diseases of rabbits

6 Most Common Diseases of Rabbits, And How You Can Prevent Them.

6 Most Common Diseases of Rabbits, And How You Can Prevent Them.

Rabbits are quite easy to rear if only you will put in place stringent disease control measures. They seldom get sick.

Rabbits have very few diseases affecting them when compared to poultry, livestock, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals.

The goal of every rabbit farmer is to have clean, attractive, and healthy-looking rabbits on his farm. To achieve this as a rabbit farmer.

You need to have a basic knowledge of the most common infectious diseases of rabbits, these include.

diseases of rabbits


It is a parasitic disease caused by intestinal coccidia a single-cell parasite of the genus Eimeria. Developmental stages are transmitted by the ingestion of feces.

The critical age for infecting offspring is between 5-7 weeks. Sick offspring appear apathetic, hunched, dehydrated, with a serrated back, and grind their teeth.

When detected earlier it can be treated. Prevention consists of good nutrition and good environmental hygiene.

Mange is among the common diseases of rabbits 

It is a parasitic disease caused by rabbit mumps (Psoroptes cuniculi), which is characterized by crustitis of the ear and the external auditory canal and severe itching.

It is transmitted usually transmitted either directly or indirectly. Treat with appropriate anti-parasitic agents.


It comes with the basic symptoms which include pathological changes to the skin and high fever. The transmission is either direct or indirect.

Usually transmitted through blood-sucking insects. A few days after infection, general symptoms of the disease later occur, accompanied by the characteristic formation of myxomas in the skin of the rabbits, especially on the head.

The best means of prevention is through vaccination


This disease is caused by the microsporidian parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi most rabbits carry this disease without any pathological manifestation.

Clinical symptoms of the disease are mainly associated with stress and greater strain on the body (e.g. summer temperatures, extreme cold, exhaustion, convalescence after illness, pregnancy, and rearing of offspring, etc.).

The major clinical symptoms are tilting the head to the side resulting in irregular movement, no movement possible in the end stage, and kidney problems.


It is a parasitic disease caused by the mite Cheyletiella parasitovorax, resulting in a scaly inflammation of the skin in the back and backbone area.

It is transmitted directly and indirectly. The disease is typically more likely to be found in older rabbits. The treatment is similar to that of ear mites.

Rabbit rhinitis

This is a bacterial disease that usually comes with respiratory problems it usually lasts for various periods.

Other symptoms may include the formation of abscesses in the skin or internal organs.

The disease is usually transmitted either directly or indirectly. Treatment exists but is complicated.

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Disease diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis and treatment of sick rabbits is the sole responsibility of a veterinarian.

Prevention is always better than cure, rabbits are very simple animals, easy to maintain and care for as long as good hygiene is maintained in and around their environment.

Adequate ventilation, free movement of air, and a conducive temperature for breeding and production are available. The issue of mortalities will be greatly reduced in rabbit production.

rabbits disease (rabbits in their hutch)

How do I keep my rabbits safe from common diseases of rabbits?

The basics are to ensure that your rabbits have a good conducive environment for production. The hutches should be clean enough space provided for the rabbits.

The wire mesh used for the construction of their hutch should be soft on their foot. To prevent pain, suffering, and injury that may lead to other diseases and infections.

Most of the diseases that affect rabbits are often fatal and there are no effective treatments. Fortunately, there are vaccines available that are essential to protecting your rabbits against these diseases!

You need to speak to your vet. They can talk you through the best options for your rabbits. There are a few different options available:

Your rabbits can have two separate injections. One covers myxomatosis and RHD and can be given from five weeks old. The second protects against RHD2 and can be given from 10 weeks old.

Your rabbits can be administered one combined vaccination which protects them against myxomatosis, RHD and RHD2.

This vaccination can be given from five weeks old. However, this vaccine may not be suitable if your rabbits have previously been vaccinated against myxomatosis but not RHD2.

This is why it’s so important to talk to your vet, to make sure your rabbits get the right protection. They can also advise you on the best ages for your rabbits to be vaccinated.

After these initial vaccinations, your rabbits will then need booster vaccinations at least annually which your vet will also be able to advise you on.

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A Healthy rabbits

Best practices for disease control and prevention in rabbits.

  • Timely and regular vaccination is the only way to guarantee your rabbits are protected from these diseases.
  • The major means of transmission of myxomatosis, RHD, and RHD2 are insects, it’s a good idea to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay.
  • Try to make sure that your home and all pets (even cats and dogs) are treated for fleas as advised by your vet, as fleas from cats and dogs can also infect rabbits.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect your rabbits’ enclosure and any areas that your rabbits access, using a rabbit-safe disinfectant.
  • Regularly change your rabbits’ bedding and litter. Never use housing or bedding from any rabbits who could have had these infections.
  • Avoid contact with affected domestic rabbits and all wild rabbits. As well as, preventing your rabbits from going into any areas where affected rabbits have been
  • Before you allow any rabbits to mate with your rabbits examine them first for any prevalent disease allow for some time for the disease to manifest if any. Find out more about rabbit health first.
  • Make personal research on myxomatosis, RHD, and RHD2 as well as rabbit vaccinations.

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