Thursday, 4 May 2017

Myxomatosis


Myxomatosis has hit the village rabbits with a vengeance .
It's a terrible terrible disease.
The affected rabbits suffer rapid weight loss, lesions and tumours over their faces and genitals and die a painful death after respiratory complications set in only fourteen days after being infected by host fleas. Only perhaps 35% of the population will survive.
Albert usually drags in baby rabbits during the spring months and even he has stopped feeding on the field. It's as though he knows the animals are tainted and like the sad zombies on The Walking Dead the dying crouch feebily on the sides of the lane and road waiting to die.
At the bottom of my field, isolated by thick brambles, a small enclave of young rabbits remain seemingly healthy and playful.
I watched them this morning, playing together in the dawn sun.
I hope they survive this outbreak, but things do look rather bleak

62 comments:

  1. Those poor bunnies! I hope the new family survives, too!

    Fingers crossed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A pet rabbit of ours got myxy once. I had her put down immediately, I thought it was best

      Delete
  2. Terrible to think it was deliberately introduced to keep down the rabbits.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Came across a wild rabbit with myxy while out walking a few years ago, dragging itself along the ground. Put it out of its misery rather than leave it to suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Poor little things :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. I thought there were a lot less rabbits than usual on our hillside, this would explain it. What a shame. Even if they do inch my cabbages I hate to think of them suffering this horribly sad, slow death.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My dad used to tell us tales of being evacuated to Norfolk during WW2 and chasing sick rabbits to wring their necks. Poor little things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is awfully sad but I suppose they were inexpensive food during the war. Your family did eat them?

      Delete
  7. I grew up in the East Yorkshire countryside and one of my lasting childhood memories is of a rabbit on Whiteheads' farm, ravaged by myxomatosis. Until you mentioned it I never knew that it was carried by fleas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Poor bunnies, how sad. Is there any effective treatment?

    ReplyDelete
  9. John you've reminded me of a Spike Milligan poem.
    'A baby rabbit with it's eyes full of puss
    Is the product of scientific us'

    ReplyDelete
  10. We don't have Rabbits here; just Hares. I'd hate for them to be wiped out.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We have a pet bunny who lives inside; we also vaccinate him but our government hasn't released the latest strain they've only just released. We can only hope to keep our Sugar safe and away from mosquitoes and flys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We also had an indoor bunny, we gave her most of our lower level to live in ( had to hide all the wires!). She lived until she was almost nine years old, the vet said that was a very good age. I hope yours will be just as healthy.

      Delete
  12. Gosh that took me back to childhood and sobbing inconsolably as my father explained that my uncle was being kind as he put a myxo rabbit, that we had come across in the woods, out of it's misery. The experience stayed with me for years and still upsets me now to think that we introduced such a vile disease.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's a terrible thing. My dad often spoke about an outbreak on Anglesey when dead rabbits littered the roads from Menai to Holyhead. Must have been in the 1950's I think, as we were still in Wales at the time if I remember correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't think we've got it here at the moment. There are few people in arable areas who would go searching for a cure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It may be horrible to see a rabbit in distress but it's actually a good thing that myxy sweeps through the rabbit population every few years or the countryside would be over-run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1:37 pm

      What a complete knob you are!!! we have the disease here now and to see them suffering and having there eyes pecked out while still alive is absolutley haunting you should be ashamed to make such a stupid comment

      Delete
  16. A vile disease, deliberately inflicted on the rabbit population. Humans really are the most wicked species on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeesh! How horrible. Is it invariably fatal? Do any rabbits recover?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh dear, that's terrible. I wish them all a speedy death rather than suffering.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That is so horrible and so sad ! Oh this makes me cry :(

    ReplyDelete
  20. Poor little souls. It's probably nature's way of keeping the population under control but what a horrible way to die.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That's so sad. I've never heard of it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh my . . . Very, very sad . . .

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a dreadful thing to happen to an innocent creature. I hope the little bunnies in your brambles come through this epidemic...

    ReplyDelete
  24. How dreadful! Do they know where it comes from - besides fleas, I mean. What gets it started? I hope it can't cross-infect other species. Poor bunnies.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I never heard of this John... is it only in the UK or do they do that in the US too i wonder? Terrible to think they would introduce something that would make them suffer so... terrible to think that 'the people' are okay with that and don't complain...... I hope your little clutch survives........deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The disease was introduced to kill rabbits..it was done in a huge scale in Australia

      Delete
    2. That is hideous and an example of how Man can F*ck up the planet with his bad ideas.

