Vaccination is recommended for healthy rabbits over 10 weeks of age. The vaccine is safe for pregnant does, but babies will still require their own dose when they are of age. The vaccine will take a minimum of 7 days to provide protection. It spreads through rabbit contact with a diseased rabbit’s fur, feces, urine, bedding, or direct contact. It also spreads via feces from other animals (scavenging predators, including birds) or insects that have had contact with a diseased rabbit, or contact with a contaminated surface or food. The virus can survive for at least 3 months in the carcass of a dead rabbit or dried on cloth. On other surfaces the virus may survive from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on conditions. It is resistant to both high temperatures (it can survive 1 hour at 122° F) and freezing.
Rabbits housed outdoors are at the highest risk. Even if there are no wild rabbits in your area, insects (especially flies) are able to transmit the virus. A single fly speck can contain enough virus to infect a rabbit.
Features of Rhd2 Rabbit
There is no treatment for this virus and mortality rates are very high, so prevention is crucial.
- Both indoor and outdoor rabbits are at risk of RHD2
- RHD2 is highly infectious and contagious
- RHD2 remains in the environment for long time
- It can be spread directly or indirectly, carried on clothing or via other pets who have walked on the ground where a rabbit infected with the virus has been
- The existing RHD vaccine is not thought to be protective against RHD2
- RHD2 is associated with severe internal bleeding and rapid death
- Although RHD1 and Myxomatosis remain the most significant health threats, RHD2 is recommended as part of your rabbit’s annual core protection
- Once contracted, RHD2 is usually fatal.
Benefits of Rhd2 Rabbit Vaccine
Many rabbit owners have heard of the disease Myxomatosis, which is caused by a virus carried by insects including flies, mosquitos and fleas. Myxomatosis causes severe illness with swellings to various parts of the rabbit’s body and is usually fatal. Fortunately, a vaccine is available for this disease, and can be given to your rabbit at an annual veterinary health check visit. The vaccine is called Nobivac Myxomatosis-RHD1 vaccine. This is because it is combined with a vaccine for another serious disease called Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD)
Unfortunately, RHD virus has mutated (changed) during the last few years, and we now need to protect rabbits against a new deadly strain of RHD called RHD2 as well as the original RHD1. The vaccine for this is called Filavac, and is given annually for most rabbits. Filavac is an imported European vaccine, and is unlicensed in the UK, but can be used with informed, signed consent. It has already been used routinely in our Practice for several years. The vaccine cannot be given at the same time as Nobivac Myxo-RHD1 vaccine, and is usually given 2 weeks later. Our vets will answer any questions you may have about rabbit vaccinations. As we feel it is important to vaccinate rabbits regularly, we are now offering a course of Nobivac Myxo-RHD1 and then Filavac RHD2 vaccine from 2 weeks later, at a discounted price. Clients can still have the vaccines given separately if they prefer.
Symptoms of RHD
Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, bleeding, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, jaundice, seizures, and sudden death. Most rabbits die within hours to days after exposure, while asymptomatic carriers can shed virus for over a month. The virus impairs the blood’s ability to clot, and death is most often caused by liver failure, or internal or external bleeding.
The best way to prevent this disease is to vaccinate your rabbit. Please refer Vaccine Clinics section for information on getting your rabbits vaccinated. It may not prevent the disease in 100% of rabbits, but if vaccinated, it helps rabbits survive is they have been exposed to RHDV2. Biosecurity measures should still be taken to protect vaccinated rabbits. RHDV2 may reach Santa Barbara before all rabbits can be vaccinated, or before full protection is provided by the vaccine.
Prices of Rhd2 Rabbit Vaccine
$30.00 – $90.00