Saturday, 30 January 2016

RHVD2 update

RE RVHD2 Hi All. To avoid confusion between vets and owners, this same message is going out to all our vet and owner members so that everyone will have the same information available. RVHD2 IS present in the UK, and has been for a couple of years , as evidenced by the Westcott and Choudhury paper ( WESTCOTT D. G., CHOUDHURY B. (2015) Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2-like variant in Great Britain. Veterinary Record 176, 74 doi:10.1136/vr.102830). Since that paper came out, we have had a number of reports, from Dorset to East Anglia, of laboratory confirmed RVHD2. We have also had a large number of unconfirmed reports, based on a range of findings, from clinical suspicion, to detailed post mortems. We established an import process for "Cunivak RHD", and, unfortunately have exhausted the company's stocks. We are therefore exploring other vaccine options. To bring everyone up to speed on the situation: 1. Is the current Nobivac Myxo-RHD effective against RVHD2? No, unfortunately not, according to MSD, the company making it. However, it is vital to still continue to vaccinate rabbits against Myxomatosis, the main preventable fatal viral disease of rabbits, and RVHD1, which is still the main strain found in the UK, with Nobivac Myxo-RHD. 2. What exactly is the supply situation with Cunivak RHD? To the best of our knowledge, this is completely out of stock, and a date for new supplies is still not known. We await more information on this from the company. When we have more information on this, or the next point, we will send out another message to everyone on our list. 3. Are other vaccines available? We are revisiting the other vaccines that we identified earlier, in order to determine if another option is available. We initially selected Cunivak as it was available in single doses, to avoid splitting multidose vials with short shelf lives once open, between rabbits, as this could have biosecurity concerns if vaccinating a large number of rabbits in a short space of time. This process is likely to take some time, but once we know more, we will let people know the details. One thing that would REALLY help us is if vets and owners can report any cases of RVHD. If you know of any, please could you contact us on with the following info: approximate geographical location; number of rabbits affected and their ages; how diagnosed: eg suspected, gross post mortem, histopathology, or specific viral test, in which case was this RVHD1 or RVHD2. We would recommend that vets reserve a second dose of vaccine for those rabbits which have already received a first dose. If you are a vet who has already vaccinated a rabbit with a first dose, and has insufficient vaccine for that animal's second dose, please contact me via to discuss the options.


  1. My vet says that, despite ordering mid Jan, he has not been able to get hold of any from the vaccine manufacturer due to demand. Is this a common problem? How do we best protect our rabbits meanwhile?
    Also, what are the issues regard timing VHD2 with the normal, annual, vaccination that rabbits receive for VHD and Myxi?

  2. My rabbits have recently died from new strain the mum and her one month old babies , all eight was heartbreaking !