Myxomatosis in Rabbits

Sadly, we have recently seen many cases of myxomatosis (Myxo) in pet rabbits. There seems to be an outbreak at the moment.

Myxomatosis is a fatal virus of rabbits. It has been deliberately released to control populations of wild rabbits, which are a significant pest in Australia. Unfortunately, the virus can’t tell the difference between wild rabbits and beloved pets! There is no effective treatment and the disease is almost always fatal within a week or two.

Signs rabbit myxo

  • Redness or swelling around the eyes, ears, nose or bottom area.
  • Poor appetite
  • Quiet, flat behaviour

Risk factors

Myxo is spread by mosquitoes and by direct contact between rabbits. Rabbits who live outdoors are most at risk. Mosquitoes can get into most rabbit hutches easily. Wild rabbits can also sniff noses with pet rabbits through the hutch walls.


There is no vaccination against Myxomatosis available in Australia. The best prevention is to protect your rabbits from mosquitoes. This may involve:

  • Keep rabbits indoors as much as possible, especially at peak mozzie times (dusk to dawn)
  • If they are outdoors, apply mosquito netting to the hutch.


If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the clinic.