Filavac Vaccine For Rabbits

We are please to advise that the new Filavac VHD K C + V  vaccine is in stock at the clinic now.  This vaccine protects against both V1 and V2 stains of the virus and replaces our previous vaccine Cylap which is not effective against V2 stains. The newly discovered V2 strain of Calicivirus is known to cause disease in very young rabbits from four weeks of age and can cause a longer more severe illness than seen with other strains.  This strain is highly infectious and it is likely that this is now wide spread in the wild rabbit population.


For rabbits that have recently been vaccinated with Cylap a two week interval is recommended between revaccination with Filavac. Rabbits can be vaccinated with Filavac from ten weeks of age and require a single vaccination followed by an annual booster. It takes seven days for rabbits to develop immunity following vaccination.  The efficacy of the vaccine in rabbits younger than ten weeks of age has not been demonstrated and its use would be considered off label, and an additional vaccination is recommended at ten weeks.

Unfortunately Filavac is significantly more expensive than the Cylap vaccine, but it is reassuring that we now have this vaccine available to protect our pet rabbits against this nasty disease.

Features of Filavac Vaccine For Rabbits

Recently a new variant of the Virus that causes Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease,has been discovered in NZ. This is not the officially released RHDV1 k5 rather RHDV2 which has been discovered in Nelson and the Bay of Plenty. Cylap, the standard rabbit vaccine may not provide protection against this strain and MPI has urgently imported a vaccine call Filavac. We have received our allocation of only 20 doses. As demand for the vaccine has far outweighed supply, we are offering the vaccine to a very limited number of rabbits that are most at risk. Also the vaccine will be only offered to existing clients. If your rabbit qualifies, you will have been contacted by our clinic letting you know that your rabbit will be offered the vaccine. If you have not been directly contacted, we understand how worrying and frustrating this situation is for rabbit owners. We are placing a pre-order for more Filavac and will advise rabbit owners when it becomes more generally available. Currently there is no time frame as to when it might become available, but we hope it might be within the next 3 months.

Benefits of Filavac Vaccine For Rabbits

In addition to Filavac vaccination, to reduce the risk of your pet rabbit becoming infected from a wild rabbit please follow the following preventative measures:

  • Control insects (especially flies and fleas) as much as possible both indoors and outdoors. Flies are the main vector through which the virus is spread.
  • Remove uneaten food daily to not attract flies.
  • Keep pet rabbits indoors where possible.
  • Rabbit-proof backyards to prevent access by wild rabbits.
  • Regularly decontaminate equipment and materials (eg. cages, hutches, bowls) with either 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off.
  • Limit contact with and handling of unfamiliar pet rabbits. Take special precautions if attending any events where unfamiliar rabbits are present, such as petting zoos, rabbit shows and rescue centres.
  • Use good biosecurity measures (eg. wash hands, shoes and clothing) after handling other people’s rabbits.
  • Isolate new rabbits for 7 days before introducing to other rabbits.
  • Rinse all leafy greens well before feeding them to rabbits. While feeding rabbits leafy greens remains a risk for introducing infection, the benefits of feeding these is considered to outweigh the risks.

Dosage and administration

Amounts to be administered and administration routeOne dose (0.5 ml) per subcutaneous injection per animal.Primary vaccination: from the 10th week of age.Revaccination: annually. Apply usual aseptic conditions. Shake gently before and occasionally during administration to maintain a homogeneous suspension.

Adverse reactions (frequency and seriousness)

Very common: a temporary increase in body temperature of up to 1.6°C can be observed one day after vaccination.Very common: immunization may be followed by a limited local reaction (subcutaneous nodule, the size of which was up to 10 mm in diameter in the double dose study) which may be palpable for at least 52 days and which disappears without treatment.Serious hypersensitivity reactions which may be fatal have been reported very rarely from post marketing pharmacovigilance reporting. Lethargy and/or inappetence have been reported very rarely in the first 48 hours after injection, from post marketing pharmacovigilance reporting

Prices of Filavac Vaccine For Rabbits


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