Protect Rabbits from Mosquito-borne disease, predators and escape attempts!
It’s not hard to see why Rabbits are such a popular pet- they are cute, small and fluffy… Plus they don’t take up much space, have oodles of personality and kids absolutely love them! We are going to take a look at how you can easily protect your Bunnies and prevent some common problems from occurring! By choosing the right kind of Rabbit Hutch and keeping in mind a few key tips and tricks you’ll be on your way to creating a safe and healthy environment for your pet/s!
We are going to take a look at how you can easily:
- Keep Rabbits safe from Mosquito-borne and other diseases like Myxomatosis and Rabbit haemorrhagic disease;
- Keep Rabbits safe from foxes and other predators;
- Prevent Rabbits from digging their way out of their hutch/enclosure, or digging up your carpet
But first, lets take a look at some of the dangers affecting Rabbits in Australia.
Common diseases affecting rabbits in Australia
Myxomatosis – Recent VIC, NSW and TAS Outbreaks
Myxomatosis is a disease affecting rabbits which is caused by a virus called “myoxoma”. It was introduced in Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control the rabbit population.
Usually, within 14 days of contracting Myxomatosis a rabbit will die. Once infected, they develop skin tumours, show signs of fatigue, may become blind then finally develop a fever. There is currently no vaccine available for use in Australia to protect rabbits from this disease. Once a rabbit contracts the disease, the only option is to put them down.
In April and May this year (2015) Myxomatosis disease was reported as being detected in: Somerville, VIC by The Herald Sun; Primrose Sands & Longford TAS by The Mercury and; South Grafton, Grafton and Maclean NSW by the Daily Examiner.
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (aka Rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD), Viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD))
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that affects both wild and domestic Rabbits. It affects the “European wild rabbit” species which environment.gov.au state are the most “widely distributed and abundant mammals in Australia”.
Like Myxomatosis,a strain of Rabbit haemorrhagic disease was introduced in Australia (SA,in 1991) in an attempt to control the rabbit population. In 1995 the virus escaped quarantine and subsequently killed 10 million rabbits within 8 weeks of its release.
It is spread by contact with objects such as clothing, contaminated food, cages, bedding, feeders and water or via direct contact with an infected rabbit. It can be spread by a number of animals who carry, but are not affected by the virus. These animals include: Foxes, Birds, Fleas, Rabbits and Flies.
Keep your Rabbits safe
Protect Rabbits from disease
Prevention is the best cure, so lets keep your bunnies safe! Here are some great tips on securing your rabbit hutch/run/enclosure to protect your rabbits from disease:
- Choose screened hutch/run products so that mosquito’s and flies cannot get in
- Consider a hutch/run/enclosure with a wire floor to stop disease carrying animals digging in
- Choose an appropriate, easy to clean rabbit/guinea pig water bottle to prevent contamination
Protect Rabbits from Predators
Living in Australia, rabbits have to contend with feral foxes, cats, Goannas, Wedge-tailed Eagles and Quolls.. to name but a few. Escaped household pets – and even snakes also pose a threat to rabbits. If they are in the wrong type of hutch, outdoor rabbits are at risk of being hurt or killed by predators.
To keep your rabbits safe from predators:
- Choose a hutch/run/enclosure with a secured wire floor, to prevent predators digging in and rabbits digging out/escaping
- Choose hutch/run products with no gaps/large holes which allow small creatures access
- Choose a hutch with a sheltered rest area, off the ground for your rabbits to retreat to
- If possible, choose a hutch with a sleep area so you can safely lock them in at night time.
Protect Rabbits from Household dangers
You’ve heard of child proofing.. if you have an indoor bunny make sure you don’t forget to Rabbit proof! Here are a few essential steps to take to make sure your bunny stays safe in the home:
- Cover or Move Electrical and Phone Wires – rabbits think these are fun to chew..
- Move books, door stops and any dangerous plants up out of reach (also fun to chew)
- Save your carpet & soft furnishings, provide a box of shredded paper for your rabbit to dig in!
- Even if you have an inside bunny, consider a hutch/run/enclosure so they have their own special home to retreat to and you can safely secure them when you have to go out.
- If you want to keep your rabbits indoors (away from mozzies etc) or on a veranda choose a Rabbit hutch with trays, to prevent mess from falling on the ground and make for easy cleaning. TheSomerzby Tri-Level and the Somerzby Double (pictured) are perfect for this.
- Remember, rabbits needs exercise and regular sunlight, so make sure they have a safe place, like a secure rabbit run/enclosure so that they can play outside for a few hours each day.
At Somerzby by listening to our customers, and researching how to keep Rabbits safe, we have been able to design and develop a great range of Rabbit Hutch/Enclosures and Runs that will keep your pets safe and healthy. Please click here for more information about our great rabbit home/hutch products.
- How to Protect Your Rabbit from Diseases
- Australian Rabbit Runs To Make Your Rabbits Happy and Healthy
- The Best Aussie Rabbit Hutches