What Is Rabbit Calicivirus And How Do I Protect My Rabbit From Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is caused by the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus , a type of calicivirus which is fatal in non-immune rabbits. There are currently three pathogenic strains of this virus in wild rabbit populations in Australia. Rabbit owners should ensure their rabbits are vaccinated with Cylap® vaccine to protect against the original strain of the virus, RHDV1. However, Cylap® does not protect against all strains, so additional measures must be taken to reduce the risk of rabbits being exposed to RHDV. Veterinarians should follow current Australian Veterinary Association guidelines to maximise vaccine protection.
#momlife: Do Vaccines Affect Fertility
If youve been thinking of started or expanding your family in these pandemic years, youre not alone.
In fact, researchers predict a COVID baby boom in the near future. When trying, everyone hope that the pee stick turns preggo on the first go, but the reality it is often takes time for many couples. About one in eight couples struggle with fertility for several reasons. But when that second line just wont show up on the pregnancy test, its easy to start wondering what youve done wrong.
If youre like me, the thought of COVID vaccines and their effect on fertility has crossed your mind. And though my rational brain knows that they dont, it helped calm that erratic side by diving into recent research. Heres what I found.
Do Indoor Rabbits Need Vaccinating
Our vets would recommend vaccinating both outdoor and indoor rabbits. Although indoor rabbits are less likely to come into contact with wild rabbits, myxomatosis, RHD-1 and RHD-2 can easily be spread by insect bites, on other pets, and even on their owners clothes and shoes.
Alongside their vaccinations, remember to treat your rabbits regularly for fleas as these can carry harmful diseases.
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What Do I Need To Vaccinate My Rabbits Against
Rabbits need vaccination against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic diarrhoea . These are two viruses that are common among the wild rabbit population and can spread via flies, midges and on moist air droplets to pet rabbits. VHD-2 is a new strain which causes sudden death and there is now a vaccination available to protect pet rabbits against it.
Importing Vaccines For Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2
Co-medical director of the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine in Bothell, WA 4/21/2020
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 is spreading throughout the southwestern United States. This deadly viral disease is highly contagious to domestic rabbits, and we now know that it can also infect native species of wild rabbits and hares . RHDV2 is both stable and infectious in the environment for long periods of time, potentially surviving more than 3 months without a host. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Washington state, Ohio, and New York, in addition to the cases spreading throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. Washington State Department of Agricultures Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Factsheet
While RHDV2 may still be considered a foreign animal disease, it is likely going to remain in the US at this point now that there is a wildlife reservoir. Aggressively vaccinating at-risk populations is the best way to control the disease. Unfortunately, there are currently no USDA licensed vaccines for this disease, although there are multiple effective and safe RHDV2 vaccines available overseas. Many veterinarians would like to import vaccines into the US to help control the outbreak, but are not sure how to navigate the process.
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How Often Do Rabbits Need To Be Vaccinated
The introduction of the new vaccine has caused some confusion for rabbit owners. We recommend that rabbits are regularly vaccinated and this can be done from five weeks of age.
If your rabbit has not been vaccinated in the last 12 months, then you should contact your vet and discuss vaccinations as quickly as possible.
If your rabbit has had a single vaccination some time ago, they may not be protected from myxomatosis and both strains of RHD. Since these diseases can be fatal for rabbits, its worth checking with your vet as soon as possible.
If your rabbit has always been regularly vaccinated and is up to date with their vaccinations against myxomatosis and both strains of RHD the combination of these two vaccines will mean that your rabbit has adequate protection. You will be offered the new vaccination at your next vaccination appointment.
What Is The Hopstart Package
Our HopStart package is an all-inclusive package made for rabbit owners. The first few months with any new pet can be daunting so this package will give you peace of mind while providing your rabbit with premium veterinary care. It is designed for new rabbit owners who are just starting with a baby rabbit or owners of a mature rabbit who just havent had time to organise getting all their rabbit vet work done.
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How Does Rhdv Spread
All RHDV strains can spread easily from infected rabbits in droppings, urine, secretions from the eyes and nose, and at mating. Spread can also occur from contaminated objects such as food, clothing, cages, equipment, insects , birds and rodents. The virus can survive in the environment for three and a half months over hotter periods but up to seven and a half months in moderate temperatures.
Vaccinations Actually Make Your Pregnancy Safer
In fact, vaccines actually may make your pregnancy go smoother. With the extremely infectious Omicron whipping around town, chances of infection are pretty high these days. Recent data, including this study that looked at over 2000 women from 18 different countries, found that pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 have much higher chance of bad outcomes than other populations. Only a few short months ago, a local mom was fighting for her life in a Vancouver hospital after being airlifted from Fort St. John six months pregnant with COVID-19. Though you can still contract the new variant despite being fully vaccinated, it does significantly reduce the chances of hospitalization because your body already has a head start on knowing how to fight the virus. Your doctor or pharmacist are great resources if youre pregnant and have questions.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Rhdv
RHDV damages internal organs such as the liver and intestines and may cause bleeding. Signs include fever, restlessness, lethargy and poor appetite with bleeding from the nose and/or blood on the floor where rabbits are housed. Often infected rabbits will show no signs and die suddenly. If a pet rabbit is showing signs, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately. There is no remedy for RHD but affected rabbits can be given supportive treatment.
