We have had some enquiries regarding the new variant of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD) and wanted to give a brief overview for those that haven’t come across it before.
RVHD has been a widespread cause of sudden death in rabbits in the UK for decades, along with Myxomatosis. It affects both indoor and outdoor rabbits as it is airborne and can survive in the environment for a long time. It is spread by both direct and indirect contact with infected rabbits so if you, your pets or other wildlife has been on ground where a RVHD infected rabbit has been it can be carried back to your rabbit.
Until recently the use of the combined vaccination has protected effectively against both RVHD and Myxomatosis. Unfortunately a new variant – RVHD2 –has since seen in the UK from 2013 which is not covered by this vaccination. The RVHD2 has some differences from the classic form of RVHD, the main being that it can affect rabbits of any age where as the classic form is rarely seen in rabbits under 8-10weeks of age.
A new vaccine is now available, via special import licence from France that does provide protection, which we are pleased to say we have secured a limited supply of.
Myomatosis and classic RVHD still remain the most significant health threat which we can vaccinate against, so continuing the combined vaccination remains a priority, but the RVHD2 vaccination can be given in addition. This new vaccination can be used from 10 weeks of age; it needs to be separated from the combined vaccination by a minimum of two weeks and is administered annually unless your rabbit is in a high risk situation (eg. unwell with poor immunity, show rabbit, exposed to wild rabbits).
If you have further questions or need to book for the vaccination please call the practice, so that we can ensure availability.
*UPDATE* October 2017 Sadly we now have confirmed cases in our area