Rabbits are a popular pet for many reasons - aside from being incredibly cute, rabbits are a fun pet to own, come in all shapes and sizes, and can easily be trained to be a happy house pet. Most inside, free roaming rabbits can even be trained to use a litter tray!
However, wild rabbits are still considered a pest, and as such the government release Calici virus in to their environment regularly in an attempt to control the rapidly growing wild rabbit population. This is a deadly virus. It causes internal bleeding to the organs, particularly the liver. Symptoms can include bloody discharge coming from your rabbit, however most rabbits infected with Calici virus will die without showing any symptoms. Often, we will see several sudden deaths in rabbit patients, and then we will come to suspect Calici virus.
The virus can be transmitted through contact with anything that has been in proximity to the virus. This includes clothing, furniture, skin, other rabbits - even the wind can carry the virus across households. Hay and other bunny bedding can become contaminated with Calici virus. It's an insidious virus that can affect bunnies who don't ever come in to contact with other bunnies, which makes vaccinating against Calici virus so important.
Baby buns can have their first Calici virus vaccination at 10-12 weeks of age, with a booster recommended four weeks later. Their next vaccinations will be due every six months after that.
For older bunnies, it is recommended that they have a vaccination every six months.
The vaccination for Calici virus is a finicky one! Once opened, the vial will only last for 24 hours, however each vial can vaccinate up to ten bunnies. This is why we run bunny vaccination day specials. Once every six months, the Swan Valley Vet Centre invites all bunny owners to make an appointment for their vaccination, which includes a full health check up and consultation with our veterinarian who has a very special interest in bunnies as pets. The cost for this is just $70 - but bookings are essential.
If you'd like to protect your little pet against Calici virus, call our wonderful reception team to make an appointment for our next bunny vaccination day - Friday September 4th, 2020