Heath Veterinary Clinic based in Burgess Hill and Hurstpierpoint, would like to make rabbit owners aware of a new strain of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease – called RVHD2.
Many UK rabbit owners will have already vaccinated their pets again the original Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, but unfortunately, these vaccines do not appear to offer protection against RVHD2.
This new strain causes rabbits to haemorrhage in their major organs and once infected, animals can die within hours, without warning or suffer over a longer course of three to nine days. The disease is easily transmitted by inanimate objects such as shoes but also through biting insects.
Heath Vets advise to take extra precautions by cleaning hutches and food bowls with a bunny friendly disinfectant regularly, keeping rabbits apart where possible, avoid interaction with wild rabbits and do not attend rabbit shows unless already vaccinated.
Sean Wensley, British Veterinary Association President, said:
“Although the risk of a rabbit contracting RVHD2 appears highest in situations where rabbits are kept in large groups with regular new additions, such as at breeders or rescue centres, we encourage all owners to speak to their vet about vaccinating their rabbits against RVHD2.”
Sarah Solomon, Practice Manager of Heath Vets, adds:
“We have managed to source a supply of vaccines in from Europe that offer protection against RVHD2. We are limited to the stock we can hold but can apply for a further import permit should the demand arise. This vaccine should be given alongside the existing combined RHD jab. The combination of both vaccines will provide protection against RVHD1, Myxomatosis and RVHD2.”
For more information about RVHD2, please call (or pop into) Heath Veterinary Clinic in Burgess Hill (01444 242500) and Hurstpierpoint (01273 832968).