RHD1 linked to death of 2 pet rabbits in PA

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Blue eyes

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Just saw an article that 2 pet rabbits died on Dec. 7 from RHD. It is the first known case in Pennsylvania. There are no vaccines for this in the US.

It mentions that RHD2 was confirmed in Ohio this past September.

https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/disease-spreading-among-pet-rabbits/1656564938

From my understanding this is all rather new to the US. I wonder if those of here will be having to vaccinate too soon.:(
 

Blue eyes

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What should we do to keep are bunnies safe?
Maybe Jbun or some folks from the UK will know more about it and what precautions to take. The article says "It is a viral disease that may spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat or fur, or materials they have touched."
 

Playdoh52

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I will have to look up RHD since I haven't heard of it, but recently becoming a more educated rabbit owner from your forums. I wonder if it could spread from wild rabbits to domesticated rabbits?? My mom was worried this summer that my bunnies outside in there pen on the ground would get the infection( or virus not sure which) that wild rabbits carry during spring and summer, and into fall. Not sure if any of you know what I am talking about (please don't get mad at my next statement). When I was a young teenager my father took me rabbit hunting, but you never want to shoot a rabbit before the first frost because you would be eating a diseased or contaminated rabbit. But after the first freeze of the year it kill the virus or disease that wild rabbits carry. Not sure if that's what your talking about, but my mom and me did wonder about that.
 

SableSteel

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Not 2, but 40 rabbits on that premise died from it (and 1 was put down), only two were sent in to the lab to confirm it though
No rabbits had been brought to or left their place for over a year so they think it was an isolated incident.
It cannot spread in wild rabbits in the US (at least not with cottontails - domestic ferals it can.) Practice proper biosecurity to protect your rabbits as their is no vaccine approved for use in the US.

Quarantine all animals coming into your property.
Avoid having guests or strangers around your rabbits.
Isolate any rabbits showing signs of any disease

If you do have any suspicious deaths report it immediately, they offer free lab testing here to detect RHD

Unlike the other recent cases in the US/Canada, this is RHD1, which has a higher fatality rate (up to 100%; in the PA case it was 97.5% irrc). We are at an advantage here, over other places, because our wild rabbits are cottontails, but areas with domestic ferals are more at risk.

http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Reviewreport/Review?page_refer=MapFullEventReport&reportid=28906
 

cwebster

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Would like to know what “ biosecurity” or precautions to take in the US as we are preparing to adopt a formerly neglected and abused bunny to live with our current bunny. He has been staying with a foster famiky until he is cured ipof his respiratory infection and has healed from his neutering. Hearing about RHD in the US is very scary.
 

JBun

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Would like to know what “ biosecurity” or precautions to take in the US as we are preparing to adopt a formerly neglected and abused bunny to live with our current bunny. He has been staying with a foster famiky until he is cured ipof his respiratory infection and has healed from his neutering. Hearing about RHD in the US is very scary.
Info about outbreaks, the disease, and how to protect your rabbits.
https://rabbit.org/vhd/
 

RWAF

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Please see our advice on the following pages We have been coping with this disease since 2012 when it first reached the UK, and sadly have built up a good understanding. Advice is from our Specialist Veterinary Adviser Dr Richard Saunders BSc (Hons), BVSc, FRSB, CBiol, DZooMed (Mammalian), DipECZM (ZHM), MRCVS, RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, RWAF Veterinary Adviser, winner of the CEVA Vet Of The Year, 2018 Advice is aimed at the UK but it should be possible to adapt it for use in other countries

https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/vaccinations/
https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/rabbit-vhd/
https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/further-reading/rvhd-further-reading/

In the UK we have licences to use 4 different vaccines but the two in common and very successful use are Filavac and Eravac. These links lead to the data sheets for both vaccines but are better viewed on a laptop or desktop as it seems the left side menu doesn't appear on phones. Filavac is made by the French pharpaceutical company, Filavie, and Eravac is made by HIPRA.

