Bunny Vac

We vaccinated everyone today using Bunny Vac.

We vaccinated everyone today using Bunny Vac.

Today, after a lot of thought, we vaccinated our herd against pasteurella using the Bunny Vac from PanAm Labs. (Here’s a Q&A with Bob Glass describing how the vaccination works.)


I’m a little nervous about this, because we are inherently against using any non-organic substance with our rabbits. However, we discovered we really like to show our rabbits and we’ve invested a bit into getting great quality show animals. The risk of having a chance sneeze from another bunny undo the work we’ve been doing just isn’t worth it.


Plus, every time I hear a sneeze my heart stops in my chest. To be fair, we’ve been experiencing 35 mph -50 mph winds around here and you can see the dust in the air everywhere… but I keep thinking, what if that simple sneeze is the start of what can wipe us out?!


I’ve been inspecting our rabbits noses for about a month now, getting right up close and into their personal space as I try to peer into their nostrils. My husband finally told me I had to stop freaking the rabbits out like that or I couldn’t go into the rabbitry. Ha!


So today we vaccinated everyone except those who are midway through pregnancy or slated to be dispatched in the next few weeks. Tomorrow we go to a show and hope to be competitive with our newly strengthened herd.


I’ll be sure to keep you posted about our experiences with the Bunny Vac. So far, the vaccination of the herd was time consuming but painless.

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9 thoughts on “Bunny Vac

  1. Stephanie S May 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Is this something I need to do and can I do it myself?? We will be breeding Holland Lops in the next week for a Doe and Litter project in 4H for an upcoming fair.


    • madhatrabbits May 31, 2013 at 10:36 pm Reply

      It’s absolutely a personal choice. If you’re a closed herd, with no rabbits coming in and out, there’s a good chance you’d not want to bother with it. In fact, there’s no guarantee the BunnyVac will 100% protect against pasteurella (although in the clinical trials it was 100% effective and that was impressive to me). Everyone will have to weigh the options for themselves – for us, with the showing that we do and the finances we’ve invested in our stock, a $2/rabbit first year investment and $1/rabbit investment in upcoming years was worth it!

      You can do it yourself. Contact Bob Glass (Bob Glass, Bglass@pavlab.com or (800) 856 9655) and you can place your order. We also needed a syringe and some .22×3/4 in. needles to get everyone done.


    • madhatrabbits May 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply

      Here’s another opinion from the ARBA board that I thought had some good thinking in it: “This is a great topic with a ton of bad information out there. Snot is bad no matter how you look at it. People spend way too much time defending a very bad disease in rabbits. The incidence of pasteurella is over 30% in adult rabbits. What does that mean? 3 out of 10 rabbits will test positive for Pasteurella. These animals are carriers. We all probably have it in our rabbitries and don’t know it. Stress leads to multiplication of bacteria and clinical disease. What are those stress causes? Many of you have already mentioned them…Genetics, Ventilation, high ammonia levels, heat, pregnancy, other diseases…Bordatella is often implicated as another bacteria that can cause snot. This is true, but it also has been implicated as a cause of the pasteurella to start to multiply. Remember a high percentage of rabbits are carriers, yet we never see disease. These animals also can shed it without “Blowing” snot. Bordatella is rarely a pathogen by itself. It is almost cultured with pasteurella as a copathogen. Some people state that a rabbit that sneezes, but doesn’t have snot is not pasteurella…This is by no means a 100% true statement, but it could be true. However, use common sense, a rabbit gets dust from feeding up its nose or a shot of water up its nose while feeding and sneezes, this is probably not pasteurella. However, a rabbit that sneezes randomly throughout the day with no apparent cause, probably pasteurella. People spend more time convincing themselves that it isn’t when it probably is. It’s called denial and way too many people have it. We will never eradicate it from herds, but we sure can do a lot by culling hard for it. Treatment doesn’t make any sense to me. Antibiotics are great at suppressing it, but truly never get rid of it. Over the counter antibiotics are inferior so why would you use them? Veterinarians are great at prescribing antibiotics because that is what we do. They don’t think in herd management, they think in pet medicine. Think before you treat. This is going to stay in your herd if you don’t cull for it. So why do you want that rabbit in your herd?”


      • Deb B. June 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        I tend to look at it this way. I vaccinate my dogs, my cats, my horses, cattle, sheep, whatever–who never leave home/my yard/my pasture. My rabbits are hauled all over the place to shows all the time, where they come into contact with rabbits from all over the country-we travel to large shows with many thousands of rabbits, often traveling over 1000 miles to get there one way–why on earth not vaccinate my rabbits to help keep them healthy and boost their immune systems when the vaccine is out there, easy to use, and affordable. It just makes good herd sense to me. Why not take advantage of every possible chance to keep them healthy even if they should come up against a sick rabbit in the next cage?


      • madhatrabbits June 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        I agree! I just feel badly about it since our goal is organic meat production. 😦 I’ve been following the discussion on Facebook about the BunnyVac and I’ve heard some rabbits have gotten abscess at the injection site (specifically some English Spots and a Silver Fox). Haven’t seen any abscess in our herd or sickness either. Although there are more sneezes. But it’s up to 50 mph winds around here so I don’t think it’s fair to blame anything but the weather for the sneezes! (I’ve had to take three types of allergy medications almost every day of the last two weeks. Yuck.)


      • Deb B. June 16, 2013 at 6:13 am

        Rabbits do have allergies just like people do. I know when mine are acting up, that’s when I see certain rabbits having issues. When mine are at bay-they are fine as well. We were at a show this weekend where they were selling it at a booth. So naturally there was a lot of discussion on the show floor about it. Every person I talked to who had used it had nothing but good comments about it. Of course, there were all of those “any rabbit with a weak immune system should be culled out” folks, but as one person commented, I’ll buy a bottle just to support the fact that someone is FINALLY working to make progress in rabbit health care and medicines for the rabbit industry not just telling us to use some product already out there for cats or some other animal!


  2. […] a lot of consideration of the options and possible outcomes, we decided to go ahead and vaccinate. It’s been long enough now that it seems safe to give you an report of what we’ve […]


  3. Linda June 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm Reply

    Hi all. I do understand that the vaccine is meant for prevention but can anyone tell me if they gave it to buns that were already infected and if it worked and how long does it take to see signs of improvement after the second dose and how long does it last? I have a house bun


    • madhatrabbits September 4, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      My understanding from researching is that Bunny Vac will NOT hide any sickness, in fact, if your rabbit is sick already and you vaccinate it it will push a full-blown attack out into the open, making it very clear what is going on.


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