Champaign, Ailing. (WCIA)
Dr. Krista Keller joins us with the most recent on a lethal virus of rabbits that not too long ago hit the U.S. Rabbit homeowners now have entry to a brand new vaccine which may assist.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Illness Virus: Regularly Requested Questions
In early 2020, a brand new and extra virulent variant of rabbit hemorrhagic illness virus (RHDV2) was detected in the USA. It has far-reaching implications for the well being of pet rabbits.
What’s RHDV? Rabbit hemorrhagic illness is attributable to a calicivirus that travels via the bloodstream and assaults the liver. The virus just isn’t contagious to people.
How is RHDV unfold? The virus may be unfold via contact with blood, urine, or feces of an contaminated rabbit. As a result of the virus may be very steady, it may be encountered in out of doors environments which have been frequented by wild rabbits. Folks can deliver the virus into their residence on clothes or sneakers.
What are the signs of RHDV in rabbits? Contaminated rabbits are anticipated to have indicators particular to the liver dysfunction, together with jaundice (yellow coloration) to the whites of the eyes and bleeding from the nostril, mouth, or eyes. Nonspecific indicators of sickness might embrace lethargy, lack of urge for food, and lack of defecation and urination.
What are the remedies for a rabbit contaminated with RHDV? As a result of the an infection is viral, therapy is proscribed to supportive care. Sadly, because of the virulence of the brand new variant, RHDV2, contaminated rabbits will doubtless succumb to the an infection and never survive.
What can I do to stop RHDV from contaminated by rabbit? As a result of RHDV is unfold between rabbits, biosecurity measures carried out in your house may help to scale back the chance of your rabbit turning into contaminated with RHDV.
These measures embrace:
Not permitting your pet rabbit to graze in out of doors areas frequented by wild rabbits
Not feeding pet rabbits weeds and flowers picked from areas frequented by wild rabbits
Guaranteeing that sneakers worn exterior should not worn in elements of the house that your pet rabbit has contact
Is there a vaccine accessible? In October 2021, the USDA granted Emergency Use Authorization for the distribution and use of an RHDV2 vaccine made by Medgene Labs. In late 2021, the State Veterinarians in Illinois accredited using the vaccine.
The vaccine requires two injections administered about 3 weeks aside and annual boosters thereafter.
The vaccine is presently present process full FDA approval however preliminary analysis, together with a research the place vaccinated rabbits have been uncovered to RHDV, point out that the vaccine protects in opposition to an infection and demise.
Are their unwanted effects to the vaccine? The preliminary analysis carried out means that the vaccine is secure, and that the unwanted effects seen are delicate. Unwanted side effects embrace swelling on the injection web site and delicate fever or lethargy for a couple of days after the vaccine is run.