VHD outbreak, Kidderminster

Please feel free to ask advice on health issues, but remember, this is not a substitute for taking your rabbit to the vets if it is sick.
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Joined: 25 Nov 2011 01:02

VHD outbreak, Kidderminster

Postby RWAF » 04 Apr 2013 21:50

We have recently been notified of an outbreak of suspected Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease in Kidderminster. Our sympathies are with the owners of any rabbits suffering this terrible, fatal disease, and it is worth reminding owners what steps they should take to avoid infection.

Vaccination is vital, even for totally indoor rabbits. The new combined Nobivac Myxo-RHD is now widely available, and also protects against myxomatosis. Sole vaccines against VHD are also available (Lapinject, Cylap and Anivac). Whichever vaccine you opt for depends on a discussion between you and your veterinary surgeon, but is is worth pointing out that as the weather warms up shortly, myxomatosis also becomes a risk.

The reason vaccination is vital even for indoor rabbits is that the virus is highly persistant in the environment, and may live for up to 200 days outside of the host animal, especially at low temperatures, as we currently have. This also allows it to travel on inanimate objects, such as shoes and clothing, car tyres, and also the feet of other pets. So it is possible to bring it back following walks through fields containing infected rabbits, or when visiting friends rabbits or sharing equipment, bedding, housing etc.

As a result, a pet safe, ant-viral disinfectant should be used, at a suitable dilution rate, in contact with surfaces for the length of time as specified by the manufacturer. It is no use simply applying disinfectant to dirty items, they must be cleaned thoroughly first, to allow the disinfectant to touch the surfaces properly. Foot dips might be useful, and should be changed regularly to avoid contamination with mud etc if used to clean dirty boots.

Speak to your vet about a suitable disinfectant, but brands including Virkon, F10, Ark Klens, are effective, when used as above. If you have any further questiosn or comments, dont hesitate to get in touch
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Re: VHD outbreak, Kidderminster

Postby sdf76 » 05 Apr 2013 10:55

Why is a foot dip necessary for people who have had their rabbits vaccinated with the new combi-vac? Surely if it is effective then such measures are not necessary?
I understand that VHD is a virus which can be transmitted by air, so I don't see how a foot dip would help ? Also outdoor rabbits will have all sorts of creatures on the grass where they hop and graze; birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, cats foxes etc so it would be impossible to keep your grass disinfected.
I don't think vets have any of the old vaccine left now and the manufacturers have stopped making the old vaccine so I think there is now no choice of vaccine.
I do agree it's best to vaccinate, but personally I think that that should be sufficient.
sue :)
Image Coco my 13yr old (bridge) bunny

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