It is common for people to wonder if rabbits can get rabies. Can rabbits transmit rabies to humans? Can you catch the disease from a rabbit? How do rabbits get rabies and how can they be prevented from getting it? This blog post will cover all of these questions, as well as provide facts about the disease and treatment options.
Rabbits are adorable, furry little creatures that you can’t help but fall in love with. However, did you know that rabbits are also susceptible to rabies?
Rabbits may appear cute on the outside, but there is a dark truth behind their fluffy fur – they can get rabies too! Rabies is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It’s usually transmitted through saliva or other bodily fluids from infected animals like raccoons or bats. The virus affects all mammals, including your beloved pet bunny rabbit!
The first step in getting rid of this dangerous threat is to understand what exactly rabies is and how it affects your rabbit’s health.
What Exactly Is Rabies?
Rabies is a fatal disease, primarily affecting mammals. It’s caused by an RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus.Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It can be transmitted through saliva or other bodily fluids of infected animals like bats, dogs, raccoons, and even rabbits!
The rabies virus travels the nerves to the brain within about one week, where it starts to consume brain cells and create an infection known as encephalitis. The virus spreads throughout neurons, inhibiting signaling ability in some areas of the sufferer’s brain that are vital for memory, coordination, muscle control, etc.
A few days later, without treatment or vaccination, rabies becomes fatal, with death typically occurring due to respiratory failure . It typically takes between six weeks and four months for symptoms to show, depending on various factors, including the circulation rate of blood and how quickly contact was created with the infected saliva. Typically, more than 50% of bites from rabid animals are not reported.
There is no cure for rabies; it can be treated with doctor-administered shots of immunoglobulin and anti-viral drugs.
Can Rabbits Get Rabies?
Rabies is a deadly virus that can be carried by any mammal, including rabbits. It is very important to know that rabbits can get rabies. It is not common, but it does happen. Your pet rabbit may be at risk of contracting this disease if they come into contact with an infected animal or eat something contaminated with the virus.
It’s necessary to know the signs of rabies so you can spot it in your pet rabbit and seek treatment immediately if needed.
Rabies is an illness that affects the brain and spinal cord of mammals. It’s transmitted through saliva or neural tissue from animals such as bats, foxes, and raccoons. These wild animals carry the disease, which can then spread to domestic pets like rabbits or other animal species.
According to the CDC “Small rodents (like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs (including rabbits and hares) are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans.”
In fact, some experts say your odds of getting rabies as a human (from rabbits) are more than 1 million-fold lower than your odds of winning the lottery!
There have been only a handful of cases in the last few decades where a rabbit has developed rabies due to being bitten by an infected animal or from being scratched or licked by another rabbit that has contracted rabies.
If you’re not sure whether your bunny may have been exposed to this disease, contact your veterinarian right away!
Symptoms Of Rabies In Rabbits :
First of all, you must know that not every rabbit will display signs of being sick with this disease. There may be no visible sign at all, while some others show only mild symptoms before dying very quickly.
Also keep in mind that these are general guidelines, which means your bunny might present different or stronger/weaker signals compared to what’s mentioned here!
- Can’t eat on its own : It may seem weird, but most animal species affected by rabies completely lose interest in food. This includes rabbits. This is because the virus causes paralysis of muscles and nerves throughout the body, making it hard to chew or swallow foods. This is one of the first symptoms you’ll notice.
- Unusual behavior: Your bunny may seem confused or disoriented, which is a strong sign of infection. It may even appear aggressive for no reason and start biting everything around it without any warning, including humans. If this happens, try to keep calm and move away slowly while observing what’s happening from a distance.
- Fever : If your bunny has this virus, it will likely show signs of fever with an elevated body temperature due to the infection.
- Changes in behavior: It’s normal for rabbits to be shy or nervous by nature, but if you notice them acting unusually calm and gentle, that might mean something is wrong. Likewise, a fearful rabbit who normally runs away from humans may not do so anymore, which is another strong sign of illness .
- Loss of balance : Your pet might start moving its head in odd ways or walking sideways, even falling over while trying to get up again multiple times without being able to control its muscles properly. This will become more apparent when standing still as well, since your bunny will not be able to stay upright.
- Seizures: Can they have rabies and seizures at the same time? Yes, this is a possibility. If your bunny has been infected with the virus, it may start having strong muscle spasms that will show as tremors or convulsions .
- Changes in breathing: This can affect any animal species, including rabbits, but if you notice that yours isn’t able to breathe easily, then seek veterinary care immediately! You may also see some foaming from its mouth.
- Can’t move so much : The paralysis caused by the rabies virus can become more severe, causing your rabbit to be less active or even unable to walk. Inability to eat and drink on its own.
- Changed Grooming Patterns:Can’t groom itself like it normally does (e.g., you may notice that there’s something stuck in their fur that they can’t take care of themselves)
- Can’t move its back legs :When your rabbit can no longer stand on its own after being bitten by an infected animal, this may be a sign that rabies has already spread through all major areas of his brain, causing him great pain and discomfort since he’s not able to control these movements anymore.
- Can’t get up from lying down position : In case your bunny gets lazy about getting up from resting, even if you try calling for him, there’s a big chance he might have gotten bit in the spine, giving rabies direct access to vital parts like nerve cells, which quickly deteriorate and die once affected by this virus.
- Can’t control bladder or bowel movements :As the disease progresses, your bunny may lack the strength to get up and walk around so he can reach the litter box or toilet, making him soil his cage instead. This is due to the virus’s attacking motor neurons in its brain, which are responsible for controlling these bodily functions.
- Can’t swallow liquids :Rabbits love drinking water from their bowl, but if they stop doing that, there’s a huge chance rabies has already spread through all major areas of the brain, causing paralysis on different levels, including muscles needed for this simple task!
It’s very important that if you think something is wrong with your rabbit, you don’t wait to see if it gets better by itself. The sooner you seek medical attention, the more likely your pet can be helped!
If you notice any signs of illness like those mentioned above, it’s very important not to touch them since 70% of human cases have been transmitted by animals via saliva contact with broken skin or mucous membranes.
How To Protect Your Rabbit From Rabies?
Prevention is always better than cure, and the same counts for rabbits as well. But how can you protect your pet from this virus, given that these animals may not show any symptoms before contracting the infection, making them even more dangerous once infected?
Rabies vaccines do not work on domestic rabbits. Currently, there is no rabies vaccination available for rabbits. Because of this, it’s critical that you keep your rabbit safe from rabies by preventing it from coming into contact with other animals.
- Keep Your Rabbit Indoors :If you don’t want your pet rabbit to come into contact with potentially rabid wild animals, keep it indoors.
- Monitor Rabbits When Outside :Keep an eye on your pet while they are out in the yard, and bring them inside if you spot any wild creatures around.
- Vaccinate Your Other Animals at Home: Vaccinate your other animals at home, such as dogs and cats. will ensure that your other pets do not end up transmitting rabies to your rabbits.
- Keep Garbage Cans Covered: Keeping lids on garbage cans can deter wild creatures from loitering around your home.
- Removing Leftovers :Removing the leftovers after feeding your pet outdoors is also vitally important. Any leftover food is an invitation to other wild creatures such as bats, raccoons, foxes, and so on, all of which have the potential to carry rabies.
What To Do In Case You Suspect Your Rabbit Has Rabies?
If you suspect that your rabbit has contracted rabies, it is important to call the USDA’s National Centre for Zoonotic Disease immediately so they can quarantine or isolate him.
There’s no treatment available other than euthanasia in cases where rabbits are found to be positive on diagnosis.
Anyone who has been exposed to the rabbit could contract its illness as well. Those people need immediate medical attention or else they will die from the disease!
- Do not touch sick or injured animals. Rabid wild animals may attack when cornered, threatened, or protecting their young, and pets that are allowed to run free can come into contact with them .
- Wild animals suspected of having rabies should be reported immediately by calling your local health department.
- Stay away from any animal that is acting strangely and keep your children and pets indoors while wildlife officials investigate the animal’s history for possible exposure to the disease. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
There are some cases of rabies in rabbits. But the chances are very low because mostly wild animals carry it and they don’t get close enough to pet bunnies for them to contract it, so you should be safe with your indoor bunny if he doesn’t go outside often.
Rabbits can get rabies, but it is very rare. It seems like the only time you’ll find a case of rabies in rabbits, they will usually be infected with this disease by another animal, such as a raccoon or skunk, and not other rabbits.
If your bunny starts acting strangely and displays any signs of illness, take them to the vet right away without getting too close or touching the rabbit with your bare hands.
Can You Get Rabies From Rabbit Scratch?
It is possible to contract rabies from a rabbit scratch . However, it’s a very remote possibility. It can happen in rare cases where your rabid rabbit has groomed itself and applied saliva to its paws right before it scratches you !
Rabies is a common infectious disease that can affect any mammal, and humans are no exception. It’s caused by viruses which travel through the nervous systems of infected animals via nerve endings at the site of entry; usually an animal bite occurs, but scratches or scrapes may also transmit this infection .