      Delete
    3. In Australia, rabbits are a very destructive introduced species. They were brought here for people to hunt for sport and without any natural predators they took over the landscape, destroyed pretty much all vegetation, wiped out habitat for native species, etc.
      As gorgeous as they are, they can't be left to breed unchecked here. Myxomatosis is a cruel disease but there were no other effective options. Eventually rabbits here became pretty much resistant and so we introduced calicivirus, which is a horrid haemorrhagic disease.
      Nobody likes it but it has to be done

      Delete
  26. Heartbreaking. No creature should have to die like that.

    ReplyDelete
  27. A cruel disease John and if I remember it was actually introduced here from Australia to help control the rabbit population. No animal deserves that - they have as much right as we have to be here.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It is quite pitiful to see but here it was introduced to control rabbit numbers and for a time it was successful until they built up an immunity to it. Now, and perhaps just as bad, calicivirus does the job but it too is becoming less effective.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've never heard of this. Is it everywhere
    in the world of rabbits?
    There are so many rabbits in my part of
    the world, and as much as I am annoyed
    by the constant damage to my garden,
    I do realize they are a part of the
    whole circle of life here.........
    Coyote, snakes, lizards, rats, hawks,
    and so many more critters in my area.
    I much prefer the natural order of things.
    Not this terrible thing you showed us today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Janet, I was just going to write the same thing.

      Where I live the circle of life starts with rabbits. Not really but it seem so.
      We kill off the predators and then get mad when rabbits explode. Or the killing of birds by farmers and cats. Really who eats the bugs who destroy your crops ?
      Where I live I see this circle everyday. Hawks, coyotes, snakes, quail, roadrunners, critters big and small.
      In the UK mass killing of badgers. At least they are shot and not left to die such a horrible death.
      Everyone who OK'ed this should have to be locked in a room with as many dieing rabbits as can be brought into the room.
      This makes me so mad, sad and truly upset.
      Weaver has posted about this before and I had a hard time believing it then.

      cheers, parsnip

      Delete
  30. Why does "man" think it is smarter than Mother Nature? I'd like to know if there ever was a long lasting intervention in species manipulation that didn't have awful results ?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have never heard of this. What a sad post to read.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Rabbits are factory farmed, on a vast scale, in some European countries (not here). After 80 days (if they survive that long), they're slaughtered. Many end up in pet food that's sold in the UK.

    Myxomatosis, or animal concentration camp; take your pick in the rabbit cruelty stakes.


    ReplyDelete
  33. It's hard to see any living thing suffer. What to do?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh No ! My brother was once paid to shoot the Myxi rabbits to put them out of their misery. A boy in our village got very sick picking one up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how common this is but someone I know worked in an office which was part of a former stately home with huge grounds in the U.K. Every few years they would hire sharpshooters to come in ( at dusk I think) to shoot the rabbits. Not nice but better than this horrid and cruel disease which gives a drawn out death.

      Delete
  35. It is an awful, awful biologica population control. I well remember when it was introduced in Oz.

    ReplyDelete
  36. does it spread to other animals? do they know what exactly causes it?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I just read Weaver reply. This was deliberately introduced? Couldn't they fin a more humane way to control?



    ReplyDelete
  38. I think Weaver is right, there are no limits!! We've had it in Sweden too, wiping out both wild rabbits and pet ones in a wink of an eye. You are so right John, it's a horrible horrible plague!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. A few years ago in Australia they introduced a new virus to kill rabbits,
    calicivirus. It hasn't eradicated them either. There are still rabbits behind my back fence most mornings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terribly cruel ..our control measures should be seen as animal abuse even in the case of a pest, decent treatment is our responsibility. The human race has sooo much to answer for!

      Delete
    2. We're still working on how to control the 'Cane Toads'. (as well as the most pestiferous 'cats'. ...)

      But hey ... who doesn't love a pussy.

      Delete
  40. There are still 50 million of them in Great Britain chomping away.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We have an explosion of hedgehogs, I adore then, lovely watching them at night with a little light on the patio, feed them meal worms and cat food.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Tuff tit .. at this point where i live the is what is approaching a "Mouse Plague". Have, over this past month - seen, and dispatched about 200 so far.
    have also spent about AU$200.00 on poisons ..

    While Yep; mice can be 'cute critters' when confronted 'one on one' ....

    ReplyDelete
  43. (um factual scientific update ..calicivirus)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .. for rabbits .. not mice.

      Delete
    2. .. or cane toads.

      Delete
  44. Too much of anything is bad

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x