Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV) is a very contagious and lethal viral disease in both wild and domestic rabbits, hares, and pikas. It was first found in France in 2010, and then spread across Europe and is endemic in Australia. It came to southwestern Canada in 2018 and has since spread and was first confirmed in a wild rabbit population in California in May of 2020.
It only affects rabbit species- it is not known to affect humans, livestock, or pets other than rabbits. The virus has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days and can cause liver inflammation and prevents the blood from clotting. Rabbits will often die suddenly without showing any outward signs or may show fever, lethargy, inappetence, difficulty breathing, or bleeding. Death occurs from massive internal hemorrhage. It is very lethal and 80-100% of rabbits who develop the disease may die. The virus is very contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with infected rabbits or indirect contact with objects, people, clothing as well as inhalation, ingestion, or absorption. It persists in the environment for several months.
We can keep our pet rabbits safe from this virus by keeping them indoors only, use a 10% bleach solution and allow it to sit in contact for 10 minutes on surfaces, avoiding unnecessary contact with other people’s rabbits, limit the handling of your rabbits by visitors, and get your rabbit vaccinated. Due to the outbreak the US has allowed for the vaccine to be used on a limited emergency basis, so we jumped through all the hoops and signed all the papers to get the vaccine to administer to our rabbit patients. Give us a call today to schedule an exam for your rabbit and discuss the vaccine further with one of our doctors.
Cinema Veterinary Centre is located at 23460 Cinema Drive, suite L in Valencia 91355, 661-253-9300.
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