Study of urgent visits to commercial rabbit farms in Spain and Portugal during 1997-2007


  • J.M. Rosell NANTA S.A.
  • L.F. de la Fuente Universidad de León
  • J.I. Badiola Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
  • D. Fernández de Luco Universidad de Zaragoza
  • J. Casal Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
  • M. Saco Laboratori de Sanitat Ramadera. DAR



rabbit diseases, welfare, monitoring, surveillance, disease prevention


This is a report on work carried out on 4307 visits to 868 commercial farms with domestic rabbits in Spain and Portugal from January 1997 to December 2007. Of the total visits, 2237 (52%) were emergencies on 660 farms. The median size of the farms ranged between 450 does in 1997 and 750 in 2007. This retrospective study measures the clinical disease occurrence using the Monthly Risk of urgent visits (MR), i.e. the percentage of visits made as a result of each clinical disease in comparison with the total number of urgent visits made each month. The main reasons for the emergencies were mucoid enteropathy (similar to Epizootic Rabbit Enteropathy), with a MR: 25.0%, enteritis-diarrhoea (24.1%), myxomatosis, (11.1%), reproductive troubles (8.6%), respiratory diseases (7.2%) and staphylococcosis (4.2%). Fifty-four percent of the urgent visits were due to diseases of the digestive system. Mucoid enteropathy was still one of the main diseases faced by the commercial rabbit industry during the study period. No significant yearly or monthly variations were observed in the analysis of the MR. A seasonal effect was only found in respiratory diseases during the summer (MR: 11.06±0.01) and myxomatosis in autumn (MR: 14.60±0.02), in comparison with spring (MR: 7.44±0.02). It is therefore concluded that farms should be permanently protected as they might be affected by any of these diseases at any time during the year.


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Author Biographies

L.F. de la Fuente, Universidad de León

Depto. Producción Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria

J.I. Badiola, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona


D. Fernández de Luco, Universidad de Zaragoza

Depto. Histología y Anatomía Patológica. Facultad de Veterinaria

J. Casal, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona


Dept. Sanitat i Anatomia Animals