Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

p1040922Your rabbit should be protected against two major diseases called Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease or RHD as it is also known. These can be potentially fatal.

Myxomatosis is a widespread disease caused by a virus. The disease is spread by blood- sucking insects such as the rabbit flea and mosquitoes.

RHD is a viral disease which is spread between rabbits by direct contact but also by indirect contact via people, clothing, on shoes, other objects and fleas. All types of rabbit are potentially susceptible to both diseases, including house rabbits. It is possible to protect against both these diseases by vaccinating against them yearly with a combined vaccination.

It has recently been discovered that there is now a second strain of RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease) RHDV2 which you may be hearing about in the press. Rabbits infected with the RHDV2 virus typically DO NOT show the symptoms that are common with the original RHD virus so it is far more difficult to diagnose. Fatality from RHDV2 occurs later and over a longer period of time than RHD. Although RHDV2 is less virulent than the original strain of RHD, its difficult early diagnosis actually means it is more challenging given rabbits can carry the disease for a longer period of time without any visible signs of infection.

We are currently importing stock of the only vaccine available against RHDV2 from France. This is a lengthy process as stock levels are limited and there is a high demand. If you would like your rabbit vaccinated against this additional strain of RHDV2 please contact your local branch. If they do not have a supply of the vaccine at the time we will take your details and contact you as soon as it is available.

You must still vaccinate your rabbit against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) as well.

This vaccine is not a replacement but in addition to your normal vaccination routine. At present as we are not in a high risk area for RHDV2 we are recommending yearly vaccination against the new strain. If you are a Pet Healthcare Plan member we are offering 10% off this additional vaccination. If you are concerned about how best to protect your rabbit or have experienced the sudden death of your rabbit and are concerned, please contact us and we will be able to help. More information is also available on our website.