RVHD2 Boarding Policy

Rabbit VHD 2 Vaccine Boarding Requirement Update
There is a variant of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (abbreviated as VHD/ RVHD 1&2) in the UK that is not covered by the current Myxo-RHD Vaccine and rabbits require a separate vaccine to protect them from the new strain RVHD2. Unfortunately the vaccine required has only been available in the UK for the last 4-6 months and vaccine stock is intermittent.
RVHD2 was first noted in France in 2010. Whilst RVHD2 has been present in the UK for about 2 years now, more and more cases are appearing and there has been several outbreaks across the UK. RVHD1 has been in the UK since 1992, even with widespread vaccination there are still outbreaks across the UK.
RVHD is a fatal disease which causes internal bleeding and results in sudden death, normally with no outward signs and tends to only be suspected when several rabbits die around the same time unless a postmortem has been carried out on a sudden death rabbit.
RVHD can be spread incredibly easily by biting insects and direct and indirect contact with infected rabbits, on hay, food, your dog, cat and yourself can carry it on your feet, clothes and shoes if you have been on ground that an infected rabbit has been. It can survive in the environment for a very long time even through cold temperatures.
If your rabbit is vaccinated against RVHD2 it must still be vaccinated with Myxo-RHD vaccine to protect against RHD1 and Myxomatosis as these are the most significant widespread threat to your rabbit and VHD2 only covers a particular strain of VHD.
We are advising all clients to contact their vet and ask to be notified when the vaccine is available and vaccinate asap, there are now confirmed reports of RHD2 in London.
Don't panic if your vet doesn't yet have this vaccine as RVHD2 has been in the UK for a few years and it is important that the vaccine stock gets to the areas that need it most, but ask to be notified once they have the vaccine if you wish to proceed to vaccinate your rabbit.
Good hygiene practice, removing shoes, washing hands, etc before greeting your bunny is very important. Don't use 2nd hand hutches etc if you do not know what the previous occupant died from. If you take your rabbit on holiday with you check the area to see if there has been cases of RVHD2 and vaccinate if you can.
Please contact your vet for more information.