View Full Version : VHD outbreak, Kidderminster, UK

04-04-13, 03:32 pm
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

04-04-13, 03:46 pm
I will definitely let my friend know. Thank you.

04-04-13, 05:54 pm
Thanks for the heads up, ill pass the word along.