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Rabbit Owners Warned Of Deadly Disease

  • Written by Editor

Rabbit owners are being urged to get their pets vaccinated against a new deadly disease affecting rabbits across the UK.

Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (RVHD2) is a new strain of the RVHD, which is thought to have come over from France and can affect rabbits of all ages.

Your rabbit's normal vaccine protects against both Myxomatosis and RVHD1 both of which have been prevalent in the UK for decades but the vaccine does not appear to offer protection agains the new strain RCHD2.

The virus VHD first broke out in rabbits in China in the early 80's and is characterised by haemorrhages around the body. It is highly contagious and can be spread via humans, food, insects and animals, the will only infect rabbits.

Symptons of VHD are a fever, lethargy, spasms and loss of appetite. Up to 90 per cent of rabbits die fromt he diseases with death occuring one to three days after infection.

Baby rabbits have a natural immunity to VHD and develop a life-long immunity if they are exposed to it. Unexposed rabbits become susceptible until six to ten weeks of age when physiological resistance disappears. However, VHD2 can affect all rabbits and requires annual vaccination.

If you are unsure of what is best for your rabbit, it is advisable to contact your vet for further information.

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