enough to inject half an ampoule. The second injection is done after 3 months, the third. after six months. For more information on the drug and its methodology, see the article “Using the Associated Vaccine for Rabbits”.
The resulting HBV fever claimed many rabbit lives. On January 14, 1998, the “Instruction for the Prevention and Elimination of Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease” was published, according to which severe restrictions were imposed on the dysfunctional farm. In fact, she was isolated.
It was forbidden to import and export animals, their meat, skin, downy waste, feed and even equipment. Exhibitions and other public events with the participation of rabbits were curtailed. A ban was imposed on the collection of grass from the site where the outbreak of VGBK was recorded. All food had to be disinfected.
I had to completely abandon contracts, restrict the movement of farm employees. A strict ban was imposed on any vaccination of rabbits, except for serum from HBV. All these requirements are relevant today, and their observance is strictly monitored.
If your rabbit farm suspects hemorrhagic disease, then do not try to solve the situation yourself. Get help from a veterinary power station to help minimize losses.
Necessary actions on an unfavorable site
If a hemorrhagic virus is detected at one of the rabbit breeding farms, then the entire area is recognized as unfavorable. After this, it is necessary to count all the animals kept in the region and conduct a full inspection of them.
All individuals recognized as infected with HBV go to slaughter. Rabbit meat is disinfected, after which the carcasses are burned in a Beccari pit.
Those animals that have been recognized as healthy are forcibly given a vaccine. If there is no serum on the farm, then all rabbits must be disposed of in order to prevent the spread of the virus. With the permission of the veterinary inspector, the carcasses can be sent for implementation after the test. The remaining parts of the body and entrails are recommended to be destroyed.
The farm itself is subject to complete cleaning and disinfection. To do this, use 2% formaldehyde or 5% chloramine. Everything is processed, starting from cells and ending with walking platforms. In addition, the district administration should conduct awareness-raising activities and inform the public about the situation. The introduction of new rabbits into the cleaned area is allowed, 2 weeks after removal of the quarantine.
Additional preventive actions
After reading the article, you should already understand how dangerous hemorrhagic disease is for rabbits, and the best way to deal with this virus is to prevent its occurrence. To do this, it is recommended that you follow some rules. For example, the farm should be surrounded by a fence, and the entrances should be equipped with disinfecting barriers.
On rabbit farms, it is recommended to use rugs with a disinfectant coating. You should not use third-party vehicles that do not know how and what is processed. Their machines must be kept clean and regularly disinfected.
Constantly monitor the condition and behavior of rabbits. Sometimes this is the only way to recognize an imminent danger. The rooms are cleaned daily using sterilization products. It is necessary to clean not only the cells, but also the inventory. Staff should always have replaceable shoes and a work suit.
Tell us in the comments if you ever had to deal with VGBK, and how you did it.
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