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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A NEED ADVICE ASAP (vet appointment in 2 days)

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    • henry2809
      Participant
      126 posts Send Private Message

      Hi all.

      I am in South Carolina, USA and I have 2 male Lionhead rabbits (they are housed indoors but play outside in the backyard sometimes). My veterinarian recently ordered the Medgene RHDV vaccine and I have an appointment scheduled for both of my bunnies to receive their first dose of the vaccine in 2 days, but I am SO incredibly nervous about side effects. RHDV has not been detected in South Carolina yet, but it seems to be moving towards us. While I am very excited to have the opportunity to have them vaccinated, I am really worried that they will have serious side effects/death following the vaccine, since it is such a new vaccine and I know that bunnies are so delicate. It seems that the large majority of rabbits have been totally fine or they just have minor side effects (lethargy and reduced appetite for 24 hours), but I have heard of 1 rabbit developing diarrhea and dying and 1 rabbit developing stasis and dying about 24 hours after receiving the Medgene vaccine. Has anybody had their rabbits vaccinated? If so, how did they do? Did they have any serious problems? Do you guys think that I should keep my appointment and have them vaccinated in 2 days? I am so nervous!


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5444 posts Send Private Message

      I personally recommend you keep the appointment. Remember that while vaccinating rabbits is very new to the US this past year, it has been a practice for hundreds and hundreds of domestic rabbits owned by responsible owners in European countries and Australia for years. While they have different vaccines themselves (we don’t import from them I believe), it is a very normal practice to vaccinate rabbits in general– it just happens to be novel to us in the US!

      For information about the Medgene vaccine, see here: https://rabbit.org/faq-for-medgenes-rhdv2-vaccine/

      I volunteer for two rescues operating in the DC/MD/NoVA area and none of our vaccinated rescue rabbits have had side effects. My personal rabbits were both vaccinated at this past weekend in VA, and they had no side effects. The only reported side effect instance reported at that veterinary practice was swelling at the injection site for 48hrs.

       

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


      • henry2809
        Participant
        126 posts Send Private Message

        Thank you so much! Were all of those bunnies vaccinated with Medgene?


      • Wick & Fable
        Moderator
        5444 posts Send Private Message

        To my knowledge, yes they were all Medgene vaccines. I don’t think any other are available in our area.

        The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
      15960 posts Send Private Message

      No vaccine is completely without risk. However, that risk is extremely small. The benefits far, far, far outweigh the risks. Rabbits that contract RHDV have little chance of survival. It has a very high mortality rate.

      The new Medgene vaccine did release trial results. If I remember correctly, there were no deaths during the trial. It’s hard to know if these anecdotal accounts you mentioned were actually deaths that were caused by the vaccine or not. After all, correlation does not equal causation. It’s possible the rabbits in question had some kind of underlying condition. Or simply the stress of going to the vet and receiving the vaccine may have set something off. This isn’t to discount these deaths in any way… but I wouldn’t let these 2 accounts create the perception of higher risk.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7407 posts Send Private Message

      I haven’t had my buns vaccinated with this vaccine yet (my buns had the Eravac vaccine last summer), but I plan to do so once it’s available in my state, so I would say keep the appointment! I am in a group on Facebook about RHDV and while I haven’t been following it that closely, I have seen that large numbers of rescues have vaccinated their buns with Medgene and have not had any major issues.

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • henry2809
      Participant
      126 posts Send Private Message

      Thank you all so much! The overwhelming opinion seems to be that most rabbits do very, very well with the vaccine. I also totally agree that the risk of problems with the vaccine is very tiny, while the risk of RHDV is huge. I’m sure my boys will be totally fine- I will watch them for the evening and make sure they don’t have problems. Their appointment is for 11 am on a Thursday, so the vet will be open Afro the rest of the day and the next day which makes me feel much better. I’m sure they will be fine, I’m just an anxious mama trying to make sure that I make the right decisions. Thank you all for your reassurance ❤️


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7407 posts Send Private Message

      I totally get it! I was nervous when mine got their first shots, even though I knew the vaccine was super safe!

      There are some things about the Medgene one I don’t love (like it requiring a booster a few weeks later), but I am really excited about the fact that it doesn’t require the sacrifice of any live rabbits in production. I really wish they would approve it in my state (I’m in Mass)!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • henry2809
      Participant
      126 posts Send Private Message

      I totally agree, it would be much easier to just have it be a one-and-done vaccine, but I’ll be thrilled to have them protected against RHDV regardless. I hope they approve it for you soon! I know that a lot of clinics are carrying now that it’s been approved in so many states, which is fantastic, so hopefully we can protect all of our babies! I’ll be so excited to not have to worry so much once they’re vaccinated- I can travel to affected areas and interact with other bunnies without being so scared!

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A NEED ADVICE ASAP (vet appointment in 2 days)