A New Rabbit Disease: RHDV2 Information & Vaccines

New Rabbit Disease RHDV2

A new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) has been discovered. Find out the latest news and information about the disease including vaccinations.

Understandably, there is currently a great deal of concern regarding the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), and the effect it could have on the rabbit population.

Unfortunately there is also some uncertainty as to the best way to proceed. At the moment there is insufficient data to really know what it means for our pet rabbits.

Who is affected?

So far there has been one confirmed case in the Yorkshire region, but there are a large amount of rabbits seen in practice so it’s important to keep this in perspective.

This new strain may be more of a concern for those rabbits potentially in contact with wild rabbits, those kept in large groups or in boarding, breeding or show situations.


Currently, the vaccine is not licensed for use in pet rabbits, but for use in commercially kept rabbits. It has been shown to be safe and effective in these situations, but we can only assume that it’s use in pet rabbits would show similar results.

As such, the decision to vaccinate must be made on an individual risk-benefit ratio, rather than recommending all rabbits receive the vaccine. The vaccine should be used in addition to routine vaccination with the combined vaccine against myoxmatosis and RHVD, but not within a week of each other.

Calder Vets has obtained a Special Import Certificate to allow us to obtain the vaccine from abroad, however it is out of stock until mid-October. Please do contact us at the surgery if you have any queries regarding the vaccine.

For further information about RHVD and RHVD2, read our pet advice article which explains what the virus is, how it is spread and what the symptoms are.