Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Vaccine

The following is information provided by Dr. Alice McLaughlin, veterinarian in Bothell, who imported the RHD2 vaccine for use in the quarantine and control areas of Washington. For additional questions about the vaccine or the virus after reading this, contact Dr. McLaughlin at 425-486-9000 or the Washington State Department of Agriculture. If any rabbit owners are interested in getting their rabbits vaccinated, please have contact Dr. McLaughlin as soon as possible to sign up for vaccine clinics or to get their rabbits on the vaccine waiting list.

Most rabbits have, in their skill set, the ability to pretend that they’re healthy even when they’re quite sick. It’s sort of the inverse of playing possum, but done for the same purpose, namely, to deflect attention from predators, who would consider a sick rabbit easy pickings. As a result of this playacting, rabbits often die suddenly—or what appears to be suddenly—when, in fact, they’ve been sick for a while.


Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is a highly contagious and deadly disease of rabbits caused by the RHD virus (RHDV and RHDV2). The RHDV2 strain of the virus has been spreading through the Southwest and has finally reached California. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV2) was found in a dead rabbits in the Palm Springs, (Riverside County), Yucca Valley (San Bernardino County), Poway (San Diego County), and most recently San Clemente (Orange County). Because it is in the wild rabbit population, we can assume that RHDV2 will become common in California, and will reach the Santa Barbara region relatively soon. Currently RHDV2 has not been confirmed within a 150 mile radius of Santa Barbara, but it epidemic is moving our direction.

BUNS has already modified our operations to reduce the chance of spreading the virus. We recommend that you consider modifying your routines to help reduce the chance of RHD infecting rabbits under your care.

RHD only infects rabbits and other members of the lagomorph family. You, your family and other pets will not get this disease. However, you can spread it inadvertently, so awareness is key.

Features of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Vaccine

Rabbits can catch the virus by inhalation, ingestion, or by absorption through scrapes and wounds.  It can be transmitted by direct contact with an infected rabbit or by contact with an object, person, clothing, or equipment that has encountered an affected rabbit.  Rabbits are also able to catch the virus through consumption of contaminated water or food.  Insects can spread the virus over long distances. The first case of RHD was confirmed on May 13, 2020 when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) identified a wild jackrabbit in Palm Springs, one of 10 that had died, that tested positive for the virus. The virus has also been found in wild and domestic rabbits in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Mexico since March 2020.

Prices of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Vaccine

$44.00 – $ 79.95

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