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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 Should we be taking precautions against RHDV2 in 2024?

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    • Rae
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        Hey all,

        Paranoid bunny parent here. I’m just wondering, should we be taking precautions against RHDV2 today? And if so, what should we be doing? I currently reside in CA which it seems is a regular hot-spot for the disease, and with spring being in full bloom I fear it will be getting worse soon.

        I do not come into contact with other rabbits, domestic or otherwise, however I’ve begun keeping my shoes outside Gus and I’s room. I get packages regularly, so I’m wondering if I should begin opening them outside of the room and bringing the contents in after. Furthermore, I get organic pre-washed veggies but should I begin second washing them?

        Any and all ideas/thoughts welcome!

        PS – I’ve called around and NO vets in my county offer the vaccine. I do not own a vehicle so going out my county isn’t really an option. San Bernardino county if you’re interested or know of a resource I’m missing.


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
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          From what I read online, they will no longer be importing vaccines for RHDV because there is now a US-made vaccine that has received authorization. How this translates to supply in the short-term, I’m not sure. Vets can order the vaccine directly from the manufacturer. It’s made by Medgene. Can your vet try ordering it? Or did they try ordering and it is back ordered?


          • Rae
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              I don’t know if they’ve tried or are even aware of it, I just called asking if they had it and they said no. I’ll give them another call tomorrow and see if they are willing to order it.


          • Rae
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              Okay so I was unable to get ahold of the vet today. Just wondering, if they cannot or are unwilling to get the vaccine, should I be taking extreme precautions against the disease?

              My current situation: Agoraphobic renting a room where Gus lives free-roam. I only leave to go to dr’s and grocery shop once a week. Is it possible that I could come into contact with it via touching things in the store or at the dr’s office? Or getting it on my shoes from walking around outside? Should I open packages outside the room? Like, should I be taking Covid 2020 levels of precautions or is everything fine?

              I’ve been reading articles and they are geared towards people who come into contact with rabbits or own rabbit rescues, of which I am neither so I am unsure of what level of caution I should be functioning on realistically.


            • LBJ10
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                @DanaNM may be able to shed some light on this since she was in southern California during the outbreak.


              • DanaNM
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                  Hi there @Rae

                  You should definitely be taking precautions where you can. RHDV2 is not going away and has spread throughout both wild and domestic rabbits in CA. It seems to especially like arid climates (such as S CA).

                  The biggest transmission risks for an indoor rabbit would be from contaminated feed (veggies most likely, as hay is aged long enough for the virus to deactivate in most cases) and on shoes. The virus can be transmitted through a single fly spec from a fly that fed on a diseased rabbit carcass.

                  Taking your shoes off outside is a very good precaution. I would recommend contacting rabbit rescues in your county and LA. I know there are vets in LA that offer the vaccine, I found this list of vets in the S CA area that have the vaccine on this rescue’s website: https://www.larabbits.org/rhdv

                  You may need to drive a bit, but IMO it is worth it. With the vaccine being produced domestically now it’s going to be more and more available which is great. Hopefully within the next few years more vets will have it and it won’t be such a pain to get it. I live in Massachusetts now and have been having to drive my buns to Connecticut to get boosted, which is not fun but the rabbits have all handled the trip and vaccine very well.

                  . . . 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.  


                  • Rae
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                      Hey, thank you so much for the advice.

                      I do not have a car at the moment so I am unable to go out of my county as I rely on Uber/Lyft to go further distances. There are also no rabbit rescues in my county, only a few veterinarians that see rabbits.

                      While I work on getting him vaccinated, should I double wash his veggies? I buy pre washed already.


                  • mia
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                      Check shelters and rescues for leads too if you haven’t already. All the ones where I am have had all their buns vaccinated for a few years as well as require them for buns to do dates.


                      • Rae
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                          Thank you for the advice! Unfortunately there are no rescues/shelters that have rabbits near me and I do not have a car to travel further out.


                      • Rae
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                          Okay, so I called EVERY vet within a distance that I can get to who sees rabbits – they do not have and are unwilling to order the vaccine due to not seeing enough rabbits.

                          So for right now at least, I am unable to get him vaccinated.

                          I buy pre-washed veggies, should I wash them again once they get inside? I’m keeping shoes outside the room and can open packages outside the room as well. Flies aren’t an issue around here, but I will make sure that we keep our doors and windows closed or screened when open to prevent any from getting inside.


                          • DanaNM
                            Moderator
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                              TBH washing veggies is good but if they were truly contaminated it would not help. I think the steps you are taking with shoes etc are great and it’s awesome you were able to find a clinic!

                              I was going to suggest renting a car for a day as an alternative to Uber/Lyft if you couldn’t find something local.

                              . . . 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.  


                          • Rae
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                              UPDATE: I found a woman who partners with a vet to run a vaccine clinic out of her home in my city! He’s booked for his first shot at the end of this month. 🙂


                              • DanaNM
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                                  Amazing!

                                  . . . 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
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                                16936 posts Send Private Message

                                  That’s awesome news!

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                              Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Should we be taking precautions against RHDV2 in 2024?