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RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease) and Myxomatosis are diseases found throughout the UK and are both highly fatal to un-vaccinated rabbits. Both outdoor AND indoor rabbits are at risk. RHD in particular is highly infectious and contagious.  It can be spread by direct and indirect contact with infected rabbits and by biting insects (as can Myxomatosis). For example – if you, your dog or cat has walked on ground where a RHD infected rabbit has been, you can carry the virus home on your clothes and your pets can carry it on their fur or feet. The virus can survive for many months, is difficult to kill and can survive harsh environmental conditions.

 

Currently there is a vaccine in the UK that provides protection again Myxomatosis and RHD called Nobivac Myxo-RHD. However, there is now a new strain of RHD present in the UK known as RHD2 (we have had at least 2 cases in Plymouth so far) for which the current vaccine does not provide protection. This disease can produce a wide range of clinical signs varying from simple gut stasis to rapid death.

 

Thankfully, we now have a vaccine available that protects against RHD2 specially imported from France. The vaccine does not provide protection against myxomatosis so the normal Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine will still need to be given. It is recommended that an interval of 14 days should be left between giving the normal annual vaccination and this new vaccine.

 

In total, your rabbit will now require 2 vaccinations (comprising of 2 injections) per year:

 

1) Nobivac Myxo-RHD Vaccine – Just one injection covers them for myxomatosis and RHD1 for 12 months.

2) Filavac RHD2 – This covers them against the new RHD2 for at least 6 months.

 

There is a limited supply of the new vaccine and it will be given on a first come first served basis. Please contact us on 01752 702646 or your local branch to make your appointment for vaccination as soon as possible. If it has been less than 14 days since your annual Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine, please contact us to discuss the risk/benefit of having the new vaccine early.

 

For more information, please see:

 

https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/articles/infectious-disease/rabbit-haemorrhagic-disease/abbit-haemorrhagic-disease-and-its-variants-lagoviruses

New Rabbit Virus RHD2

Rabbits