There have been two recent cases of a new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus – RHDV2 – reported in the ACT. The current vaccine available in Australia – Cylap – has partial protection against this strain.
Recommendations from the ACT and NSW Chief Veterinary Officers are:
- vaccinate all rabbits in your household
- vaccinate breeding animals before the breeding season to give the young some maternal antibody protection
- vaccinate from four weeks old (this is younger than previous recommendations, as RHDV2 affects younger rabbits more than the older strains), with a booster four weeks later
- avoid vaccination gaps and ensure all rabbits receive annual boosters (and six monthly for breeding does)
These next points will help in reducing the risk of introducing both RHDV and myxomatosis, which is also in the wild rabbit population:
- keep cages clean and prevent wild rabbits from coming into contact with outdoor cages
- try and maintain good insect control
- avoid feeding grass to rabbits if it may have come into contact with wild rabbits
If you have any concerns, or wish to update your rabbit’s vaccinations, please call our Reception on 6230 2223.