Breeding rabbits in order to obtain meat and skins is a fairly profitable occupation for both the farmer and the owner of a small farm. Recently, these animals are often turned on and with a decorative purpose. Rabbits are quite unpretentious to the conditions of maintenance and feeding, willingly breed and grow rapidly. But rabbit breeding has its pitfalls. One of them is infectious diseases that rabbits carry extremely hard. The mass death of rabbits is, alas, a frequent occurrence that discourages novice farmers and breeders.
To avoid such a sad fate, it is necessary to carry out activities aimed at preventing infections. In addition to observing general veterinary and sanitary measures, in livestock farms it is imperative to resort to vaccination. Let’s find out what vaccinations rabbits get and at what age. How to prepare pets for the event and is it possible to vaccinate rabbits on their own.
What infections do rabbits get vaccinated against?
In rabbit farming, there are two viral diseases that are a real disaster for farmers. This is a viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits (HBV) and myxomatosis. Both infections are dangerous only for rabbits, spread rapidly in the herd, affect all age groups and have a mortality rate of 70 to 100%. Therefore, vaccination of rabbits against HBV and myxomatosis is an indispensable condition for the successful cultivation of these animals. True, some experienced breeders advise against vaccination against myxomatosis in regions where the disease is not common.
You can find out what rabbit diseases are registered in your area at your local veterinary station.
Rabies vaccination will be required for decorative rabbits, which are kept as pets. Although the chances of contracting this disease for all animals from cute rabbits are extremely small, you will need a vaccination mark when crossing the border to participate in exhibitions and other official events.
In disadvantaged areas, rabbits need to be vaccinated against listeriosis. If the economy has problems with some other diseases. pasteurellosis, salmonellosis. then they are also vaccinated. This approach is typical for large herds, where pathogens feel at ease and difficult to eradicate using veterinary and sanitary measures.
At what age should rabbits be vaccinated?
Vaccinations for small rabbits are given after weaning from the mother. It should be borne in mind that the maternal immunity that the cubs receive from the rabbit with milk remains for a month after weaning. During this time, the baby needs to have time to develop their own antibodies.
Late weaning contributes to a good development of immunity, therefore it is recommended to take away rabbits at 3 months. But usually the cubs are taken away from the mother when they reach one month. With this type of cultivation, the first vaccine is given at the age of 1.5–2 months. You also need to pay attention to what set of live weight in young animals. it is better to be vaccinated at an age when rabbits have reached a live weight of 500 grams.
Inoculation of rabbits from HBVC during the period of the epidemic can be carried out earlier. at the age of 30 days. Re-vaccinated rabbits must be done after three months.
How often vaccinations are given to adult animals
When to vaccinate adult rabbits depends on several factors. The standard term for revaccination in rabbits is 6 months, that is, vaccinations must be done twice a year. But there may be variations. Most HBV vaccines are recommended to be repeated after 9 months.
It is advisable to vaccinate rabbits from myxomatosis shortly before the start of summer and the appearance of blood-sucking insects (March, April), as mosquitoes spread the infection. There is no point in revaccinating in winter, unless there are bloodsuckers in the premises.
Each rabbit farm has its own vaccination schedule for rabbits. It takes into account the technological cycle (weaning of rabbits from the mother, term of rearing, age of slaughter or sale outside the farm) and the situation with contagious animal diseases in the area. Novice farmers may be recommended a vaccination schedule based on the use of a divalent vaccine.
A comprehensive vaccination for rabbits from myxomatosis and HBV is done in early spring. Six months later, they revaccinate with a monovaccine from HBVC. You can also apply separately vaccines against each disease. This approach is sometimes used for newly arrived animals or pregnant rabbits.
It should be borne in mind that after the introduction of the vaccine, immunity is developed after 10-14 days. Therefore, it is advisable to observe quarantine for a period of 2 weeks.
Vaccines are live and inactivated (killed). They are also divided into monovaccines. from one disease, and into complex ones. Live vaccines are less tolerated by animals, but give a faster and stronger immune response. Inactivated vaccines cause a longer immunity.
Complex vaccines for rabbits (divalent, trivalent) allow vaccination of animals against two or three diseases at once. Immunity in this case is produced in the same way as from a monovaccine. They are well tolerated by animals and can reduce the cost of drugs.
If for some reason it was decided to vaccinate two diseases with monovaccines, then the interval between injections should be at least 14 days, otherwise there may be complications from drug incompatibility. And even more so, you can not mix different vaccines in the same syringe.
Let us consider in more detail what preparations the pharmaceutical industry offers rabbit breeders.
For the prevention of myxomatosis in rabbits, vaccines are produced:
- “Rabbivak-B” (LLC Trading House “BiAgro”, Russia);
- Dry vaccine against rabbit myxomatosis from strain "B-82" (Pokrovsky plant of biological preparations OJSC, Russia);
- Lapimun Mix (BTL, Ukraine);
- Myxoren (Bioveta, Czech Republic).
