Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, also referred to as RHD or RHDV, is a fatal viral infection in rabbits. RHDV Type 2 (RHDV2) was identified in a feral domestic rabbit colony in the Milwaukie, Oregon area on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. This disease is highly contagious between 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 to to practice strong biosecurity practices. There is no cure or treatment for RHD and although a vaccine is available under emergency use authorization, 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 currently no commercially available vaccine for RHDV2 licensed for use in the US. Some Oregon veterinarians have requested and received a limited emergency use authorization to import and administer one of two RHDV2 vaccines available in Europe. Only Oregon-owned rabbits are eligible for vaccination and all rabbits must have permanent identification (microchip or tattoo). No feral domestic or wild rabbits are approved to be vaccinated.
To find a veterinarian that has available doses in your area please us our vaccine availability tool.
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 submit your information using the form below.