Nibbles the bunny with the bung eye

Nibbles came to see the team at Pascoe Vale Veterinary Hospital because his owners were worried about his eye. Nibbles' right eye was swollen, closed shut, red and had discharge. Due the present outbreak of myxomatosis in Melbourne, Nibble's owners were worried that he may have been affected by this deadly virus. Because of this concern, they had brought him up to Pascoe Vale Veterinary Hospital at the first sign of ill health.

After a complete examination by our veterinarian, we were able to reassure Nibbles' owners that he did not have myxomatosis. Phew! Nibbles was diagnosed with bacterial conjunctivitis - a common, treatable condition in rabbits. We prescribed eye ointment and oral antibiotics for Nibbles' owners to administer every day. Nibbles' eye immediately started to improve and after one week on his medication (and a lot of TLC), Nibbles made a full recovery.

Although Nibbles was lucky not to have this fatal virus, it was decided to implement some strategies at home to prevent him from catching it. If mosquitoes are present at home, your rabbit is at risk.

Myxomatosis is transmitted from rabbit to rabbit but also via mosquitoes. There is unfortunately no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal. Typical clinical signs of myxomatosis include fever, swelling of lips, eyelids, ears and genitalia. Eyes are often swollen shut with a mucopurulent (yellow-white) discharge.

The myxomatosis prevention plans includes:

  • putting a mosquito net around the rabbit's hutch
  • keeping rabbits indoors or under a mosquito net during peak mosquito activity (dawn and dusk)
  • some repellent products can be used but please discuss with a veterinarian first as they may be harmful to rabbits

Unfortunately, myxomatosis is not the only a deadly disease Nibbles' owners need to worry about. Calicivirus is another fatal rabbit virus present in Melbourne. Lucky for Nibbles we can vaccinate our rabbits against this terrible disease. Rabbits are vaccinated every ten months from ten weeks of age. Nibbles was vaccinated at his last revisit consultation and his owners will receive a reminder letter in the mail in ten months time.

If your rabbit is unvaccinated or you would like some more information about protecting your rabbit against myxomatosis, please contact the clinic on 9350 2955. You can also read more about the disease here.