New strain of rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease - RVHD2 or HVD2

An important message from John about a dangerous new strain of viral haemorrhagic disease


This is an important message for all the rabbit owners out there.

You probably know that we generally vaccinate rabbits against two diseases – Myxomatosis, which we see lots over the summer, and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.  There is a new strain of Viral Haemorrhagic Disease out there, commonly known as RHVD2, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Viral Disease 2.  We’re starting to see deaths in outbreaks in the U.K.  You probably know that VHD, or HVD, whichever way you want to call it, is extremely contagious.  It’s spread through the air, insects, on your shoes.  Incredibly contagious.  Huge death rates which worry, so vaccinate.

The vaccine that we have in this country is for RHVD1, and we’re seeing the second strain coming into the U.K.  There is no licensed U.K. vaccine yet, but we’ve managed to get a vaccine from France called “Filavac” which is now available in the veterinary wholesalers.  If you’ve got a rabbit, you need to vaccinate it against this second strain, RHVD2.  The vaccine that you get on a yearly basis, you still need to give it to protect against the U.K. variant, but it won’t protect against the second variant.

You need to vaccinate, usually two weeks between the two vaccines.  What you need to do is rung us or whoever your local vet is – and you need to ask for the RHVD2 vaccine.  They’ll need to get a special import certificate which they can get through the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.  And, the name of the vaccine is Filavac.  Any problems, stick them in the comments below.  I’ll try and find a webinar that I’ve got something to link to which gives you technical details about it.  But, essentially, there is another vaccine that you need to give your rabbits.