With the upcoming release of the new K-5 strain rabbit virus in March and April 2018, we are urging all rabbit owners to vaccinate their pet immediately to protect them against the new strain.
A large number of pets could be at risk, so we have put together the following ways in which rabbit owners can help protect their rabbits against Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus:
- Contact your veterinarian for up-to-date advice about the best way to protect your rabbit from the virus. You should have your rabbits vaccinated or make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations. This should be done as a matter of urgency.
- Prevent indirect and direct contact between domestic and wild rabbits.
- Avoid cutting grass and feeding it to rabbits if there is the risk of contamination from wild rabbits. Also be careful of fresh vegetables as some may be grown in areas contaminated with RHDV.
- If you are in contact with rabbits other than your own, wash your hands with warm soapy water between handling rabbits.
- Good insect control is also important and will help reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. Insect control could include insect-proofing your rabbit’s enclosure or keeping your rabbit indoors.
- Clean anything that rabbits come into contact with by using an agent such as 10% bleach, 10% sodium hydroxide, or Virkon (which is available from your local veterinarian).
For further information, rabbi owners are advised to contact their veterinarian immediately for up-to-date advice on how to protect their rabbit from the new strain of this deadly virus.