A mum has told of her heartbreak after two of her three bunnies had to be put to sleep after contracting myxomatosis, a deadly infection rife in Lancashire’s rabbit population.
The Marsden family want to warn other animal lovers in the hope more come forward to have a vaccine that could prevent or reduce the symptoms of myxomatosis.
It came as vet Rachel Wyllie of Ribble Vets in Penwortham revealed 16 rabbits had to be put down in September because of the disease.
Last September just nine rabbits were euthanised – but none from the virus.
Joanne Marsden, 35, of Draper Lane, Eccleston, said daughters Megan, 11, and Keeley, nine, were devastated when vets put their male bunny Mumble, five, and baby rabbit Maple to sleep.
Maple’s mum Miley has no signs of illness but is being kept indoors.
She said: “It’s an awful disease. Our retriever Oliver was best friends with Mumble and he keeps sniffing around the hutch. Losing Mumble broke our hearts. He was a lovely bunny who would come to you if you called his name.
“Rabbit owners need to be aware it is going around.”
Symptoms include runny eyes, swollen genitals and difficulty breathing. A vaccine costs £28.80.
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Weather for Preston
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North west