What is Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) 2?

rabbit-eatingIn recent years a new viral disease has emerged in rabbits, termed Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2. This is a new variant on Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD1). RHD2 (Like myxomatosis and RHD1) is extremely contagious and can be spread by flies or contaminated objects which means that indoor only rabbits can also be affected.

This disease can cause vague clinical signs such as lethargy and lack of appetite but can often prove fatal. Outbreaks in large groups (such as breeding groups, large populations or farms) can be devastating as transmission can occur easily. Treatment is often symptomatic using intravenous fluid therapy and gut protectants. Rapid and thorough decontamination of the environment is also required.

Traditional vaccine protocols cover myxomatosis and RHD1 but unfortunately do not include protection against RHD2. Additional vaccination is recommended and required annually with a vaccine to specifically prevent RHD2. At Vet4Life we are pleased to stock this vaccine and vaccination is free for rabbits on our family plan.

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Seb Griffin

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