What Do Rabbits Eat
The digestive system of the rabbit has more in common with a horse than with dogs or cats. Rabbits need a high fibre diet, as without fibre their bowel cannot function properly. Good quality grass or grass hay is the best source, but check that it is free from dust, mould, and grass seeds which might get into their eyes.
Feed small quantities of fresh vegetables , and remember cereal-based diets are high in sugar and low in minerals, and therefore should not be given. Small quantities of high-fibre pellets are a better choice. Introduce new foods gradually to prevent digestive upsets. A peculiarity of rabbits is caecotrophy, which means they eat special faecal pellets. These are paste-like, covered in jelly-like mucus, and similar to faeces . They are eaten daily when passed, often during grooming at night, and contain essential nutrients.
If your rabbit stops eating or passing faeces, see a vet as soon as possible. Many problems, as well as digestive upsets, will put your pet off food. Examples include dental disease and stress. Maintaining food intake is vital or further problems may follow.
Diarrhoea means a visit to the vet, immediately if it is severe and the rabbit is unwell. Mild diarrhoea often indicates insufficient fibre in the diet, too many sugary treats or a change in diet. Look around to see what your pet is eating.
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Basic Healthcare In Rabbits
Rabbits are often described as small pets but remember veterinary care can still be costly, so consider insurance when you get your pet.
Before heading to the surgery, phone the vet first and, outside normal hours, have a pen ready as you may be given another number to ring. Put your pet in a carry basket or box you may not be the only patient in the waiting room.
Illnesses develop quickly with rabbits, and they often do not look ill until they are really unwell to avoid attracting attention from predators. If you think that your pet is unwell, contact the vet immediately tomorrow might be too late.
What Vaccinations Do Rabbits Need
All rabbits living in the UK should be regularly vaccinated against:
Vaccinations are important for all rabbits including indoor rabbits. This is because myxomatosis and RHD-1& 2 not only spreads from rabbit to rabbit, but also via flying insects and on surfaces such as clothes and shoes. So even if your rabbits never meet others, its still very possible for them to pick up these serious and often fatal diseases.
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How Many Vaccinations Do Rabbits Need
Until recently, in order to ensure that your rabbit was protected from both myxomatosis and both strains of RHD, they would have been given two separate vaccinations.
A new vaccination called Myxo RHD PLUS is now available and is a combined vaccine for all three of these potentially fatal diseases. This means that your rabbit only needs a single vaccination to be fully protected.
Release Of Rhdv In Australia
The first strain of RHDV, known as the Czech strain , was released by the government in 1996 to help control wild rabbits in an effort to minimise environmental damage being caused. This followed an accidental release of the virus in 1995 from CSIRO field trials on Wardang Island in South Australia. An effective vaccine, Cylap® has been available for many years to protect domestic rabbits against this strain of the virus.
In recent years, the Czech strain has had less impact on wild rabbit populations due to the development of immunity, so Australian scientists have evaluated a number of different RHDV variants for release. From this evaluation, a new strain was selected known as the Korean strain or K5 , which was released in early March 2017 at 600 sites across Australia and is now present in many locations across Australia . This new strain, which was found to be more infectious than the Czech strain, also causes RHD and death in non-immune rabbits. A pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Cylap® vaccine against K5 has indicated that this vaccine will provide protection but further trials need to be undertaken to obtain conclusive results. All rabbit owners are advised to ensure their rabbits are vaccinated before K5 is released.
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Protect Your Rabbit With Vaccination
We strongly recommend vaccinating all pet rabbits. In Australia, viruses are released to control the wild rabbit population. There are two viruses that are released to control wild rabbits, Calicivirus and Myxomytosis.
Pet rabbits can be vaccinated for some strains of calicivirus. New strains of the virus being released and whilst the vaccination cannot provide 100% protection, it certainly reduces the risk of your beloved bunny falling victim to this awful disease.Ongoing vaccination boosters are required, please keep up to date and if youre unsure of your pets vaccination status, give your local Greencross Vets clinic a call. You can learn more about protecting your rabbit below.
Average Medical Costs For Rabbits
There are common medical issues with rabbits that you need to factor in when considering getting a rabbit.
