Rabbit health

Myxomatosis in rabbits how to treat whether it is possible to eat meat

August 3, 2019

Like all pets, rabbits can also be affected by a specific virus, resulting in a disease. For each ailment, there are symptoms and causes of education, as well as methods of therapy. It seems to many that the rabbit has little chance of getting infected, but he can get the virus of such a common disease as myxomatosis through plants, animals, insects. Sometimes the cause of the disease can be a regular draft.

What is myxomatosis in rabbits, symptoms and how does it manifest

As already noted above, myxomatosis is the most dangerous disease in rabbits. It is viral in nature. The transmission is carried out by contact with an infected animal, through mosquitoes, fleas and grass. An ailment proceeds in an acute form and is very fleeting. As a result of this, the rabbit eats poorly, he develops swelling, blisters on his head. The animal is inactive, lethargic.

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The incubation period is 5-14 days. It all depends on the strain. There are two forms of myxomatosis: nodular and edematous. Each of them has its own characteristics. But there are a number of common symptoms that every owner must know. These include:

  • conjunctivitis, discharge of purulent contents from the eyes, then edema and the inflammatory process of the eye are formed;
  • the animal begins to move a little, becomes inhibited;
  • rise in temperature indicators above 42 degrees;
  • wool falls out, eyelids and lips swell;
  • lowering of the ears, the formation of fibrous nodes in the ears, nose, paws;
  • the rabbit is breathing heavily, shortness of breath and wheezing occurs.

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Edematous form

This form of the disease refers to the fastest and most severe. It is already impossible to cure her. When cones arise on the body of the animal, inside of which there is fluid, it snores, oozes pus from its nose, this all indicates the formation of an edematous form. Rabbits do not eat, they die in 10 days. Animals that have died must be burned, but in no case eat their meat. Healthy rabbits must be quarantined and vaccinated with an associated vaccine.

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Nodular shape

This form is characterized by a milder course. It can be cured and approximately ½ of the affected pets survive.

The recovered rabbit meat can be consumed in your diet. The main sign of the nodular form of myxomatosis is the formation of small nodules on the body of rabbits. They are very pronounced in the region of the auricles and around the eyes. Then conjunctivitis begins to form with the release of purulent contents.

For the nodular form of the disease, wheezing, runny nose, poor appetite are characteristic. The duration of the disease is 1.5 months. If the animal is treated on time, but there is a good chance that he will recover and survive. After injections, there are no traces on the rabbit’s body, but small scars may remain.

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As a rule, the duration of all symptoms can reach a maximum of 11 days. After that, the rabbit does not perceive food, water, does not respond to noise, touch. If the animal has high protective functions of the body, then with proper therapy, it can survive. After the final recovery, he does not have any symptoms of this serious illness.


This question is very relevant today, so people sometimes do not understand what to do in this situation. But getting a definite answer does not work. The reason is that myxomatosis is not considered a dangerous disease for the human body. This disease only defeats rabbits. For this reason, it is allowed to eat the meat of a still living rabbit; it is only recommended to thoroughly wash it when cooking it.

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But there is also the opposite side of the coin. There is an opinion that such meat should never be eaten by a person. And theoretically, this can be done, but from a practical point of view it does not look aesthetically pleasing and not hygienic. The reason is that certain animals that have suffered an ailment look completely unattractive.

In any case, there is a third opinion according to which it is not recommended to eat meat from affected rabbits. over, it does not matter what disease struck the animal. In addition, some people generally burn dead rabbits and perform complete rabbit disinfection.

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Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the meat of a patient with rabbit myxomatosis can be eaten, since it does not pose a risk to human health. The only restriction that may arise in your way is disgust.

Disease vaccine. instruction

The question regarding vaccination of rabbits remains clear forever. Here, each owner decides for himself the need for these events. In many respects, the need for vaccination is determined taking into account the physiological structure of the animal organism, low immunity. Only an experienced rabbit breeder will be able to independently determine the need for vaccination.

The reason is that even a vaccine does not give a 100% guarantee that myxomatosis will not affect the animal. In addition, it is possible to determine the presence of pathology only after the incubation period ends. On average, it lasts 3-20 days. Therapy is not performed. Therefore, the only right solution in this case is the prevention of the disease with the help of timely vaccination.

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Small individuals can be vaccinated as soon as they reach 40 days and weighing 500 g. The field of implementation of one vaccination, repeated after 2-3 months, and then regularly every 6-8 months throughout life.

Treatment at home for sick animals

If the suffering animal is not provided with medical treatment on time, then this will lead to death. In addition, when the therapy was performed on time, but not in sufficient volume, there is a great danger that the ailment will return again. Pathology comes into the active phase in a short time, sometimes rabbits die within 2-3 days. Sometimes even experienced veterinarians refuse to carry out treatment, knowing that there is nothing to help the sick animal. Therefore, treatment at home is almost impossible.

If, after the examination, the doctor decides on a possible treatment, then it is necessary to adhere to a clear plan of action. The rabbit should live in comfortable warm conditions. Then the progression of the disease can be slowed down.

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Myxomatosis in rabbits how to treat whether it is possible to eat meat

The maximum effect of the therapy should be expected, provided that it was started in the early stages of development. Then the rabbit can be saved by strong antibacterial drugs, immunomodulators, the wounds present on the skin integument are treated with iodine in alcohol. After the disease was completely defeated, the rabbit should be in quarantine for 3 months. Thanks to this, it can be protected from the resumption of the pathological process, and the animal’s body will fully strengthen.

Very often, when treating an animal, an experienced veterinarian injects under the skin. As a rule, use the drug Gamavit. When a pet is dehydrated, it is administered in combination with Ringer. Such treatment is carried out until the animal is fully upright.

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Another victim is prescribed the drug Fosprenil. It is also administered as an injection. The following drugs are considered equally effective for myxomatosis:

  1. Baytril. It is used as a drink. The instructions indicate that the required dose is 1 ml per 10 kg of weight. Give several times a day, the duration of admission is 14 days.
  2. Nasal drops. Thanks to them, it is possible to improve breathing, reduce hoarseness.

It does not matter if the host understands the signs of detection of myxomatosis in rabbits or not, you should immediately seek help from a veterinarian if uncharacteristic symptoms have been noted.


This video will talk about how to treat myxomatosis in rabbits.

Rabbits, like all animals, can also be affected by a specific ailment. With the defeat of his body with myxomatosis, it is very important to immediately begin therapy. If you start this process, then everything will end sadly. If the disease has not yet passed into an edematous form, and the doctor refuses to carry out treatment, then you should not wait for the death of the animal, but it is better to use it for meat. Read about the gray giant breed at the link provided.

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