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Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

There has been an increase in the number of cases of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease new variant 2 (RHDV2) virus in the past year or so.

We are keeping an eye on the situation and as always, will advise accordingly.

This virus is less severe than ‘classic’ RHD (which causes sudden death in a high proportion of affected rabbits), and more rabbits will survive infection with the RHDV2 strain, however it can still cause significant illness of up to 5 days duration, and can cause death.

This strain has been present in Western Europe for several years but has only been found in the UK in the past 2 years.  There is no UK licensed vaccine which will protect completely against RHDV2, however efforts are being made to import a vaccine for use in UK rabbits. Currently, we  have limited access to the vaccine but we are monitoring the supply situation, and will offer this vaccine as soon as we have availablity. In the meantime, if you notice any lethargy or poor appetite in your rabbit please let us see them sooner rather than later. 

 It is important to stress that RHDV2 is not yet common in the UK, and so the risk to your rabbit remains low.  The biggest risk to pet rabbits in the UK is still Myxomatosis, so please ensure your rabbits have been vaccinated against this disease in the past 12 months.

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