The other two we have licences for are Cunipravac from Spain and Cunivac RHD from Germany, but both use mineral oil which can cause sterile abscesses at the site of injection, and they also require two initial vaccinations then to be repeated 6-monthly. Filavac is in water and needs to be repeated yearly, Eravac needs to be repeated 9-monthly. For these reasons neither Cunipravac nor Cunivac RHD are in common use in the UK.

I understand from posts on a Facebook group that to get vaccine into the USA applications for import licences would need to be made state-by-state. Vets in Canada have already imported Filavac.

I hope it isn't against forum rules to post links to the appropriate Facebook groups but in case it is, I'll post in a separate message so that it can be deleted but what we hope is helpful information remains in this one
 

RWAF

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Please see the first of my two messages above, the third link includes biosecurity advice
Would like to know what “ biosecurity” or precautions to take in the US as we are preparing to adopt a formerly neglected and abused bunny to live with our current bunny. He has been staying with a foster famiky until he is cured ipof his respiratory infection and has healed from his neutering. Hearing about RHD in the US is very scary.
 

RWAF

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I will have to look up RHD since I haven't heard of it, but recently becoming a more educated rabbit owner from your forums. I wonder if it could spread from wild rabbits to domesticated rabbits?? My mom was worried this summer that my bunnies outside in there pen on the ground would get the infection( or virus not sure which) that wild rabbits carry during spring and summer, and into fall. Not sure if any of you know what I am talking about (please don't get mad at my next statement). When I was a young teenager my father took me rabbit hunting, but you never want to shoot a rabbit before the first frost because you would be eating a diseased or contaminated rabbit. But after the first freeze of the year it kill the virus or disease that wild rabbits carry. Not sure if that's what your talking about, but my mom and me did wonder about that.
Since you are in the US, it's unlikely that there would be any direct spread from wild rabbits. They don't as far as we know, suffer from RVHD. It is wild (or in the US, feral, from dumped pets) European rabbits that are susceptible. However this disease is highly infectious and contagious, frighteningly so. As well as being spread by direct contact with another rabbit that is infected. it can also be carried in birds' digestive system, on the fur and feet of other animals, on our own clothes, shoes, skin and hair, on inanimate objects, it is airborne, it can be carried in the mouthparts of biting insects. It can survive in the environment for up to a year, outside of the body of an infected rabbit. For people with rabbits that aren't yet vaccinated, it's essential to be very careful. When we were awaiting vaccine we advised people to have footbaths of appropriate disinfectant (eg Anigene) at the entrance to the home, to use it on shoes on entry, then change shoes, leaving the outdoor ones at the door. Also change clothes and wash hands thoroughtly before handling pets. If you have dogs for example that you exercise outside, keep them away from rabbits in case they have picked up virus on fur or feet.

Anigene is safe to add to your laundry.
 

Bill Jesse

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We went through that last Spring up here in Western Canada. There seems to be a lot of ways this disease is spread. Some concern was of bird droppings where rabbits would be and many thought it could spread from clothing exposed to the disease. I kept my rabbits inside the hutch in the barn and I put fly screening between the wire mesh and the door frame of the hutch. I also put screening over the window mesh in the barn. I used a foot bath of bleach in a tub with an old towel on the bottom of it. I had clothes and shoes which I changed into each time I entered the bar. Incidentally the barn is a 6x8 garden shed used exclusively by the rabbits.
Eventually the vaccine arrived and the clinic had a very strict protocol when taking the bunnies in. We were told to wait in the parking lot until we were summoned and then we went through a service door, after using a footbath and into a room which was used solely for the vaccinations.
Once we got home I kept the bunnies in quarantine for 2 weeks in their hutch.
Up here the disease seemed to be in pockets and not everywhere. Our area was a safe pocket but nonetheless my bunnies were vaccinated. I know of others that were not without consequences. The big thing is having a sanitary location for the buns.
My final concern was getting hay. The hay I had on hand was harvested prior to the out break and I have since had a bale harvested since.
I had access to some literature and will see if I can find it.
 

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