Let's Save Rabbits From Myxomatosis, (Mixo)

Help stamp out this cruel affliction

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Easy to care for easy to love.  Child with her pet rabbit.      sawy-cafe.com photo creditNot so lucky.  baby bunny with a death sentence.      photo english-nature.org.ukAnother heart-rending story.  Snowy died from this swinish plague, yet Australia will not permit vaccine, damn them!!!      iinet.net.auThe rabbits are in rabbit heaven and not in pain: the hunters have food for the pot.  A much less cruel way to safeguard our crops.    pho by countrysports.co.ukOld style butchers.  Shows rabbit and other game hanging for sale.  No 'elf 'n' safety back then, and we were better for it.    photo from allposters.com
Easy to care for easy to love.  Child with her pet rabbit.      sawy-cafe.com photo credit
Easy to care for easy to love. Child with her pet rabbit. sawy-cafe.com photo credit
Not so lucky.  baby bunny with a death sentence.      photo english-nature.org.uk
Not so lucky. baby bunny with a death sentence. photo english-nature.org.uk
Another heart-rending story.  Snowy died from this swinish plague, yet Australia will not permit vaccine, damn them!!!      iinet.net.au
Another heart-rending story. Snowy died from this swinish plague, yet Australia will not permit vaccine, damn them!!! iinet.net.au
The rabbits are in rabbit heaven and not in pain: the hunters have food for the pot.  A much less cruel way to safeguard our crops.    pho by countrysports.co.uk
The rabbits are in rabbit heaven and not in pain: the hunters have food for the pot. A much less cruel way to safeguard our crops. pho by countrysports.co.uk
Old style butchers.  Shows rabbit and other game hanging for sale.  No 'elf 'n' safety back then, and we were better for it.    photo from allposters.com
Old style butchers. Shows rabbit and other game hanging for sale. No 'elf 'n' safety back then, and we were better for it. photo from allposters.com

Your pet rabbit is at risk, too!

Let’s All Beat Myxomatosis

We are all familiar with the rabbit scourge know as Myxomatosis, “Myxi,” or “Mxyo.” First discovered in far-off Uruguay in 1890, it was introduced to Australia legally in 1950 where is quickly spread and practically wiped out rabbits, although they have since become immune to an extent and the populations are now on the increase again.

Myxomatosis was never introduced legally anywhere in Europe, It was introduced illegally and clandestinely in France by an estate owner, a mindless beneficiary of privilege, who wanted to rid his property of bunnies, and it quickly spread throughout France and to the rest of Europe, with the hideous results to rabbits in the UK we have all witnessed. I am not religious, but if I am wrong and there is a judgment day, the maniacs who knowingly spread this cruel affliction throughout the world can expect an eternal fate they had better not contemplate here on Earth.

Your pet bunny is at severe risk of catching Myxomatosis, and I hope owners are aware of this. They don’t have to have contact with a diseased rabbit, they can acquire the disease from the bite of a mosquito or flea. Many pets do, in fact, when a simple vaccination costing about £12 would have saved them and the heartache of their owners. Rabbits can provide 15 years or so of pleasure to children and the whole family. They are easy to keep, if a bit messy; most are timid and affectionate and if anything is more cuddly than a large, soft and warm bunny on a winter’s morning, I don’t know what it is: one thing does come to mind, but this is a family hub.

And there is a huge secondary reason for taking bunny to the vet for his vaccination of live Shope Fibroma Virus. This is illegal in Australia for the simple reason the authorities are terrified it, too, will spread throughout rabbit land and immunize the whole population against myxomatosis!! This may be happening as you read in Britain and we might save our rabbits from this awful fate.

I am really not interested in the opposing point of view that rabbits eat crops, yadder, yadder, yadder. Then cull them in a more humane manner by shooting them, where they die immediately, if you must, not in agony over up to 2 weeks, confused and semi-paralyzed. This horrible affliction is why no one wants to eat rabbit any more in the UK, a tasty and nutritious meat. We used to see rabbit hung up in butcher’s windows in my youth; I have eaten it many times over recent years in Mexico and love the dish.

Once your pet gets the disease, they rarely recover and there is no medication available, so a vaccine is almost mandatory. Myxomatosis can also be confused with Pasteuercitosis, caused by a bacteria, also with a poor prognosis. In the case of myxo, long period of palliative care may pull your pet through, but it can be expensive, and the odds are extremely poor, and most vets advise euthanasia.

Strangely, the US Cottontail rabbits don’t get all the horrors from the disease European rabbits do, but it can cause potentially fatal skin tumours. Here in Britain, we first see the tell-tale lumpiness and puffiness around the heads and genitals of the rabbit, followed (or preceded by) conjunctivitis. The rabbit becomes listless, refuses to eat and develops a fever. They are generally put down at this stage as it is too late for a vaccine.

