An important part of caring for your lionhead rabbit is including several vaccinations. As recommended by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and many other experts and associations such as the ARBA and the BRC one should vaccinate their pet rabbit against the Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) and the Myxomatosis. Even though it will cost you around £15,- or $25,- per vaccination you should not even consider to don’t do it. If a rabbit is diagnosed with either VHD or Myxomatosis the chances of survival are close to zero %.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)
This horrific disease is extremely contagious and therefore spreads very rapidly. VHD can be transmitted through contact between rabbits or contaminated water and food. The list of possible transmitters is almost endless which makes this disease a very dangerous variant. Even a single insect is able to expose your lionhead rabbit to the Viral Haemorrhagic disease. Therefore it is virtually impossible to prevent at all times that your rabbit will get this disease without a vaccination.
How to check whether your lionhead rabbit has VHD?
It may be the case that there are no visible signs. However, possible symptoms of this terrible disease are; your rabbit has trouble with breathing, he loses his ability to coordinate, he is paralyzed, you find blood around his nose. The disease causes heavily fever and possible internal bleedings. As mentioned there is no cure and it being diagnosed with VHD is always fatal, therefore it is extremely important to vaccinate your lionhead rabbit.
Another horrific disease is called Myxomatosis. Even though this disease is somewhat less fatal it will impact your rabbit’s general health dramatically. Identical to VHD Myxomatosis can be easily transmitted through other rabbit’s and insects such as flies. It causes the rabbit to become blind and having trouble with eating their food along with high fiver.
How to check whether your lionhead rabbit has Myxomatosis?
If your lionhead has this terrible disease you will probably notice some swellings around their ears, and also notice blood or pus coming out their nose. Identical to VHD there is no cure and although your rabbit won’t die immediately they will suffer a great deal of pain. As a result many experts suggest to perform euthanasia. Even if your rabbit is vaccinated he or she can still get this disease, nevertheless the effects are less heavy. Although there is always a risk you should still decide to vaccinate in order to minimize the chance that they will get infected.
It is recommended to neuter your lionhead rabbits if you have multiple. If you don’t neuter them they might show signs of aggression towards humans or other (lionhead) rabbits. Moreover, they can present extremely strange behavior that can lead to unpleasant situations. Therefore it is advised to perform neutering. By doing so you also prevent them from getting uterine cancer. A vet will charge you approximately £75,- or $120,-. This is quite high, especially if you compare the price for neutering with the average costs for buying a lionhead rabbit (£20,- , $40,-). Nevertheless, it is in your and the rabbits best interest that you will choose for neutering. Please keep in mind that the best time to perform neutering differs per gender. It is recommended to neuter doe’s just before they reach the age of 7 months. Bucks should be neutered as soon as their testicles start to develop which is around 3 or 4 months after birth.