A new viral haemorrhagic disease has come over from France and is affecting both wild and domestic rabbits of all ages and breeds. It is now widespread throughout Britain. The RHVD2 calcivirus is spread through contact with infected rabbits, by wildlife, (foxes, carrion birds) insects, wind and probably infected bedding such as hay which has been in contact with wild rabbits. The old dual vaccine for myxomatosis and VHD1 offers little or no protection against this new virus, but this vaccine is still needed to protect domestic rabbits from myxomatosis and VHD1 as these diseases have not gone away. Symptoms of RVHD2 range from sudden death with no preceding symptoms, to anorexia, lethargy, weight loss and jaundice. The incubation period is 3-9 days, and between 5-70% of rabbits in an affected group can die. A vaccine can be imported from France by your vet and gives protection 7 days after vaccination. Further information is available from the British Rabbit Council website. My vet has been a star, and imported the Filavac vaccine for me. All of my17 Angoras are now safe.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!