Animal Diseases and Biosecurity

​​​​​​​​​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

RHD poster

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) Informational Poster in Spanish

RHD poster in Spanish

Symptoms of RHD in domestic rabbits may include:

  • ​Acute/rapid death
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Congested membranes around the eyes
  • Nervousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excitement or paddling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bloody, frothy nasal discharge at death

​Prevention

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.

Biosecurity Steps Infographic—English

Protecting your animals from disease. Biosecurity Steps Infographic—English

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.

Notification

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​.​​

C​ontact

Animal Health
635 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 1-800-347-7028

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Resources

Animal Health News from ODA

ODA news blog

RHDV Frequently Asked Questions

RHDV FAQs

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