Vent Disease

Treponematosis is a specific venereal disease of domestic rabbits. It occurs in both sexes and is transmitted by mating and from the doe to offspring. It is not transmissible to other domestic animals or humans.  The incubation period is 3-8 weeks. Small vesicles or ulcers are formed, which will become covered with a heavy scab, and are usually confined to the genital region, though the lips and eyelids may be affected. Infected rabbits should not be mated.  Injectible Penicillin-G Procaine, the only type of penicillin considered safe for rabbits, used at weekly intervals for 3 weeks, is necessary to eradicate treponematosis from a herd. All rabbits must be treated even if no lesions are present. Lesions usually heal within 10-14 days, and recovered rabbits can be bred without danger of transmitting the infection. A potential side effect of penicillin treatment is diarrhea and the possibility of an enteritis outbreak due to a decrease of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Rabbits treated with penicillin should be switched to hay and treated with antidiarrheals immediately if needed.


back to Rabbit Care

back to homepage