Case of deadly rabbit illness present in Montgomery County


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — They aren’t the most well-liked pet however many households within the Capital Area have rabbits. These smooth, long-eared companions little question deliver pleasure to their house owners, however proper now they’re underneath menace from a lethal virus-rabbit hemorrhagic illness virus serotype 2 (RHDV2).

Lethal rabbit illness present in Montgomery County

A case of this extremely contagious illness was present in a Montgomery County family. The New York Division of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) issued a warning on Dec. 15. The illness impacts each home and wild rabbits.

Hop on Dwelling Rabbit Sanctuary is within the means of vaccinating the 121 rabbits of their look after RHDV2. They’ve restricted the bunny’s interplay with the general public and since the virus may be tracked indoors on sneakers, volunteers at their Wilton Mall website should put on surgical booties, stated President/CEO Shelby Wimet-Himelrick.

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RHDV2 is species-specific, stated Wimet-Himelrick, so people and different animals can’t get it, however it may be handed to rabbits in a number of methods. As talked about, it may be discovered on individuals’s sneakers or garments, on produce, feed, and hay.

If a wild rabbit with RHDV2 is eaten by an animal, that animal’s feces will include the virus. Bunnies which have entry to the skin when it’s heat may also get it from flies or mosquitos that decide it up by way of contact with animal feces, she stated. The NYSDAM stated the virus can reside for weeks within the surroundings.

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The U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) stated the virus can thrive even in excessive temperatures and other people can nonetheless decide up the virus if they arrive in touch with a rabbit that died from it. Individuals can are available in contact with RHDV2 by way of animal feces as properly.

Signs of RHDV2

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Hemorrhage
  • Seizures
  • Sudden loss of life

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Signs usually begin one to a few days after a bunny is contaminated and since there is no such thing as a remedy for RHDV2, one of the simplest ways house owners can shield them from getting sick is to get them vaccinated. “An oz. of prevention is a pound of remedy,” Wimet-Himelrick stated.

Rabbits are thought of unique pets, Wimet-Himelrick stated, so house owners should search out an unique pet veterinary workplace to manage RHDV2 vaccines. Up till lately, there was no vaccine obtainable. The present vaccine from Medgene Labs was granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the USDA in September. The 2-shot vaccination collection is given 21 days aside.

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In keeping with Wimet-Himelrick different methods house owners can shield rabbits from RHDV2 embrace:

  • Utilizing hay that’s been saved from rodents a minimal of 120 days (she stated most corporations do that)
  • Checking with native farmers about hay storage
  • Placing a biosecurity plan in place (use one half bleach to 9 components of water to scrub rabbit gadgets; gadgets should stay moist for 10 minutes)
  • Not carrying sneakers inside
  • Not introducing new pets to your rabbit(s) together with different rabbits
  • Decreasing journey to RHDV2 scorching spots
  • When heat climate arrives hold rabbits in a fly and mosquito protected space

There have been no different instances of RHDV2 reported since mid-December when the NYSDAM issued its warning. They stated the vaccine, though permitted for emergency use continues to be experimental. Veterinarians can buy the vaccine by contacting Medgene Labs at (605) 697-2600 or


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