Vaccines against rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease:
- “Rabbivak-V” (LLC Trading House “BiAgro”, Russia);
- Liquid inactivated vaccine against rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (OJSC Pokrovsky Biological Product Plant, Russia);
- Pestorin (Bioveta, Czech Republic);
- Lapimun Gem (BTL, Ukraine).
There are two vaccines against pasteurellosis:
- “Rabbivak-P” (LLC Trading House “BiAgro”, Russia);
- Pasorin-OL (Bioveta, Czech Republic).
Diseases such as rabies and listeriosis are vaccinated with vaccines common to all animals.
The most common complex vaccines in the combination of HBV and myxomatosis. They are associated vaccines for rabbits, that is, in a package there are two bottles, the contents of which must be mixed before use.
Here is a list of popular drugs:
- Nobivak Myxo-RHD (Intervet LLC. Russian division of the Dutch company MSD Animal Health);
- “Rabbivak VB” (LLC Trading House “BiAgro”, Russia);
- Lapimun Gemiks (BTL Ukraine);
- Pestorin Mormyx (Bioveta, Czech Republic).
For the comprehensive prevention of bacterial infections in rabbits, there is the OKZ Vaccine preparation against salmonellosis, colibacteriosis, protea, agricultural klebsiellosis and fur-bearing animals produced by Agrovetservice, Ukraine.
Before vaccination, some measures must be taken to prepare rabbits for vaccine administration.
- Deworming. One to two weeks before vaccination, rabbits are given anthelmintic drugs. If previously planned deworming was carried out, then within three months after it can be vaccinated without additional giving anthelmintic drugs.
- The body temperature of the rabbit (in the rectum) should be in the range from 38.5 to 39.5 ° C. Measure it the day before vaccination or immediately before the introduction of the vaccine. In large farms, temperature measurement is usually not carried out, limited to a cursory inspection of the animal.
- Carefully observe the rabbits, paying attention to the nature of the stool, color and amount of urine, general condition, coat, discharge from the eyes and nose.
The basic rule is that the vaccine should only be administered to healthy animals. It is unacceptable to vaccinate rabbits that are weakened by disease, transportation, or poorly gaining live weight (depleted).
If vaccination is planned on its own, then you need to stock up on medicines in case of allergic reactions.
How to vaccinate rabbits yourself
It is better if vaccinations are made by a specially trained person. a veterinarian or technician. But sometimes the services of a specialist are too expensive or simply unavailable due to the remoteness of the farm from the power plant. In these cases, you can vaccinate yourself. When starting vaccination, be guided by the following rules.
- Carefully read the instructions for the vaccine. All manufacturers describe in detail the timing of administration, how to inject, doses, the need for booster vaccines and other necessary information.
- Correctly administer the vaccine. according to the instructions intramuscularly, intradermally or subcutaneously. The place of vaccination is the thigh, withers or auricle. Use disposable syringes, syringes, or special injectors (for insertion into the auricle or needle-free method).
- It is undesirable to vaccinate in extreme heat. at an ambient temperature of 28 ° C, rabbits move away from injections longer.
- Buy vaccines from a trusted supplier, check the expiration date, the name of the drug, ask for quality certificates.
- Observe the cold chain regime. vaccines should be stored and transported at temperatures between 2 and 8 ° C. Do not allow the drug to freeze.
- Dry vaccines are diluted with sterile distilled water (water for injection) or with a special diluent for the vaccine.
- After opening the bottle or diluting the powder, the drug is valid for three hours.
At first, you will need an assistant to fix the rabbit.
Vaccination of breeding rabbits
According to the instructions for vaccines, pregnant and lactating rabbits can be vaccinated without restrictions. But it is better to postpone the vaccination period for rabbits to another time, so as not to cause them stress. It is advisable to vaccinate breeding rabbits two weeks before mating so that the immunity protects the offspring. Also, without vaccination, the mother can get sick before immunity is developed and in this case she will not be able to tolerate and give birth to healthy rabbits normally.
Complications after vaccination
Healthy rabbits usually tolerate vaccinations well. It takes them several hours to adapt to stress. In some cases, allergic reactions to the vaccine are possible, which develop within 15 minutes after the injection and manifest such symptoms:
- redness of the mucous membranes;
- skin rash;
- lethargy and loss of consciousness.
To stop the allergic reaction, the rabbit is injected intramuscularly with antihistamines. Diphenhydramine or Suprastin in a dose of 0.2-0.3 ml. To maintain cardiac activity, 0.2–0.3 ml of “Caffeine-sodium benzoate” or “Sulfocamphocaine” and 10–20 ml of saline are injected subcutaneously.
So, we repeat what vaccinations rabbits need to do to protect pets from infectious diseases. This is primarily myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease. They are prevented by the introduction of a complex vaccine in early spring. Six months later, in the fall, on the basis of indications, a vaccine against HBVV can be administered with a monovirus. Infections common in your area, from which you need to vaccinate rabbits additionally, you need to find out the local district veterinary station.