Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHD2) | Village Vets

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHD2)


A CONTAGIOUS VIRUS that kills rabbits and hares within days of infection has been confirmed in six counties in Ireland.

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHD2) has been confirmed in Cork, Clare, Leitrim, Offaly, Wicklow and Wexford, the minister responsible for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Josepha Madigan, has confirmed.  
The disease has been found in 12 animals but the actual number of infected rabbits and hares could be far higher as samples in a number of these cases were taken from one animal drawn from a larger group of dead animals.





How can I protect my rabbit against RHDV-2?  

  • Keep your pet rabbit indoors

  • Make sure their vaccinations are up to date  All rabbits should be regularly vaccinated against the potentially fatal diseases, myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD).
  • Rabbit-proof your backyard to prevent access by wild rabbits
  • Regularly decontaminate equipment and materials including cages, hutches, bowls etc, with either 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide
  • Limit contact between and handling of unfamiliar pet rabbits
  • Decontaminate hands, shoes and clothing after handling other than your own rabbits
  • Control fleas
  • Control insects (especially flies) as much as possible both indoors and outdoors
  • Remove uneaten food on a daily basis




What are the signs of RHDV-2?  

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHD2) like classic Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease is a major cause of sudden death in rabbits. However other clinical signs such as unexplained bleeding/bruising, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss can also occur.  

What should I do if I think my rabbit might have contracted RHDV-2?

Contact us immediately:

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