What vaccinations do rabbits need & why?

With spring just around the corner, you will likely be flinging the windows open by your rabbit’s hutch or moving it back outside. You may even treat them to more time in the garden. Before you do, it is wise to make sure your rabbit’s vaccinations are up to date. 

At Clent Hills Vets, we want to be sure rabbit owners are aware of the deadly diseases that can affect their pets and how to protect them.  

Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease can strike even if your pets live well away from other rabbits. These diseases sadly have high mortality rates. Fortunately, rabbit vaccinations are available to protect your pets. So why not get in touch with our team to check if your rabbit vaccines are up to date, or to book a booster right away?  

Protect your pet now 

Why rabbits need vaccinating 

Head Vet Alun Edwards, shares the key facts about these horrible rabbit diseases below. 


  • Domestic rabbits do not need to be in contact with wild rabbits to catch it 
  • It spreads quickly and is passed through fleas, mosquitos, midges, and mites 
  • Symptoms include nasal and eye discharge, eye inflammation leading to blindness, swelling, redness/ulcers, problems breathing, appetite loss, and lethargy  
  • Even with the best possible veterinary treatment, very few pet rabbits survive Myxomatosis so vaccination is essential 

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) 

  • VHD often occurs in outbreaks, spreading rapidly from rabbit to rabbit 
  • Your rabbit does not need to be in contact with other rabbits to catch it as the virus can be carried in feed, on bedding, by wild birds and insects, and on the shoes of rabbit owners who have been walking in an infected area  
  • There are two strains - VHD-1 has a higher mortality rate (almost 100%) but VHD-2 can also affect younger rabbits under 6 weeks old that may not succumb to VHD-1
  • Symptoms of VHD-1 include respiratory distress, fever, appetite loss, lethargy, convulsions, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose before death. Signs of VHD-2 can be vague
  • VHD is easily preventable with vaccines 

What vaccinations do rabbits need & when?  

Alun advises owners that they can protect their pets against Myxomatosis and VHD with annual rabbit vaccinations from just five weeks old. In some circumstances, our veterinary surgeons may advise more frequent vaccinations.  

If your rabbit has been vaccinated and you cannot remember when their booster is due, get in touch and we can check.  

A rabbit vaccination appointment also gives you the perfect opportunity to talk to Alun, or any of our other highly experienced Vets about your rabbit’s health in general.  

Contact us to book a rabbit vaccination