Reaction to the Myxomatosis vaccine?

by Clare

My lovely, healthy Rex rabbit was vaccinated July 2014. In Oct 2014, she developed bad conjunctivitis which was treated by the vet and improved but 10 days later we were back with a swollen face and scabby lesions all over her body. Appetite remained good and a course of antibiotics was given. All settled and we were just left with scabby/deformed area above nose.

Yesterday (5 months on), the scab was dislodged measuring 2 x 1 cm leaving exposed bone! Vet has never seen this before and will bring this to the attention of the drug rep and Bristol vet hosp. Treating with Flamazine as no sign of infection or illness currently. Anybody else come across this? Any suggestions? Many thanks, Clare

***** Karen Sez *****
Unfortunately, I have no experience with myxy, and have not personally seen any ulcerations of this type in my rabbits.

If your rabbit was vaccinated against myxomatosis, then why is it showing symptoms of the disease? Has the vet spoken to you about the failure rate of the myxy vaccine? This is curious, especially as viruses eventually mutate, finding ways to overcome the onslaught of rabbit (vaccine-induced) antibodies. It is difficult to say whether or not the nose lesion is a result of the vaccine. I rather think not, unless the vaccine failed and the rabbit ended up contracting a mild form of myxy, which caused the sore.

Secondly, the rabbit's nose was scabbed for a full 5 months?? And then got knocked off to reveal an ulcer to the bone? I would love to know if the Flamazine (broad-spectrum silver-sulfadiazide antibiotic ointment) does the trick and heals the rabbit, and how long it takes to do so.

How is the rabbit doing now, a couple months later? Would you mind giving us an update? And hopefully others with experience with myxy, or skin ulcers, will offer their thoughts.

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May 20, 2014
Looks like virus rather than vaccine
by: Clare

Thanks for your comments Karen. The rabbit has done really well. My vet has done extensive research and she tells me that mutant viruses are coming in from Europe which the current vaccine only partly covers. It appears that she would not have survived had she been unvaccinated. The lesion, though still deep, is now just 5mm at most and I am hopeful that this will eventually reduce to nothing. She has a little hole above her nostril which makes a whistling sound and is probably permanent. It's unlikely that she will grow hair back on the affected part of her face. What an awful disease. I would always recommend the vaccine to others as my rabbit has no contact with other rabbits ever so insect-borne is the only mode of transmission. Regards, Clare

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