When the viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits (UHD) appeared and began to destroy animals, numerous attempts were made all over the world to find a cure. Today, VGBK dies from 80% to 100% of the livestock, which undermines the determination of livestock breeders to engage in this business. But we tell you that there is a solution. Of course, we will not tell you about the miracle, but we will teach you how to avoid infection, reduce losses and restore the farm after an epidemic.
The beginning of the disaster
Hemorrhagic infection was discovered in China more than 30 years ago - in 1984. It was this state that became the epicenter of the catastrophe, which is not avoided to this day. In time, the non-responding epidemiological commission allowed infected rabbit meat to leave the country.
The greatest losses were incurred by the Italian rabbit breeders. That year, about 600 epicenters of UGBC emergence were recorded in the country, in which 80 million rabbits died. In just a few months, farmers fell into a financial pit. And the virus continued on its way, capturing Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
In Russia, the infection came after 2 years and spread throughout the country. The epicenter of the spread of hemorrhagic disease was the state farm "Far Eastern", bordering China. Now our specialists could not recognize the infection in time. After just a year, in 31 regions of the Russian Federation, rabbits died from the virus, the treatment of which remained impossible.
About the virus and its effects on animals and humans
When UGBC is found in rabbits in RNA genes, there is no point in treating it, or rather, scientists still do not know how to do it. A dangerous virus infects the entire body of animals for several days. Given that in some cases you will not notice a single sign, while the representative of the hare family does not die.
Despite the development of medicine, virologists can not cope with this "not kill" infection. VGBK virus can live up to 5 years, chlorine-containing substances do not act on it, and sub-zero temperatures can halt its development only for a while. Not a single breed of rabbit, has no natural immunity to the disease.
To freeze a hemorrhagic virus, you will need to reduce the temperature to more than -50 degrees, but after defrosting it will still pose a threat to rabbits. Fortunately, for the person the infection does not bear danger. Transmitted by contact and by air. The danger of infection remains throughout the year.
Habitat and distribution factors
The danger of hemorrhagic animals is that infected animals die within a few days and cannot be helped. Therefore, all the efforts of the rabbit breeders should be aimed at preventing the occurrence of the disease. To do this, sometimes, it is very difficult, because the virus kills everyone - from newborns to Zayat to adult individuals.
Often the carrier of infection is not sick animals, but the man himself and his inattention to details. VGBK virus is found in animal excreta, in soil, in drinking water, flooring and feed mixtures, and is also transmitted during mating. But it is the staff that often puts it on the coats and soles of shoes in the cages of rabbits or in food.
Hemorrhagic virus persists in the skins and fur of rabbits for up to 3 months even after their death. Therefore, products made from such leather are as dangerous as sick animals. In addition, poor-quality food, unsanitary conditions of detention and non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene of staff, create favorable conditions for the spread of IGBC.
Forms of the disease and associated symptoms
UGBC in rabbits can take 2 forms: acute or chronic. The difference between them is not only in the symptoms, but also in the ways of infection. Thus, the acute course of the disease occurs when infected from the outside, and the virus develops chronic development if the animal is under stress.
For example, the transfer of a rabbit from one cage to another is accompanied by a violation of its emotional background, which becomes a fertile ground for infection.
In hemorrhagic infections in acute form, the following symptoms appear in rabbits:
- high temperature;
- loss of appetite;
- damage to the respiratory tract;
- loose stools.
At the same time, the chronic course of the disease does not imply itself. But over time, conjunctivitis, rhinitis or keratoconjunctivitis is found in rabbits. If the breeders do not recognize the root cause of the disease in time and do not inject animal serum, then the rabbits will begin to have problems with the intestines, purulent pneumonia will open and the animal will die, having previously infected the fellows.
Areas of damage in the body and cause of death
VGBK virus affects almost all the internal organs of rabbits. Once opened, the abnormalities are noticeable in the kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, heart, and gastrointestinal system. Interestingly, changes in the body are caused not by the virus itself, but by its toxins, which are the cause of pinpoint and banded hemorrhages. First of all, the infection infects the liver, where it multiplies and poisons the body.
The changes caused by toxins are incompatible with life; therefore, it’s almost impossible to save the rabbits that caught the virus. The liver and heart are enlarged, their walls are stretched and become flabby. When viewed under a microscope, you can see a lot of small hemorrhages, called granular dystrophy.
The spleen increases 1.5-3 times and changes its color to cherry. The kidneys become dark brown, increasing in volume by 1.5-2 times. Catarrhal inflammation begins in the gastrointestinal tract. At the last stage of the disease, the lungs swell in the lungs, which becomes a critical point, after which the animal dies.
Clinical picture and diagnostic measures
To diagnose the disease, an integrated approach is needed: taking into account the epizootological data, symptoms and information obtained in the study in the laboratory. We talked about the symptoms of the disease above. As for epizootology, a mass moron of rabbits, which have not been given a vaccine against the infection, testifies to the VHBK virus.
But, to make sure of the assumptions, the farmer, urgently, should be sent to the veterinary laboratory samples of pathological material. Since the focus of the virus is the liver, it is recommended to expel it for research. It is important that the organ be removed from the body of the deceased rabbit within 2-3 hours from the moment of death.
