RHD2 was confirmed to be the cause of multiple rabbit deaths in Washington State from 2019-2020 in all 3 quarantine areas (San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, and Clallam County – see detailed information here. The disease was identified as RHD2 following rt-PCR testing at the National Veterinary Laboratory of samples taken from deceased rabbits. The state veterinarian’s office made an effort to test every deceased animal suspected of dying from RHD2, and all of the rabbit deaths attributed to the disease by the state veterinarian’s office had positive rt-PCR tests for RHD2. The same genotype was identified in all of the positive tests (i.e., there are NOT multiple strains or mutated strains present). There may have been other deaths from RHD2 that did not have positive tests for various reasons, and there are probably rabbits that survived the disease and are still in the feral rabbit population. Regardless, the disease is definitely here.
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus was first identified in China in 1984 and quickly spread to Europe from 1986-88. It is now endemic in most parts of world and is seen in all populations of rabbits (wild, pet and farmed). Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is highly contagious with transmission via oral, nasal or conjunctival routes. Infection most commonly happens through exposure to infected animal, carcass or fomites (food, bedding, water). Mechanical transmission may also be effected by insect vectors. The incubation period (time from initial exposure to onset of clinical signs) is 1-3 days
There are lots of ways your rabbits could pick up the virus:
Food (e.g. hay) or water contaminated by infected wild rabbits.
Birds or insects may bring the virus to your rabbits on their feet or in their droppings, which your rabbits may eat if they graze on the lawn.
The virus may be blown on the wind.
You (or your dog or cat) might accidentally bring the virus home on your feet from infected wild rabbit droppings, and vermin around rabbit hutches might bring it along too. You might pick it up from other peoples’ rabbits, for example at a show or even if another rabbit owner handles your rabbits.
The virus itself if extremely tough and can survive for many months in the environment, and can even resist temperatures of 60 degrees celsius. However, rabbits living indoors (house rabbits) are still at risk from VHD, so they definitely need to be vaccinated with boosters kept up to date.
Features of Vaccine For Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease
A novel, recombinant myxoma virus-rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) vaccine has been developed for the prevention of myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). A number of laboratory studies are described illustrating the safety and efficacy of the vaccine following subcutaneous administration in laboratory rabbits from four weeks of age onwards. In these studies, both vaccinated and unvaccinated control rabbits were challenged using pathogenic strains of RHD and myxoma viruses, and 100 per cent of the vaccinated rabbits were protected against both myxomatosis and RHD.
Synonyms of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease
Rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD)•
Viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD) of rabbits•
Hemorrhagic pneumonia (China)•
Infectious necrotic hepatitis•
Malattia X (Italy before viral origin was understood)
Prices of Vaccine For Rabbit Haemorrhagic Diseas