Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, also referred to as RHD or RHDV, is a fatal viral infection in rabbits. RHDV Type 2 (RHDV2) was first identified in a feral domestic rabbit colony in the Milwaukie, Oregon area on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, followed by domestic and wild detections in La Pine, Oregon from April to June of 2021. This disease is highly contagious among domestic rabbits and has high mortality rates in rabbit colonies.
Unlike RHDV, RHDV2 can infect native rabbit and hare species.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) Informational Poster
Symptoms of RHD in domestic rabbits may include:
- Acute/rapid death
- Lack of appetite
- Congested membranes around the eyes
- Lack of coordination
- Excitement or paddling
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody, frothy nasal discharge at death
The best way to protect your rabbits is to practice strong biosecurity practices. There is no cure or treatment for RHD and although a vaccine is available, its efficiency at protecting rabbits is not well know. Use the documents below for information on biosecurity and sanitation practices to protect your rabbits from RHD.
RHDV Biosecurity Guidance Document
Rabbit owners and commercial operations should work with their veterinarian to identify their biosecurity risk factors. Biosecurity guidance
RHDV Disinfectant Selection
There are currently no disinfectants that specifically list RHDV2, on their label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified products that are effective against similar viruses and are believed to be effective against RHDV2. RHDV disinfectant selection
There is now a vaccine for RHDV2 licensed for use in the US. Some Oregon veterinarians have begun offering the domestically produced vaccine to clients. The vaccine is currently available under a limited license which requires administration by a veterinarian under a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. The vaccine is not approved for use in feral or wild rabbits.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your rabbits notify the Oregon State Veterinarian immediately.
To report suspected cases of RHD in rabbits please contact the Oregon State Veterinarian at 800-347-7028 or email AHHotline@oda.oregon.gov.
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