Rabbit Calicivirus

URGENT NOTIFICATION FOR PET RABBIT OWNERS – FEBRUARY 2105

Hills Shire Council has notified us that they are again releasing the Rabbit Calicivirus in March and April 2015.

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Rabbit Calicivirus (RCV), also known as Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) is a swift and and sudden killer. Rabbits may die within 48 hours of exposure, often without any symptoms at all. If symptoms are seen they may include loss of appetite, lethargy, high fever, spasms, and bleeding from the mouth and nose.

There is no known cure for calicivirus and mortality rates are close to 100%.

This virus is highly contagious and can be spread via direct contact with an infected rabbit or their feces, other objects or people that have contacted an infected rabbit and via insects such as mosquitoes and flies. Local councils periodically release the virus into reserves and public areas to control wild rabbit populations.

Vaccination is available and is the best way to protect your rabbit from Calicivirus.

Other things that you can do to help protect your rabbit include housing them indoors or in insect proof enclosures, washing your hands and changing your clothes before handling your rabbits if you have been in contact with other rabbits and registering your pet with us so we can notify you of any planned council releases of RCV.

The cost of vaccinating your rabbit is only $60 and this includes a full check-up with one of our vets. If you would like any further information about this disease or you would like to make an appointment, please phone 9659 8923.