Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a highly fatal disease of rabbits which arrived in the United Kingdom in 1992. It is caused by a virus and is widespread in the wild rabbit population. The virus can be carried in the air and so pet rabbits can become infected even if they do not have direct contact with their wild cousins.
In order to protect our patients, we advise annual vaccination - this is included with myxomatosis in our single injection combined vaccine.
Recently a new strain of the RHD virus, known as RHD2, has been identified and is now widespread in parts of France and Italy and spreading. As of August 2016 there has been one confirmed and a growing number of suspected cases in the United Kingdom.
The current combined vaccine does not offer protection against this new strain, but we can import from France a separate vaccine which is effective against RHD2. This vaccine can be given in addition to the normal vaccine but at least three weeks apart.
At the moment the risk for pet rabbits in the UK is low, but the virus could rapidly become widespread here and the results of infection are devastating. So we think all rabbit owners should give serious consideration to protecting their pets.
If you wish to have this vaccine please contact the surgery on 01634 388045. As the vaccine is specially imported there may sometimes be a delay in getting your appointment - so please book early.
The cost per rabbit is £37.50