Myxi is usually spread by biting insects (fleas, mosquitoes) carrying the Myxoma virus. However, direct rabbit-to-rabbit spread can occur, as well as being spread by Cheyletiella fur mites

Myxomatosis starts with runny eyes and in the very early stages can be confused with other causes of conjunctivitis but in addition, the genitals are also swollen. It rapidly progresses to a severe conjunctivitis which causes blindness and is accompanied by swelling of the head and genital region, plus lumps on the body. Thick pus discharges from the nose and swollen eyes. There are also two atypical forms of myxomatosis: one causes pneumonia and a snuffles-like illness; the other ("Nodular myxomatosis") mainly affects skin and carries a better prognosis.

Rabbits do not have any genetically based immunity against myxomatosis.  Vaccination can start from as young as 6 weeks of age, but only healthy rabbits should be vaccinated and the vaccine canít be administered to pregnant animals.

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