While human life is more or less returning to normal, thanks to the efficacy of vaccinations against COVID-19, rabbits are getting a similar reprieve from a dangerous pandemic of their own: RHDV2.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) is a deadly calicivirus that has been spreading through rabbits and hares in the United States since early 2020. Now, the USDA-experimentally approved vaccine that could save your pet rabbit has arrived at LIBEVC and is ready to be administered.
The Impact and Symptoms of RHDV2
RHDV2 has no effect on humans or other animals but the virus can survive for an extended period of time in the environment without a host, perhaps as long as 100 days at room temperature. This means that humans and other animals can carry it for some time and eventually bring it home to their pet rabbit.
As a result, RHDV2 can infect free-roam rabbits, outdoor rabbits, and even those believed to be in a safe environment indoors. Alarmingly, you may not know your rabbit is ill before it’s too late. The virus often causes liver failure and may result in sudden death anywhere from 12-36 hours post-infection.
The symptoms of RHDV2 may include: :
Loss of appetite and coordination
Nasal or ocular bloody discharge
Shortness of breath
Sudden death with convulsions
And/or death within 1-3 days
Avoiding the Spread of RHDV2
Because of its long survival period, the virus spreads easily through both direct and indirect contact. Direct contact includes touching the excrement or blood of an infected animal, whether it is alive or dead. You can spread the virus to your pet rabbit by carrying it on your clothes or shoes, but it can also be spread by insects and rodents.
In fact, RHDV2 can be carried by several hosts before finding a rabbit to infect.
The Vaccine Is Here!
The best way of stopping the spread of RHDV2 is to get your rabbit vaccinated.
Full vaccination requires two doses 21-days apart from each other and becomes fully effective 14 days after the second shot. Studies have shown the vaccine to be 100% effective in rabbits exposed to the virus with the only possible side effects being slight swelling in the area the shot was administered and/or a light fever and lethargy for a day or two.
Ready to get your rabbit vaccinated and have some peace of mind? Contact us for details or if you have any questions. SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED AND APPOINTMENTS ARE FILLING QUICKLY. Be sure to call today to schedule your appointment.