“Warning for pet-owners: Deadly virus which kills in 24 hours hits UK – no area safe’”
“Rabbit owners warned over deadly virus sweeping country”
“How to save your rabbit from killer diseases”
“This rabbit-killing disease is sweeping the UK”
Yorkshire Evening Post
This is just a snapshot of the raft of headlines that appeared across the UK media in response to this year’s Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) ‘Protect and Prevent’ campaign. And, while this makes for rather alarming reading, the good news is that message is getting across – vaccinating pet rabbits against deadly diseases is absolutely essential.
Burgess in-house vet Dr Suzanne Moyes says: “Along with providing the correct diet and environment, regular vaccinations play a vital role in keeping our pet rabbits healthy. Rabbits are at risk from a variety of deadly diseases, including myxomatosis, rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) and rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease 2 (RVHD2). We’re delighted at the response to this year’s campaign and to discover that more and more owners are protecting their pets by getting them vaccinated.”
5,000 RAW packs requested by vets, pet retailers, rescue centres, schools and pet owners
56% increase in vaccine doses sold by Ceva Animal Health to vets
What is RVHD2?
- RVHD2 is a new strain of the virus RVHD1, an extremely infectious virus that kills by causing internal bleeding
- Outbreaks have been reported all over the UK and Ireland
- It has few symptoms, which means it’s very hard to spot and, once contracted, is fatal
- The virus can be carried by birds and insects, the wind, soles of shoes, car tyres or other pets’ feet, an infected rabbit or their droppings and even an owner’s hands or clothes. This means there’s no way to stop the virus getting into your rabbits’ indoor or outdoor environment
Dr Suzanne Moyes adds: “The only way to protect your pets is through vaccination. Your vet can vaccinate your rabbits against RVHD2 (this is a separate vaccination to the combined myxomatosis/RVHD1 vaccine) and advise what booster vaccinations are required, usually every 6-12 months.”
For lots more tips and expert advice on keeping your rabbits healthy, download RAW’s Rabbit Health Fact File
DID YOU KNOW?
RAW is a coalition of experts, organisations and welfare charities who have come together with the mission to improve rabbit welfare. Along with Burgess Pet Care, the partners include RSPCA, PDSA, RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund), Wood Green, Blue Cross and Ceva Animal Health.
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