You may have read about the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD-2) which is sweeping through the UK rabbit population.
RHD-2 is thought to have spread from wild rabbit populations and is now present within pet rabbit populations throughout the UK. It is thought that it spreads from rabbit to rabbit as well as through contaminated food, bedding, faeces and flying insects.
Methods of prevention include avoiding mixing your rabbits with wild rabbit populations and vaccination.
Symptoms: Infected rabbits show signs including lethargy, weight loss and jaundice (a yellowish discolouration to the whites of the eyes and/or gums). The disease attacks the clotting factors in the blood as well as the liver, causing haemorrhage and liver failure. Rabbits are often ill for five days and can die suddenly.
Currently there is no test to diagnose this disease. Rabbits who are suspected to have been infected with RHD-2 may recover with supportive treatment but it is not know if they remain carriers of the disease for life.
Vaccination: a new annual vaccine is now available to protect against RHD-2. This vaccine is in addition to the annual vaccination against Myxomatosis and RHD-1 which can be given 2 weeks from the RHD-2 vaccine.
Please call Well Animal Clinic today to arrange a consultation with your vet and vaccination to protect your rabbit.