Do I need to be concerned about VHD2?
You may possibly have seen articles in the local press recently regarding a ‘deadly virus’ which could possibly affect rabbits in our local area. The virus in question is Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2, also called VHD2 or RVHD2. It is a virulent, highly contagious variant that has been slowly spreading throughout the UK. In recent months, the number of confirmed cases has increased significantly and there has been one confirmed case nearby.
VHD-2 affects both wild and pet rabbits and it is often fatal. It is a disease that CANNOT be cured, therefore prevention is key. It is an extremely difficult virus to eradicate from the environment. This is because it survives for long periods and at extreme temperatures. At present, we are unable to confirm VHD2 in a live bunny. It can only confirmed in a post mortem.
How do I protect my rabbit?
At Bright Side, we routinely vaccinate against VHD 1 and myxomatosis but this new strain is not covered by the normal vaccine. Therefore, we use Filavac to vaccinate against VHD2, which we do at a separate appointment to the other vaccines. If your bunny is a member of our VIPets Club, they will receive an annual vaccine for VHD2 as part of the plan. However, it may be necessary to revaccinate between 6-12 months and our vet will advise you if this is the case.
We are not trying to scare our bunny owners, but it is important to be aware of the risks and take preventative care. This disease has no treatment as yet so the only way to ensure rabbits safety is to routinely vaccinate.
If you have any concerns regarding VHD2, please get in touch and we can check to see if your bunny is protected.