Rabbits need protection against three dreadful diseases, and this update covers all you need to know to protect the rabbits in your care.
The Three Diseases
Sounds like a pop group, right? Sadly, the three diseases rabbits require protection from are all dreadful killers.
Myxomatosis has been around for a long time, and vaccines are well advanced to fight this truly despicable disease. It's spread via bites from fleas and mosquitoes that have previously bitten an infected rabbit, as well as from direct contact with an infected rabbit.
In the 1980’s, a somewhat lesser known disease, rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV, RHD1 or RHD for short) spread rapidly through Asia, Europe and beyond requiring the development of a second vaccine for rabbits.
More recently, a significant variant to the RHD virus was discovered, called RHDV2, which required the development of yet another rabbit vaccine.
Both RHD and RHDV2 are spread via contact with infected rabbits, or indirectly via their urine or faeces. The virus is resilient, surviving in the enviroment for months, irrespective of temperature. It is easily transported (on shoes, animals etc), so can get into the home with ease.
Much work has been carried out to ensure the three diseases can be vaccinated effectively and to ensure that the right combination of vaccines can be given safely.
A recent update from Nobivac, one of the producers of vaccines for rabbits, provides detail of their current vaccine, Myxo-RHD PLUS, which is an annual single-dose vaccine for all three rabbit diseases. This makes protecting rabbits against these dreadful diseases easier and more cost effective.
Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS
This is the first triple vaccine for rabbts. Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS has proven effectiveness against Myxomatosis, RHDV and RHDV2 in one single vaccine, for both non-vaccinated and also previously vaccinated rabbits.
Whether this vaccination is right for your rabbits next vaccine will largely depend on the vaccinations previously carried out. The table below summarises these considerations:
(Source: MSD website)
Full details of this vaccine can be found on https://www.msd-animal-health-hub.co.uk/ahp/ca-faq-MyxoRHD-PLUS and also from your veterinarian.
Further information on RHD and RHDV2 can be found from the Rabbit Welfare website - https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/disease/rabbit-vhd/
Further information on myxomatosis can be found from the Rabbit Welfare website - https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/disease/myxomatosis/
Vaccination - The Only Way
Sadly, these three diseases are killers, and there is no cure. If your rabbits are not yet vaccinated, or you have concerns over the use of any vaccine or combined vaccine, please speak with your veterinarian.
We’re all a lot more familiar with vaccines, viruses, mutations and variations than we all ever felt we needed to be, thanks to COVID, and hopefully one thing we can take from our last few years of challenge has been the importance of vaccination against killer diseases - both for ourselves and for the little ones in our care.