What is myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a viral disease of rabbits that was originally from South America. It was introduced to Australia, and later Europe, to control the population of wild rabbits, which were seen as a pest. Many millions of rabbits died, including 95% of Britain’s rabbits. The virus now appears slightly less virulent and the wild rabbit population has recovered. However, the disease is still fatal in most cases to both wild rabbits and pets.

How do rabbits catch myxomatosis?
Myxomatosis is spread by direct contact with an affected animal or by being bitten by fleas or mosquitoes that have fed on an infected rabbit.

What signs to look out for

  • Inappetance, depression and fever
  • Lumps on head and genitals
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Death

How do we treat myxomatosis?
There is no single treatment for myxomatosis. We recommend supportive care, and antibiosis for secondary infection. Unfortunately, even with the best care, the prognosis is very poor. Therefore, we recommend all rabbits are vaccinated.