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Emerging Rabbit Disease

Attention Emerging Rabbit Disease

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus - RHDV2 Outbreak in the Southwest and in California


Clinical signs:

Sudden collapse, blood tinged nostrils, neurologic signs, respiratory signs and death.

Transmission:

Direct contact with live or dead rabbits, rabbit meat, fur or mechanical vectors like carnivores.  Also, by indirect contact with contaminated objects or water.  Diagnostic testing is available, but there is no treatment.

Prevention:

  1. Strict bio security measures are essential:

  • Keep rabbits indoors
  • Avoid outdoor playtime
  • Avoid Humane Societies, Rabbit Rescue’s, or bunny play group activities

**NOTE:  If you volunteer with a rabbit rescue group or humane society; remove your clothing, wash your hands and change your shoes before handling your personal pets**

  2. Vaccination:

There is no FDA approved vaccination available in the United States.  There are veterinarians in Southern California in the process of getting approval to import the vaccine from Europe.  Currently Brook-Ellis Pet Hospital has not pursued obtaining the vaccine.  The vaccine efficacy is not 100%, and vaccinated rabbits can still contract the disease and die.

Please refer to the following links:

https://rabbit.org/rhdv/

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/downloads/emerging-risk-notice-rabbit.pdf

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/fs-rhdv2.pdf