- A cost to bear in mind is if their teeth become overgrown – Their top front teeth grow at a rate of 3mm a week, so keeping them trim is essential. Theyll naturally wear down with hay and a natural diet , however if they get too long then you need to take a trip to the vets. Getting your rabbits front teeth filed can cost anywhere between £50 to £100. If the problem is more complicated then prices increase, as your bunny will need to go under general anaesthetic.
- Some rabbits can encounter common eye issues such as ulcers or conjunctivitis Depending on the issue, a tear duct flush can cost from £30 to £80, eye treatment from £20 and eye drops from £12.
- Ear problems, especially common in lop breeds RSPCA state that costs for ear problems can total £400, although if CT scans or surgery is required then this cost could exceed £1,000.
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Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Hd
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease is widespread in Britain’s wild rabbits. It’s extremely serious, causing high fever, internal bleeding and liver disease. The disease doesn’t affect rabbits under six weeks, but causes severe disease in older rabbits. Like myxomatosis, it spreads by rabbit-to-rabbit contact, through contaminated objects or environments, and via insects. Unfortunately, the disease is almost always fatal.
Pet rabbits with this disease are often found dead with blood-stained fluid at their mouth and nose, or there may be no visible signs, with the cause of death only confirmed by post-mortem. There’s no effective treatment, so vaccination is essential.
How Do I Nurse My Ill Rabbit
Keep your pet in a warm but well-ventilated area. Provide plenty of soft bedding and wipe away discharges from the nose and eyes. Check the rear end for soiling by faeces or urine and offer different types of soft food, including fresh grass if possible, or try bits of apple or pear.
You can buy high fibre liquid foods from the vet and feed them with a syringe, but be careful to do so this slowly so you do not choke your pet. Ask the vet to show you how. Alternatively, soften pellets in warm water and then liquidise them. High sugar baby foods should be avoided. However, if your pet will not take anything, inform the vet right away.
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Myth: Rabbit Vaccinations Are More Effective When Theyre Given In Spring
Again, this is only partly true: Myxomatosis is most common in late summer and autumn. So, it makes sense to vaccinate in spring or early summer for maximum immunity when the disease is at its peak, says Catherine. But rabbits can be vaccinated safely and effectively at any time of year, so theres no need to put it off. Its also the perfect opportunity for a top-to-tail health check. I like to use vaccinations as an opportunity to share tips about diet, exercise, and .
How Much Do Vaccinations Cost
The cost of vaccinating your rabbits will differ depending on your veterinary practice and where you are. Speak to your vet and they will be able to price up vaccinations for you.
Some vet practices will offer affordable packages where you pay a set amount a month for all your pets preventative healthcare . Speak to your vet to see if they offer this.
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How Do You Tell If Your Rabbit Is Ill
If your rabbit is quieter than normal, is sitting still and hunched up, does not want to move about, or has not eaten for more than 12 hours, contact your vet as soon as possible. Teeth grinding, severe diarrhoea, difficulties in breathing, straining to urinate, or signs of maggot attack, all need urgent veterinary attention.
Overview Of Rhdv Strains
|Mainly adults as young are more resistant to disease||Pilot study indicates protection* – vaccination is recommended|
|RHDV2||RHDV2||Very young rabbits most susceptible with death likely||Low# – modified vaccination protocol may provide some protection|
* Note:A small pilot study done in New South Wales showed that all vaccinated rabbits survived infection whereas all unvaccinated rabbits died however, further research is needed.
# Based on many reports of deaths in vaccinated rabbits from outbreaks in several states
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Q& a About Rhdv2 And The Filavac Vaccine
Attached below is a Q& A addressing some misconceptions about RHDV2 and the Filavac vaccine
1) Q: Were rabbits actually diagnosed with RHDV2 inWashington State? How do vets know that this is the virus strain that hasbeen causing the rabbit deaths? Couldnt the virus have mutated?
A: Yes, RHDV2 was confirmed to be the cause of multiple rabbit deaths in Washington State from 2019-2020 in all 3 quarantine areas . The disease was identified as RHDV2 following rt-PCR testing at the National Veterinary Laboratory of samples taken from deceased rabbits. The state veterinarians office made an effort to test every deceased animal suspected of dying from RHDV2, and all of the rabbit deaths attributed to the disease by the state veterinarians office had positive rt-PCR tests for RHDV2. The same genotype was identified in all of the positive tests . There may have been other deaths from RHDV2 that did not have positive tests for various reasons, and there are probably rabbits that survived the disease and are still in the feral rabbit population. Regardless, the disease is definitely here.
2) Q: What type of vaccine was imported? Is itpossible for vaccinated animals to become carriers and infectnon-vaccinated animals?
A: The vaccine that Dr. McLaughlin imported is Filavac, which protects against both RHDV1 and RHDV2.
However, rabbits surviving a natural infection with RHDV2 are believed to shed the virus for at least 30 days, potentially up to 105 days.