The samples taken or the whole carcass is placed in an airtight (as far as possible) container, then it is treated with a solution of 5% chloramine, dipped in a container, covered with ice and sent to a specialist. Apply data on a situation on a farm to a parcel, in detail describing everything that happens to rabbits.
The basis for the treatment of any disease - timely diagnosis. To distinguish hemorrhagic disease in rabbits, it is necessary to present an epizootological picture. Please note that the animals will first die at different intervals, but with the spread of the virus on the farm, a general epidemic will begin.
A distinctive feature of UBHK is that sukrolnye (pregnant) bunnies suffer from the virus first. Even if you promptly introduce a vaccine, it is almost impossible to get offspring from infected animals - they have a miscarriage.
If the rabbit managed to give birth before the virus enters her body, then the babies will be out of danger. In newborn rabbits there is immunity to hemorrhagic disease, in the first 30-35 days of life.
The infection affects males a little slower, but it still leads to their death. If you notice such a picture in your farm, immediately contact the epidemiological commission.
Chance of a favorable outcome
In order not to give you false hopes, we recall that the treatment of UHDB is impossible. Experts have not yet developed any effective drugs. Worse, the epidemic begins suddenly, and if you don’t vaccinate the rabbits on time, there’s almost no chance of saving them. But even timely vaccination does not provide 100% protection against infection.
But some rabbits manage to cope with the disease themselves, then they become immune to the virus. It has already been established that survivors of the UHDB epidemic are more resistant to infection. Unfortunately, immunologists have not yet been able to figure out what exactly contributes to the recovery of animals.
You should not hope that it will be in your household that there will be a high survival rate after the epidemic of VGBK. It is better to keep the rabbits clean, to vaccinate in time, and to ensure that staff comply with sanitary standards. At the first sign of virus spreading, launch the quarantine program immediately.
Vaccine prevention and treatment
With such a disease as a hemorrhagic disease, neglect of prevention can lead to the complete destruction of the economy. The main thing is that when infected, the effect of the vaccine will be only at the very beginning of the infection, and it is very difficult to catch this moment. You can feed healthy rabbits in the morning, and find their dead carcasses in the evening.
But, if the serum is introduced in a timely manner, the effect will appear in a few hours and will last up to a month. In the case of a single infection of a rabbit, treatment with a vaccine may give a positive result, but it is useless during an epidemic. It is better to use it for prevention and not to allow the virus to spread.
When preventing UHDB, the vaccine is administered to all animals at the same time in the warm season. For vaccination, baby rabbits over 6 months old are selected. In the first procedure, it is enough to introduce half of the ampoule. The second injection is done after 3 months, the third - after six months. For more information about the drug and the methodology for its use, you can learn from the article "Use of the associated vaccine for rabbits."
Emerging fever VGBK claimed many rabbit lives. On January 14, 1998, the Instruction for the Prevention and Elimination of Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease was issued, according to which strict limitations were imposed on the unfortunate farm. In fact, it was isolated.
It was forbidden to import and export animals, their meat, skin, downy waste, feed and even inventory. Exhibitions and other mass events with the participation of rabbits collapsed. There was a ban on the collection of grass from the site where they recorded an outbreak of UGBK. All food had to be disinfected.
We had to completely abandon contracts, to limit the movement of farm staff. The strictest ban was imposed on any vaccination of rabbits, except for serum from VGBK. All these regulations are relevant today, and their observance is strictly monitored.
If your rabbit farm suspects hemorrhagic disease, do not try to solve the situation yourself. Ask for help at the power station - this will help minimize losses.
Necessary actions in an unfavorable area
If a hemorrhagic virus is found on one of the farms for breeding rabbits, then the whole area is considered unfavorable. After that, it is necessary to count all the animals contained in the region and conduct a full inspection.
All individuals found to be infected with UGBK are slaughtered. The rabbit is disinfected, after which the carcasses are burned in the Beccari pit.
Those animals that are recognized healthy are forcibly given a vaccine. If there is no whey on the farm, then all rabbits must be disposed of in order to prevent the spread of the virus. With the permission of the inspector of the carcass, the carcass can be sent for sale. The remaining parts of the body and the inside are recommended to be destroyed.
The farm itself is subject to complete cleaning and disinfection. To do this, use 2% formaldehyde or 5% chloramine. Everything is processed, from the cells to the paddocks. In addition, the district administration should hold explanatory and informational events and inform the population about the situation. It is allowed to deliver new rabbits to the cleaned area, 2 weeks after the removal of quarantine.
Additional preventive actions
After reading the article, you should already understand how dangerous hemorrhagic disease is for rabbits, and the best way to combat this virus is to prevent it from occurring. For this, it is recommended to follow some rules. For example, the farm should be surrounded by a fence, and the entrances should be equipped with disinfecting barriers.
On rabbit farms it is recommended to use floor mats with a disinfecting coating. Do not use third-party transport, which is unknown, how and what process. You must keep your cars clean and regularly disinfected.
Constantly monitor the condition and behavior of rabbits. Sometimes this is the only way to recognize impending danger. The rooms are cleaned daily, using sterilization products. It is necessary to clean not only the cells, but also the inventory. Personnel should always have removable shoes and a working suit.
Tell us in the comments if you ever had to fight VGBK, and how you did it.
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