- Pets and Animals
Let's Save Rabbits From Myxomatosis, (Mixo)
Help stamp out this cruel afflictionClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.