Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a widespread cause of sudden death in rabbits
Up to now, the use of a combined vaccine for it and Myxomatosis has been effective protection. But recently there has been an increase in cases of the disease which has been caused by a new variant of the disease.
This new variant (RHD2) was first identified in France in 2010 and in the UK in 2013. The disease is present in the wild rabbit population. The virus survives well in the environment and can easily be spread from infected animals, dead carcases and recovered rabbits are potentially infectious to other rabbits for a month.
Once infected within one to four days, the liver is infected and bleeding occurs but some rabbits die very quickly with no obvious signs .
The existing rabbit combined vaccine does not give protection against this new variant of the disease.
A new vaccine is becoming available which can be given to protect your rabbit.
The vaccine can be given from 10 weeks of age earlier if there is a high risk and another dose after 10 weeks of age. High-risk rabbits should be vaccinated every 6 months otherwise a yearly vaccination an early vaccination will suffice.
Rabbits in rescue centres
Homes where new rabbits arrive frequently
Rabbits with poor immune function
Rabbits exposed to wild rabbits
Moderate to low risk
Rabbits with no direct access to wild rabbits and with little or no exposure to infected material.
If you would like more information and/or book your rabbit for a vaccination please phone the surgery where we can help and inform you of the availability of the vaccine.