Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Types of Rabbit Fever This Week

The first type of Rabbit Fever I heard about this week was an email from Carmel Valley, CA. A woman was concerned about her house rabbit becoming infected with "Rabbit Fever" (tularemia). A tick recently found by County Vector Control officials near Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve tested positive for the disease. Tularemia is a bacterial disease and also "zoonotic" meaning it can be transmitted to humans. The woman who emailed wasn't concerned for herself. She doesn't go hiking and does not have any outside animals in her care. The disease is spread by infected ticks, mosquitoes or airborne in dust. Humans can be treated with antibiotics. Fortunately, house rabbits are the most unlikely candidates for this disease since they are indoor companion animals. Cats and dogs who go outdoors have been known to be infected. See House Rabbit Society article.

The second Rabbit Fever is a documentary film. It will be hitting the film festival circuit in the next few weeks just in time for Easter. The film is about six teenagers who will be showing their rabbits at the National Rabbit Convention. Every review I have read describes it as a "coming of age" film set in the "quirky" world of show rabbits. It could be dogs cats or rabbits. In fact, the rabbits are inconsequential to the overarching focus on the teenagers. The online preview was shocking to me because it shows an event where 25,000 rabbits are sitting in small cages waiting to be judged. All rabbits are perfect including my rabbits at home that don't meet show standards.