Tag Archives: Rabbit

VHD2 – The new threat to rabbits

The short version:

Re: A vaccine is now available to help protect rabbits from a new strain of VHD.rabbit1

As most of you are aware – rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemoraghic Disease (VHD) every year to protect them against these usually fatal diseases.

Over the last year a new strain of VHD has developed and is causing outbreaks in the UK. The current vaccine in the UK does not protect against this new strain.

We now have a vaccine imported from France which protects against the new strain of VHD.

Please see below for a summary of the disease written by our vet Becky, who has a special interest in rabbits.

Needless to say, we recommend vaccination against this new strain as soon as possible.

If you would like to see Becky at the time of vaccination, just ask when booking your appointment.



The more in depth version:

You may be aware that there is an increasing concern regarding a new variant of rabbit virus called Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2 or VHD2/ RHD2. We already routinely vaccinate rabbits against VHD1 and myxomatosis.

This new strain of virus has recently been recognised as a significant cause of death in pet rabbits and wild rabbits. It is very resistant to cold temperatures and peak infections occur from October through to February. The virus was recognised in France as a mutation of VHD1 in 2010 and then in the UK in 2013.

VHD1 causes sudden death and internal bleeding. The new strain VHD2 causes variable and sometimes similar symptoms such as bleeding disorders and liver disease and causes death over a longer period of time.

The virus is spread by fomites and can be spread on shoes and organic matter such as bedding, hay and foraged foods such as dandelions. It can also be spread by biting insects, foxes and other rabbit predators.

Fortunately, we have a yearly vaccination called Filavac available at the surgery to help protect against this disease. We reappointmentimagecommend this is given to all pet rabbits.

Please contact the surgery to book an appointment, you can telephone or book online. This vaccine is given at least 2 weeks apart from the normal yearly boosters for Myxomatosis and VHD1 vaccines.

If you would like see me, please either ask when you call, or if booking online, select “Exotics Vet” from the “Appointment Type” drop down list.

Go to: www.pottonvets.co.uk


Interesting definition:

Fomite This is a non-living object or substance that can transmit disease by carrying germs or parasites.  Common examples are hay, grass, clothes and bedding.

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