Sterilising Second-Hand Hutches

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Sterilising Second-Hand Hutches

Post by Happy Hoppers on Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:47 am

Quite often when hutches are offered for sale or free, second hand it is because the previous occupant has passed on. Many times the owners may be unaware of why their rabbit died or just put it down to old age. However as many rabbit keepers are still unable to spot the basic signs or illness, or do not vaccinate or worm their rabbits on a regular basis it is never a given that the rabbit was not carrying something contagious, even if it was not what caused it's demise.

As such we strongly recommend that anyone taking on a second-hand hutch have it throroughly sterilised before use to eliminate diseases such as VHD, EC, Coccidia, Pasteurella Multocida and any insect residents who may act as a vector for illnesses such as Myxomatosis. Just because a hutch has been empty for a long time does not mean it has passed a 'quarantine' stage as some of these diseases, particularly sporidal ones, can survive dormant in the environment for months.

Veterinary Grade disinfectants such as Trigene and Virkon are ineffective against Coccidia and E. Cuniculi. Coccidia can be killed using Jeyes Fluid and E.Cuniculi using a 1:10 bleach solution. Both can be killed by extreme heat and steam cleaning is also recommended. As Jeyes will kill all of the above mentioned diseases we recommend this is the product you use but there are a few points to be aware of.

Jeyes is full of ammonia and is highly toxic to cats, it can also cause breathing problems in people and other animals. As such it must be used in a well ventilated area, preferably outside. You must dilute (we suggest using very hot water) Jeyes to the given strength on the container and scrub all surfaces well. It is then vitally important that you throroughly rinse the hutch several times over and leave it to dry and air for 2-3 days before moving any rabbits in.

Make sure that it no longer smells before attempting to use it for habitation.
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