Rabbit Awareness Week

The theme of this year's rabbit awareness week is protect & prevent and, as part of this, the RWAF are raising awareness around RVHD2.

So, what is RVHD2? 

Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 is a relatively new strain of RVHD and we saw the first European cases in France in 2010. Since then it has spread throughout Europe, and in the last 2 years the number of reported cases in the UK have increased significantly (see the picture of the UK for a prevalence map). Despite this, we are still finding that people are unaware of this highly contagious and often fatal disease. There are often no symptoms before death as it causes internal bleeding to the organs. It can be spread through direct contact with infected rabbits, carriers such as insects or birds as well as through indirect contact such as on your clothing or shoes, in hay or other materials. Cases have been reported all over the UK, it is a highly resilient virus that can live for months in the environment.

How can we protect against it? 

There are two vaccines currently licensed in the UK, both of which offer a very high level of protection: Filavac & Eravac. Dependant on how high risk your location is considered to be the vaccine (whether it be Filavac or Eravac) needs to be administered between every 6-12 months. As additional precautions you can also buy disinfectants to clean your hutches and runs and Anigene and F10 have both been proven to kill the RVHD2 virus. Both vaccines and biosecurity are essential to protect your rabbit from this prevalent disease. Living inside does not protect your rabbits from this disease.

Vaccinating your rabbit against RVHD2 is so important so please make sure you talk to your vet about what options are suitable for you. Please remember: the myxi / VHD combination vaccine that has been available for a while now is still essential for your rabbits protection but it does not protect them against this new strain - the VHD2 vaccine is a seperate and stand alone vaccine that needs to be administered two weeks prior to, or after, the combi vaccine.

If you have any questions or want any more info please message us or speak to your vet we and they will be happy to give you more info and advice.

Known cases of VHD2 within the UK










05 Jun 2019

Telephone: 07737 218035. E-mail: team@fatfluffs.com