I did this small hub because a friend's pet rabbit caught the disease this week and had to be put to sleep. They had had it for 7 years and it was much loved, despite the fact it liked to have the odd nip at just about everyone. There are several groups actively protesting Mixo and promoting the vaccine: they are all on google and Wikipedia has more in-depth info on the disease..

 

Note:  Please read hubber, Mistyhorizon's comment which follows this hub as she has added some useful and erudite remarks.

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Comments 18 comments

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Good advice here, and something for rabbit owners to look out for. As children we were often given rabbit casserole, and a local farm offered rabbits for sale 'pet or pot' which always made us smile whenever we passed.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Amanda, I remember rabbit pie, too, as a child. In Mexico, it is commonly eaten as "Conejo con salsa verde," Rabbit in green chile sauce. Yummy. I don't object to humane rabbit control, we have to be sensible, but my neighbor's bunny just got myxo from a mozzie and she has had to put it down after 7 years; the kids are besides themselves. It should be stopped one day.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Hard to know how though. You can't really round up all the wild rabbits and vaccinate. That Law of Unintended Consequences is a tough one to get round!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

No you can't, Amanada, but our vaccination, the shope fibroma virus, will spread automatically to wild rabbits, which is why Australians, etc., won't allow it. I think vets here know what they are doing - it's a kind of intended consequence - and Myxo will go, or be very diminished if enough people vaccinate their pets.


healthgoji profile image

healthgoji 7 years ago

This is a new disease I never heard of. I will keep this information in mind if I ever get a pet bunny as I like bunnies.

J.


diogenes 7 years ago

New disease, J? Well, glad you are now up to speed on it, it has been around for far too long. Rabbits are subject to other diseases, of course, but not one like this that was spread deliberately from South America by man. Thanks for your interest. R.


Gift Experts profile image

Gift Experts 7 years ago

From from the US and I've never heard of it either. But cottontail aren't susceptible. Interesting article. Thanks


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

What a fantastic and educational article, and I should know as I have worked in at least 2 vets in my life and know how important vaccinating against this disease is. Even now, I often find wild rabbits in the road suffering from Myxi, and it is heartbreaking. They have no idea where they are, or the cars. A number of times I have simply stopped my car and picked them up to later take them for euthanasia at the local animal rescue organisation. Dying from this cruel and horrible disease must be awful, the eyes often end up not only full of conjunctivitis, but often bleeding too. The brain is badly affected, and we often find drowned rabbits in our fishing lake where they have blindly stumbled into the water and drowned.

Rabbits suffering from Myxi are however completely edible, as it is mainly the brain that is affected, so the actual meat is fine, but most people are put off at the idea of eating an infected rabbit.

It is vitally important all pet rabbits are vaccinated against this disease, as well as VHD, (viral haemorrhagic disease). It is too late once your pet is dead and your children are crying themselves to sleep every night.


diogenes 7 years ago

Hi Misty: Thanks for kind words. Also for the snippets of info, which I will credit you with and add to the article, if you don't mind. The vaccination is for both Mixi and VHD isn't it? I should have mentioned that. And I will mention they are edible, but as you say, when you find them like that, few would want to eat them. I have killed them myself in the past in Oz on friend's property. Much anguish, but I couldn't walk away and leave the poor little souls. It has to stop.

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Cindy: I added a footnote telling readers to read you information in the comments.

Thanks again, Bob.

PS I look forward to reading your work when I get a minute.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Thanks Diogenes. When I used to work at the vets it was two separate injections, one for the Myxi and one for the VHD. The Myxi vaccine is done every 6 to 12 months depending on the local risk of Myxi, the VHD is an annual booster that must not be given within 2 weeks of the Myxi vaccine.

I hope this helps :)


tracey 6 years ago

my pet rabbit had to be put down because of this condition


Jess 6 years ago

Hi,

my rabbit had 'Mixi' and i was just wondering, the cleaning procedure of the affected area? Thanks J.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Sorry to hear this, Tracey and Jess. I hope your pet survived, Jess. Please ask your vet the best procedure for cleaning the eyes, etc., of your rabbit and I hope he or she did, indeed, recover making your pet one of the really lucky ones....Bob


jamie 5 years ago

hi everyone i am in australia melbou4ne and just gsaid goodbye to my 2nd rabbit in 1 weeks with mixo what a sad and painful death My 2 dayghters age 5 and 7 were broken haeded I just wanted every rabbit owner please watch your bunnies


tia 5 years ago

Lets fight this awful deliberating disease for our domestic bunnies


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Please immunise pets people! Thanks for comments Jamie and Tia. Bunnies are such lovely, harmless creatures, I can't imagine the coutryside without them. Curse us for introducing this evil killer...Bob


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

I hope mixo will come to an end, and the rabbits will not contract it anymore. Ignorance among humans always seems to find a way to harm living creatures. Thank you for this important hub.

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