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Thread: Potentially sensitive: should terminally ill rabbits be vaccinated

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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Default Potentially sensitive: should terminally ill rabbits be vaccinated

    Say if a bunny had a terminal illness & wasn't expected to live more than a couple of months - would you get him vaccinated ? I can't work out whether its worth the stress on his body when the chances are we'll have to say goodbye shortly after -if not before

    I know I could wait to decide til he's due in a few weeks but my head won't rest. So i thought maybe I'd get some insight from you lot if you're willing to share thoughts & experiences. Sorry its a bit depressing

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    If someone could come up with a valid reason why I should have him vaccinated I would listen with an open mind. But at the moment I really cannot think of anything which would persuade me to have him vaccinated if he were my rabbit.

    My reasons would be stress of the vaccination and stress of the vet experience without any definite benefit.

    If it were me terminally ill, there's no way I would want someone to take me out of my home, where I felt safe and secure and take me to have a flu jab. It's a similar situation.

    Quite apart from all that, he will be at a lesser risk of RHD 1 & 2 and also Myx by being a house rabbit. Myx also I think is more a risk in late Summer when the mozzies are around.

    Sending hugs.

    ETA Just thought of something else, which is that his current vaccine is not suddenly going to stop on the due date. It will decrease I think over a period of time.
    Last edited by Omi; 04-01-2022 at 11:23 PM.

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    Forum Buddy mini lop1's Avatar
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    Hymm years back when I had Rosie my Netherland dwarf. When she got. Brain tumour my vet advised I not vaccinating her as would probably compromise her condition. That was way back 13-14 years ago I think and things have changed alot

    Have you discussed your concerns with your vet? In what your rabbits terminal illness is and if vaccination of current form would have any effects on that


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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omi View Post
    If someone could come up with a valid reason why I should have him vaccinated I would listen with an open mind. But at the moment I really cannot think of anything which would persuade me to have him vaccinated if he were my rabbit.

    My reasons would be stress of the vaccination and stress of the vet experience without any definite benefit.

    If it were me terminally ill, there's no way I would want someone to take me out of my home, where I felt safe and secure and take me to have a flu jab. It's a similar situation.

    Quite apart from all that, he will be at a lesser risk of RHD 1 & 2 and also Myx by being a house rabbit. Myx also I think is more a risk in late Summer when the mozzies are around.

    Sending hugs.

    ETA Just thought of something else, which is that his current vaccine is not suddenly going to stop on the due date. It will decrease I think over a period of time.
    Thanks Omi. My thoughts were similar tbh. The only time my buns were ever late with vaccs was initial covid wave when my vets (& I think many others) said they'd be fine for 3 months extra. i'm even wondering whether to bother Mousey - she isn't due a review & theres nothing much my vets can offer her apart from honey drugs . I'd maybe let her go 6 weeks over til her next review (if indeed she is still here)

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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini lop1 View Post
    Hymm years back when I had Rosie my Netherland dwarf. When she got. Brain tumour my vet advised I not vaccinating her as would probably compromise her condition. That was way back 13-14 years ago I think and things have changed alot

    Have you discussed your concerns with your vet? In what your rabbits terminal illness is and if vaccination of current form would have any effects on that
    Thats useful to know. Thanks for sharing your experience with Rosie. I haven't asked my vets yet, I will of course at some point but some of the vets opinions I'd trust more than others

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    I would probably 'put off' the vaccination for as long as possible - ultimately maybe not needing to do it. The exception would be if there was a high risk of myxomatosis or RHD, in which case I would definitely do it when it was due - I would hate to lose a rabbit to preventable diseases for the sake of a vaccination, even if it was only 'useful' for a couple of months. But you also get rabbits who exceed their life expectancy, and you wish they had been vaccinated on time.

    I've got a similar decision for a couple of very elderly cats who are overdue because there are no vaccines available at my vet still. I'm debating whether they will get vaccinated again if it goes beyond another month, as they will need to start again. As they are house cats and have always been vaccinated, they 'may' be ok with some residual immunity, which is a bit different to the situation with rabbits.

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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    I would probably 'put off' the vaccination for as long as possible - ultimately maybe not needing to do it. The exception would be if there was a high risk of myxomatosis or RHD, in which case I would definitely do it when it was due - I would hate to lose a rabbit to preventable diseases for the sake of a vaccination, even if it was only 'useful' for a couple of months. But you also get rabbits who exceed their life expectancy, and you wish they had been vaccinated on time.

    I've got a similar decision for a couple of very elderly cats who are overdue because there are no vaccines available at my vet still. I'm debating whether they will get vaccinated again if it goes beyond another month, as they will need to start again. As they are house cats and have always been vaccinated, they 'may' be ok with some residual immunity, which is a bit different to the situation with rabbits.
    Thanks for your thoughts Shimmer. When you say put off as long as possible do you mean til his due date or let it go over the 12 months?

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    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
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    I agree with what's been said so far. I'd probably not worry too much but maybe revisit it in the summer if I was to get to that point. Sending hugs x

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    When I had this dilemma with Rudy, Sam was in the vaccinate camp, Ruth was in the don't vaccinate camp also pointing out that he had some protection (ie herd immunity with the others being vaccinated).

    I think it would also depend on the length of the journey etc.

    I had Artie vaccinated 6 weeks before he was due (at F's recommendation) when he was terminally ill with kidney failure as I felt I had to take him to see F as I was worried about his teeth. He went downhill rapidly and died three weeks later. Sam has reassured me massively in that regard that she would also have vaccinated that day and blames the outing rather than the vaccination for his decline.
    Last edited by Bunny Buddy; 05-01-2022 at 05:21 PM.
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    We do not have vaccinations here, though I would ask if ill bunnies would have a strong enough immune system to get full benefit of vaccine to make it worth the stress on their system.
    Though closer to due date you will have better info on progression of illness to make best decision.

    I know you will do what is best.

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