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- RHDV2 OUTBREAK
1434 N Central Expy, # 123
McKinney, TX 75070
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2
We are currently experiencing an outbreak of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV2), a highly contagious calicivirus that affects both domestic and wild rabbits, including hares, jackrabbits, and cottontails. It does not affect humans or other species.
Thus far, the virus has been detected in 4 states, including Texas. There is an assumption that the virus is here to stay, now that it’s in the wild rabbit population, where we have seen large die-offs of entire populations.
Transmission is through oral, nasal/respiratory, or ocular exposure to the virus, or by blood-feeding insects such as fleas, mites or mosquitos.
The virus may cause sudden death (within 1-2 hours), with victims potentially showing bloody discharge at the mouth, nose, and rectum. Other potential clinical signs include loss of appetite, lethargy, high fever, seizures, and difficulty breathing.
Fortunately, there is a vaccine that is commonly administered annually in other countries where the disease is already considered endemic. This vaccine is not normally available in the US but has been approved by the USDA for limited import while we battle this outbreak.
Cedar Creek Animal Hospital is included in these import plans. Stock is limited but we will continue to offer the vaccine for as long as it is available.
If you are interested in adding your rabbit's name to the vaccine list, please call us directly or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we recommend keep your pet bunnies indoors and away from the wild cottontails that are so common around here, as well as practice good rabbit hygiene & social distancing, and protect them with a rabbit-safe topical flea control.
If you find a deceased or potentially affected wild rabbit, do not handle it. RHDV2 signs can be similar to a couple of other illnesses that are potentially contagious to people and other animals. Instead, contact Texas wildlife officials or your local animal control. If you suspect RHVD2 in your own rabbit, please contact us immediately.
Trusted websites with additional information on RHDV2:
The House Rabbit Society has TONS of useful information and further links: www.rabbit.org/rhdv/
The Texas Animal Health Commission maintains timely, up to date outbreak information: www.tahc.texas.gov/news/