Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus: RHDV2
The United States has had an outbreak of a deadly disease to rabbits Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus: RHDV2.
The virus is spread by insects from wild rabbits. It is very contagious. All rabbit must be kept 100% indoors to protect them. No outside playtime at all.
The vaccine for RHDV2 has just been approved for use in the United States this week. Once it has been imported we will be announcing where it will be available.
Below is what one of our vets, Dr Sari Kanfer from Exotic Animal Vet Center posted earlier this week:
In the past few weeks several cases of RHDV2 have been diagnosed in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, New York and Colorado. Last year there was an outbreak in British Columbia and Washington state, and in 2018 there was an outbreak in Ohio.
RHDV2 is very contagious. It only infects rabbits.
· The most common sign is acute death, with or without bloody discharge. Infected rabbits may develop a fever, stop eating, or may even have respiratory signs.
· This virus is not related to the Covid-19 coronavirus. Our quarantine will help decrease the spread of RHCV2 in the rabbit community.
· Keep rabbits indoors and avoid traveling with your rabbit unless necessary. The virus can be spread by contact with infected clothing, shoes, etc. Flies and other insects can spread the virus. The virus has been diagnosed in domesticated rabbits as well as cottontails and hares.
. Hay that has been harvested and dried is not a source of exposure for rabbits. The curing process for hay is a months long process which should guarantee potential sources of infection from wild rabbits has been eradicated.
If you think your rabbit has a fever or it is bleeding please call us right away. If you have general, non-emergency questions please email us at [email protected].
We will be posting update as we get them. So stay safe, keep your rabbits safe indoors with you.
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Every day I talk to people that do not know about Rabbit Hemorrhagic Viral Disease 2 (RHVD2), and the fact that it is highly contagious and now spreading in the US. It is very important to keep your rabbits vaccinated and 100% indoors even if they have the vaccine.