RHDV2 Vaccine concerns

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Active Member
Jun 29, 2021
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New Zealand
So the RHDV2 was released/somehow got here about 2 years ago in NZ. We live rural, as well, so obviously got my rabbits vaccinated.
My Flemish Giant doe had a bad reaction to it. It messed up her nervous system, she was twitching for a good 6 months afterwards. So that scared me, a lot. I also found one source, I don't remember by who or how reputable, but it said that 10% of rabbits vaccinated had a reaction to it.
Mine are now overdue, and I am pondering if I should vaccinate again.
IF there are infected rabbits around, mine are high risk to catch it as they get hand-picked grass from our rural farm regularly. Yet I haven't seen any rabbits or signs of them for a long time here.
I have recently bought a young buck, and haven't vaccinated him myself. He is vaccinated up to date according to his booklet, but he was in a situation with a lot of other rabbits so I doubt if he reacted minorly the staff would have picked it up.

Does one vaccine provide any protection after it's overdue?
I feel like I need to get them vaccinated again or I am unnecessarily risking their lives, but then I'm not too sure if I could be doing harm getting them vaccinated, too.

Apollo’s Slave

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2019
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London, England
I would definitely get them vaccinated. But if you’re worried, I would talk to your vet about it. My rabbits have never had any reactions from their annual vaccinations but I believe that for the rabbits who do, it generally goes away within a few days.


Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Sep 10, 2012
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Utah, , USA
As I understand it, as the vaccines become past due, they will still be effective but will decrease in effectiveness the more they're past the revaccination date. How effective and for how long, you would need to research the particular vaccine your rabbit received.

One possibility for the side effect that you saw, is that it may not have been due to the vaccination but to where the vaccination was given and if the needle hit a nerve bundle causing nerve damage. I had an injection hit a nerve and it caused continuing sensitivity in that area for quite a while after the injection had been given.

If you feel the negative reaction was from the vaccine itself, you could find out which brand of vaccine was given last time and maybe try one of the others. The ones I'm aware of are eravac, filavac, and the combi nobivac. I would suggest discussing your possible options with your vet.


Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2020
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I don't knowif this is any help to you,but my rabbits have both had the nobivac shot thelast couple of years,and have been OK with it.I do fully understand how you feel,because no vaccine is totally safe for all or totally effective for all,and I have also agonised over whether to take the risk of a reaction or the risk that they will contract these rather nasty diseases. Don't feel guillty or feel that you're 'anti-science',a term ridiculously used regaarding covid sceptics when in fact the opposite is true.science is not perfect and one has to weight the risk and benefit in the balance.It's unfortunately part of the responsibility we take for these precious little beings.No platitudes or patronsing intended,just an honest view of the situation.