Home' The Great Southern Star : November 22nd 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - PAGE 27
By Anna Brayley
AFTER a very wet spring, it has been
well-reported we will be having mos-
quitoes in plague proportions this sum-
mer, and while this will mean more an-
noying bites on the backs of our legs, it
can mean a death sentence for many pet
Mosquitoes are one of the main carriers
of two very deadly viruses, Myxomatosis and
Calicivirus. These viruses were released by the
Federal Government to control the wild rabbit
population, but are having a devastating effect on
Carried by mosquitoes and fleas, Myxomatosis
presents itself with painful symptoms including
swollen eyelids, ears and genitals, followed
by fever and blindness, and it is estimated 99.7
percent of infected pet rabbits will die.
There is currently no vaccination in Australia
for Myxomatosis, and many petitions have been
formed to try and have the vaccination allowed
in our country.
Calicivirus is carried by mosquitoes, flies,
fleas, on food (hay, vegetables, and anything else
that has come in contact with infected rabbits)
and can also be airborne.
Some cases of Calicivirus may result in
reduced appetite or a spot of blood around the
nostrils or bottom at first, but the disease generally
leads to a painful sudden death due to internal
With 98 percent of infected rabbits succumbing
to the disease, the odds are against them. There
are currently two strains of Calicivirus, and a
third is set for release in 2017.
There is only one vaccination available in
Australia (Cylap) which has been registered and
tested against the initial strain of Calicivirus,
and although there is some cross-protection
against the second strain, it is not registered
against this and is not giving protection for as
Specialist rabbit vets are recommending twice
yearly vaccinations, although this still is proving
to be ineffective with many rabbits dying, despite
the extra protection.
It is hoped the original vaccine will protect
rabbits against the third strain which is yet to be
released, but this is still unconfirmed.
Concerned rabbit owners around Australia are
petitioning for a second vaccination to be made
available for the second strain, and more testing
to be carried out.
Both of these viruses are very contagious, and
rabbits owners and breeders are finding that once
one rabbit has passed away, there are generally
more to follow.
There are no ways you can completely protect
your rabbit, but there are many ways to highly
reduce the risks:
• rabbits should be vaccinated for the first
strain of Calicivirus. Although there are currently
no vaccinations for the second strain, or the third
strain which hasn’t been released yet, it is highly
recommended owners vaccinate against the first
HAIG’S K9 Cuts is now at a new loca-
tion at 66-68 Bair Street, Leongatha.
Owner Nicole Haig is so pleased with the new
space that allows plenty of room for a great range
of products and now even has the space for indoor
puppy classes to take place. Nicole will soon be
offering doggy day care and socialisation classes
In addition to moving location, Nicole is cur-
rently studying to complete her certificates in
Naturopathy and Homeopathy, and is pleased she
will soon be able to offer advice on a wide range
of solutions to common problems such as ear in-
fections, skin allergies and even weight loss for
Nicole and her team can offer you a wide range
of services from grooming to training for puppies
or even management advice for adult animals.
Booking in advance is recommended for groom-
ing due to demand.
Puppy classes started on Monday, November
21 and run until December 12, but you can still
book a space and join in the fun.
A new range of Wellbeing Essentials are in
stock, a supplement line that you can tailor to your
pet’s dietary requirements or pick up some preser-
vative free chews for your dog.
With a great range of gifts for your pet and the
Treat your K9 this Christmas
very best in nutrition options available, make sure
you get the best for your pet this Christmas.
Rabbit owners warned of virus dangers
Sad time: a pet-owner comforts her sick
rabbit before he is put to sleep after being
infected with a virus.
• if possible, rabbits should be brought inside
and protected from insects. This can be a very
easy thing to do, as rabbits make fantastic indoor
pets. There is a lot of information on the internet
about how to set up a nice indoor rabbit enclosure,
and rabbits are easily toilet trained and enjoy be-
ing a part of the family;
• if it is not possible to bring your rabbits in-
side, owners should take the time to mosquito-
proof their hutches. Fly mesh from local hardware
stores is inexpensive, and can easily be stapled or
nailed to the outside of the hutch;
• reduce the amount of standing water in the
yard. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes,
so emptying bird baths and fixing broken drainage
can help keep down the mosquito population;
• use bug zappers, pet safe fly repellents and
citronella candles to repel insects; and
• treat rabbits with Revolution or Advantage
(never use Frontline) to protect from fleas and
If you would like more information on the
above diseases, there is a lot more detailed
information online, or ideally, speak to your vet.
If you suspect your rabbit may already be sick,
you must remove them from other rabbits and
take them to a vet as soon as possible.
Links Archive November 15th 2016 November 29th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page