Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus
In recent issues of In Pursuit of Hoppiness and during our annual member meeting in June 2022, we have kept you informed of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, or RHDV2, a highly contagious virus that affects both domestic and wild rabbits, spreading throughout the U.S. Many times, the only signs of the disease are sudden death and blood-stained noses caused by internal bleeding.
The virus has now appeared in Connecticut. In September 2022, NBC Connecticut and other news outlets reported that 14 rabbits in a Hartford County household had died of RHDV2.
A vaccine is available!
The majority of HRC members reside in Mass. and Conn. but we have members in many states so we will try to provide information to help everyone. So far, 45 state veterinarians and District of Columbia have already authorized emergency use (EUA) of the new RHDV2 vaccine, and Medgene anticipates approval in more states in the near future.
States that have still not accepted the EUA for Medgene’s vaccine include Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Alaska.
To see if your state has approved use of the vaccine, see: https://medgenelabs.com/rhdv2/.
To learn more about RHDV2 and a typical vaccination clinic, read the HRS FAQ:
Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island residents:
See the database of vets currently offering RHDV2 vaccine in the U.S. at https://rabbitors.info/us-rabbit-resources/us-rhdv2- vaccination-resources/ but also check with your rabbit-savvy vet because the list is incomplete. Additional information is available from:
Connecticut Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian Jane Lewis, (860) 713-2505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Director of Public Information Jola Szubielski, (518) 457-0752 or Jola.Szubielski@agriculture.ny.gov
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture/Animal Health, State Veterinarian Scott Marshall, (401) 222-2781 or email@example.com.
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont residents: contact your state veterinarian, since RHDV2 is now in Conn. and New York and will likely appear in your state. Ask them to approve the vaccine’s use in your state. Contact info:
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, (207) 287-3200 or Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, (207) 287-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, State Veterinarian Lorraine O’Connor, (617) 626-1791 or L.OConnor@mass.gov.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, Division of Animal Industry, State Veterinarian Stephen K. Crawford, (603) 271-2404 or email@example.com.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, State Veterinarian Kristin M. Haas, (802) 828-2426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several HRC members have had their rabbits vaccinated with no side effects and are relieved to know that along with practicing biosecurity they’re doing all we know to protect their rabbits from this deadly virus.
Until (and after) you get your rabbit (s) vaccinated, practice biosecurity and decontamination as a precaution.
For additional information about protecting your rabbit, see HRS’s resource center (https://rabbit.org/resources/rhdv/) for information about:
Vaccination & RHDV2
Multi-Pet Homes & RHDV2
Home Safety & RHDV2
Rabbit Food & RHDV2
Final note: the members of HRC’s Board of Directors are working through urgent issues regarding the impacts of RHDV2 on HRC’s intake, fostering, and adoption procedures, as well as costs.
As always, HRC is a resource for your questions. Contact a HopLine volunteer at email@example.com or (413) 439-7472.