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Why does my rabbit need vaccinations?

If you’re the lucky owner of rabbits, you need to beware of the two main diseases affecting our beloved bob-tailed furballs – Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis. Vaccinations against these are crucial for keeping your rabbit safe and maintaining their quality of life.

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

RVHD, or Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, is a horribly infectious virus that causes internal bleeding in rabbits and is often fatal.

Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 is a new strain of RVHD that first appeared around 4 years ago in 2015. Just like RVHD1, it causes rabbits to suffer internal bleeding and is as good as symptomless in its early stages, making it very difficult to spot! When symptoms do occur, they’re easy to mistake for symptoms of other conditions.

The RVHD2 virus is stubborn. In fact, it can survive in its environment for up to 6 months – especially in colder climates. This contradicts what many owners believe: that RVHD can only survive in/on an infected bunny and can therefore only be transmitted directly from rabbit to rabbit. Whilst this is true, the virus can enter your rabbit’s environment in all sorts of other ways:

  • From insect or bird droppings
  • From the wind
  • From the soles of shoes or other pets’ paws
  • From car tyres
  • From the droppings of other infected rabbits
  • From human clothes and hands

Even in its most advanced form, RVHD2 is more or less symptomless. Your rabbit may have a fever, appear lethargic or their personality may seem different but none of these symptoms are exclusive to Viral Haemorrhagic Disease so if you’re suspicious or concerned, always contact us as soon as you possibly can.

Three rabbits lying together

Unfortunately there is no known cure for the disease which makes vaccinating against even more important.

Thankfully, a simple vaccination and annual booster can drastically lower your bunny’s chances of contracting RVHD 1 or 2. We’ll usually administer these separately – one vaccination against RHD1 and Myxomatosis and a second vaccination designed specifically to prevent RVHD2 – every 6 months (Annual vaccine for rhd2 given 2 weeks after myco vacc)!

Did you know?

That our easivac and 365 Pet Care Plan include the RVHD1 & RVDH2 vaccinations? So if you’re looking for an affordable treatment plan to care for your bunny rabbit check out our two rabbit friendly healthcare plans here.

monthly rabbit care plan

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