According to scientists, the GBK virus is of Chinese origin. Together with rabbit meat exported from the northern regions of the country, the disease penetrated into Europe. Infection of rabbits of the Far Eastern farms occurred through customs control points on the Amur.
The first data on the mass mortality of rabbits caused by HBV appeared in the 80s of the last century. Very quickly, the virus spread to Europe and came to Russian farms. A huge role in the spread of the disease was played by the lack of data on its highest ability to transmit.
A distinctive feature of rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease is the almost complete immunity to the baby virus. The disease affects only young animals over two months of age and adults.
The first stage of the disease proceeds in a latent form. the incubation period lasts up to five days, but more often takes two days. At this time, the defeat of all internal organs begins. The liver and lungs are most affected.
The disease can occur over-construction, the owner does not have time to notice the symptoms and take measures: apparently healthy animals die by making several convulsive movements with their paws.
The acute course of the disease is characterized by a decrease in animal activity and loss of appetite. During the day, sometimes two, the symptoms intensify:
- the temperature rises
- cramps occur
- the animal throws back its head
- nasal discharge appears
- bleeding from the mouth and anus begins
- the pain intensifies, the rabbit can moan.
The complexity of the diagnosis lies in the rapid course of the disease: most individuals die before all symptoms appear. Mortality of rabbits from hemorrhagic disease is 90-100%.
The final diagnosis is usually made after opening a dead rabbit: numerous hemorrhagic rashes are found on the internal organs, the lungs are swollen and filled with blood, the heart is enlarged, the digestive tract is inflamed, the spleen is filled with red-black blood. In this case, the change in organs is a consequence of the primary liver damage. The death of animals occurs as a result of suffocation, which is provoked by pulmonary edema.
The disease is not amenable to drug treatment. There is evidence of serum tested at one of the Russian farms, but it is not on sale, and other cases of use are not known.
Only timely vaccination can help keep animals healthy. The vaccine used today is about 97% effective. The first vaccine should be given in one and a half months, the second. in three months.
When vaccinating pregnant females, the offspring does not suffer, and rabbits born from a vaccinated mother have stable immunity. Immunity to the disease is transmitted to rabbits through the mother’s milk and, after being separated from it, remains for a month. An additional means of preventing the disease of young animals can be the offspring with rabbits up to three months.
Domestic vaccines can be divided into monovalent, which form an immunity to one disease, and bivalent, which protect against two ailments. In the case of a planned vaccination, it is better to choose bivalent vaccines. If vaccination is urgent, the vaccine must be monovalent.
Some veterinarians believe that rabbits should be vaccinated subcutaneously or in the ear area. In this case, the drug is delayed in the body for 5-6 days and quality protection has time to form.
For reliable protection of rabbits, vaccination should be carried out every six months. The formation of high-quality immunity depends on many factors: the quality and storage conditions of the vaccine, preliminary deworming, animal weight, feed quality, health status of the rabbit, and conditions of its maintenance.
Safe movement of animals between farms is possible 21 days after vaccination.
Rabbit in a cage
GBK virus is very contagious. The disease spreads by respiratory (from one individual to another) and alimentary (through water, food, litter, cell) methods. The time of year and weather conditions are not crucial for the spread of VGBK.
For a person, the disease is not dangerous, but the virus can persist on the body, clothing and shoes. Within three months, the virus is detected in the skins of dead animals. According to some reports, the disease can persist for up to 50 years in the cell walls.
Potentially hazardous activities:
- transportation of rabbits in cages and machines that have not been disinfected,
- participation in exhibitions,
- temporary transfer of rabbits to other farms (for mating, for example),
- storage of skins of animals dead from disease, their transportation and exchange,
- the use of dead from rabbit disease as food for dogs or other animals,
- storage of feed near equipment for processing cells.
When revealing hemorrhagic disease, an emergency separation of rabbits into sick and apparently healthy is necessary. Sick animals are killed in a bloodless manner and disposed of. The remaining rabbits are vaccinated and transferred to the treated premises. The vaccine cannot cure an infected animal, so after the vaccination a short-term death is possible.
Cell disinfection can be carried out by roasting. Litter, manure, feed must be burned. Inventory, clothing and shoes of a person in contact with animals, vehicles for their transportation are disinfected with a solution of formaldehyde 2%, a solution of chloramine 5%, glutaraldehyde 1% and a solution of bleach.
Two weeks after the detection of the last case of the disease, rabbits can be brought into the farm.
You can reduce the risk of spread of HBVC:
- buy new individuals and feed only in proven places and always with documents,
- quarantine new rabbits for at least two weeks,
- if a disease occurs, notify the veterinary service and neighboring breeders,
- sick rabbits need to be killed and burned, along with skins,
- disinfect equipment, clothing, shoes, cages with special equipment or fire.