Those of you who are on Facebook may be interested in a newly formed group, Rabbit Breeders Alert Network (R-BAN).
The group was formed this past week with a goal of helping fellow rabbit breeders be aware of potential disease risks in an area for protecting their rabbits as well as legislative action alerts pertaining to our hobby and right to raise rabbits.
Some examples of posts are the following:
Myxamatosis epidemic spreading in California. Coastal regions reported from Monterey to Sonoma Counties. Latest reports are inland to Fresno area. Myxamatosis is spread by insects such as mosquitoes and fleas, and is hosted in wild cottontail populations in CA and OR. Prevention is the best remedy: keep your rabbitry free of mosquitoes, fleas, any biting insects. Note that once infected rabbits are present the disease is also transmitted by hands and clothing. Symptoms for the disease range from sudden death within 2 days, to 12 days of virus incubation then rabbits eyes swell up and rabbit becomes lethargic, sometimes suffocating from secondary pneumonia. Cases in other countries reported to have some survival rate, the CA strain of virus does not have any reports of survival rate. Vaccine available in the UK but for some reason not here?? If purchasing rabbits from CA and OR it is recommended you quarantine them in a bug-free zone for two weeks.
This is a message from BOB GLASS!!! from RABBIT PASTEURELLA VACCINE FORUM
Pan American Vet Labs is undertaking a research project on Enzootic Rabbit Enteritis (ERE). This disease, which causes bloating, diarrhea and death, has been ravaging rabbit herds worldwide for several years and has been proven to be an easily transmitted infectious disease but the causative agent has not been identified. ERE impacts weanling rabbits most severely, killing 50-75% of those that develop symptoms. The course of the disease typically follow these general steps…:
1) 7-14 after weaning the infected rabbit shows a (usually) single large fecal discharge that is almost entirely jelly like pale yellow to brown mucous
2) the patient stops eating and drinking
At +/- 24-48 hours
3) the abdomen swells as the intestinal tract becomes “paralyzed” and large amounts of gas develop
4) the patient becomes weak and refuses to move
5) liquid green diarrhea of varying amount
6) the lips and tongue develop a blueish color
7) the patient dies
We are working on a new approach to isolate the causative agent and need some help. Our goal is to identify the agent, develop a diagnostic test to confirm disease and eventually a vaccine to prevent infection.
We need samples of the mucous material that is the first sign of infection and we need it as soon as possible to do preliminary studies to validate our study hypothesis. We need samples from several herds in order to prove that this is the same organism in each outbreak. Time is critical, we are applying for a grant to fund a portion of this study and the deadline is only a few weeks away. It is very difficult to obtain funding for “rabbit health” issues. We need data from these samples to add validity to our proposal. We will not reveal the source of the samples to anyone and we will share anything we learn about this disease.
Over the last 18 months I have spoken with dozens of rabbit breeders who are dealing with this infection in their herds and I am asking that anyone who currently has this disease please contact me as soon as possible if you are willing to send samples.
Get info on how to send samples here: WWW.PAVLAB.COM
Many times breeders aren’t aware that others are facing health issues in their rabbitries or what treatments have been successful or unsuccessful in combatting the issues. This forum is designed as a way to alert others about what may be spreading across various areas of the country and how to manage the issue.
We’re in favor of anything that helps these animals stay healthy and productive! If you’re interested, head over to Facebook and join the Rabbit Breeders Alert Network (R-BAN).