OHS response to Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus and tips to keep your bunnies safe.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, or RHDV, is caused by a highly contagious virus that is often fatal in rabbits and hares.
The virus was first seen in Asia and Europe but has now become common in some areas of the United States. The disease was identified in Oregon after deceased wild rabbits were found in Milwaukie and in LaPine.
It’s important to note that RHDV cannot be transmitted to other animals or to people. There is also no known treatment for the disease.
The Oregon Humane Society is working with animal welfare organizations and government agencies around the state to mitigate the risk of RHDV and report any cases.
The OHS Medical Team has developed strict protocols if an RHDV case is discovered at the shelter. OHS is also limiting the intake of rabbits to owned rabbits who have been indoor only.
Additional information on RHDV can be found here:
- Oregon Department of Agriculture website
- Frequently Asked Questions from the ODA
- Rabbit Advocates website
Here are some things you can do to prevent the spread of RHDV and keep own rabbits safe:
- If you encounter a sick or deceased wild rabbit, do not touch it. Contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture at 1-800-347-7028 or email [email protected].
- Keep your rabbits indoors. Even though it maybe tempting to bring your rabbits outside as the sun comes our and the weather warms up, this could expose your bunny to RHDV.
- Talk to your vet about the availability of a vaccine for RHDV. Note – the vaccine is currently available in Washington, but not in Oregon yet.
- If you have rabbits at home and you visit an area that has wild bunnies, take extra precautions. A list of how to keep your rabbits safe can be found here – https://rabbit.org/rhdv/#how-to-protect