Myxomatosis in rabbits

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New member
Aug 3, 2021
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I have a pregnant rabbit diagnosed with myxomatosis. The vet didn't want to prescribe sth for her, so i just came home. The vet told me that if i feed it, it may have some chances of surviving.
I've read about aspirin as a painkiller used in rabbits. But my concern is that she is pregnant, so i'm just asking if giving her some aspirin to help with inflamation and pain, would do any harm to her unborn rabbits.
Also, what do you think about local lidocain on her lips and eyes areas, where she is super inflamed?
And another question i have: she has to labour on 9th of August. So if she will live till then, and her babyes will live too, will they be borned with this virus but without symptoms, or they will get the virus from the mother and they will eventually die?
I wait for your answers, she's my first rabbit and any oppinion or help is welcomed. Thank you!


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Dec 16, 2009
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South Eastern Ontario
I don't know how aspirin would affect the kits, but willow leaves, twigs and inner bark contain an aspirin-like substance. I fed willow frequently to all my rabbits as part of their natural diet with no ill effects. As far as I know, all willow species can be safely fed. Poplar has similar properties and is also safe.

However, if I had a pregnant doe with something as serious as myxomatosis, I would seriously consider euthanasia to prevent her suffering and to prevent the spread of the disease.


Well-known member
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Feb 15, 2014
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My opinion:
If your doe isn't vaccinated I would estimate her chance of survival at around 5%, if she is a healthy, active and strong rabbit. Being pregnant doesn't help.

The kits are the least of your worries, i would even give her better chances if she would lose the litter, but that's not likely going to happen.
Aspirin could theoretically be extracted from willow bark, but to have any useful effect you would need to feed a lot of it, I don't know how much but I'd rather think she would explode before it comes close to what the medicine does. Not sure if aspirin is the medicine of choice in that situation.
I would reconsider your priorities, and wouldn't put the kits too high up there. I don't know what percentage can become asymptomatic carriers after surviving and healing up properly, but I don't think that's very likely.

I had a Myxo outbrake in my first year with rabbits, I had to euthanise 14 of my 15 rabbits once they struggled to keep breathing, let alone eating or doing anything. Once I realised what I'm dealing with I tried to quarentine them from each other, but sole surviver was my black Fury that shared my kitchen, and then the whole apartment with me for 8 months, she's a very happy, 9yo outdoor bunny now.

Please follow quarentine proceedures as good as you can when dealing with the rabbit, changing clothes and shoes, desinfecting hands, dispose of waste etc. to not spread it to rabbits of people you come in contact with, or to a wild population.