The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund is urging pet retailers to help promote the need for domestic rabbit owners to get their pets vaccinated.
Rae Todd, of the RWAF, said: “We are still being contacted by owners who have lost their rabbits because they did not know about RVHD2 or the new vaccines that are available.
“We'd really appreciate the help of retailers in getting this message out. They can do this by display a poster we’ve produced.”
Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (RVHD) and Myxomatosis (Myxo) are common diseases found throughout the UK and can be fatal to non-vaccinated rabbits. Both outdoor and indoor rabbits are at risk.
RVHD in particular is highly contagious. Not only can it be spread by direct rabbit to rabbit contact, it also can be spread by biting insects (as can Myxo) and by indirect contact with infected rabbits.
There are different strains of RVHD where the virus has mutated in slightly different ways. The UK now has both the RVHD1 and the RVHD2 strain throughout the country, with hundreds of potential deaths so far and many of these confirmed via veterinary laboratories as RVHD2. These confirmed cases are not confined to one geographical location and are spread throughout the UK.
Rabbits need vaccination every year to protect them against RVHD2 as well as against Myxomatosis and RVHD1. Unfortunately that can’t be given in one jab. There are two. For Myxi/RVHD1 they need the Nobivac combined jab and then for RVHD2 there is a choice of either Filavac or Eravac. There should be at least 2 weeks between the jabs.
Rae can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk