14th Nov, 2019

Outbreak of deadly rabbit virus claims five pets

Editorial Correspondent 15th Oct, 2019 Updated: 15th Oct, 2019

A SOLIHULL vet practice is calling for rabbit owners to vaccinate their pets from a deadly disease after five deaths were confirmed in the past week.

608 Vet Practice, which is based in Warwick Road, Solihull, has issued the warning about an outbreak of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2).

The RHDV2 virus, which first appeared in the UK in 2015, is typically fatal and can rarely be treated.

Deborah Hope, clinical director said: “RHDV2 can persist for between 200 days to a year in the environment and can be spread on clothes, shoes, hands and the faeces of crows, foxes and flies which might have fed on wild rabbits that have died from the disease.

“It is also spread from infected rabbits, with only a few virus particles needed to infect another bunny.

“Rabbits may show no symptoms but pass away between 12 and 24 hours after contracting the disease. Following the confirmation of an outbreak in the region, we’re now urging rabbit owners to make sure their pets are vaccinated.

“The Combination Myxomatosis/RHV vaccination only covers against RHVD1 and does not protect against the RHDV2 strain, so it’s important rabbits get the specific vaccination.”

A bespoke vaccination is needed to combat RHDV2 . Rabbit owners are advised that if their pet dies, they should handle with great care due to the risk of contamination.

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