• Karen Augustynowicz

Indoor Only Rabbits are NOT safe from RHDV2

Updated: Oct 1

Statement from Rabbitors Info:

"RHDV2 has been confirmed in 28 states with cases involving domestic, feral, and wild rabbits and hares. As of Jun 2022, RHDV2 has been confirmed in wild rabbits in New Mexico (Mar 2020), Arizona (Mar 2020), Texas (Apr 2020), Colorado (Apr 2020), Nevada (Apr 2020), California (May 2020), Utah (Jun 2020), Wyoming (Dec 2020), Montana (Feb 2021), Oregon (Feb 2021), and Idaho (Mar 2021). RHDV2 has been confirmed in domestic rabbits in all states with wild cases as well as Washington (Jul 2019), Florida (Dec 2020), South Dakota (May 2021), Georgia (Jun 2021), Mississippi (Sep 2021), Minnesota (Sep 2021), New York (Dec 2021), Kentucky (Dec 2021), Tennessee (Jan 2022), New Jersey (May 2022), Hawaii (Jun 2022), Kansas (Jul 2022), Pennsylvania (Aug 2022), Wisconsin (Aug 2022), Iowa (Aug 2022), Connecticut (Sep 2022), and South Carolina (Sep 2022)."

This disease is spreading rapidly. Several cases have been reported in Indoor Only domestic rabbits. Please be prepared.

Know your sources of Food

Kurt Sladky, a clinical professor of zoological medicine at the University of Wisconsin, says that bunny owners should also be cautious about the sourcing of the hay they use for their bunnies’ enclosures. “I cannot say for sure that the virus can live on hay for a prolonged period of time, but it would be prudent as a pet rabbit owner to purchase packaged hay rather than purchasing bulk hay,” Sladky says.

Sladky says zoologists are still figuring out all the ways RHDV2 can spread, so until they do, it’s better to exercise caution. Sladky offers an RHDV2 vaccination clinic at the University of Wisconsin. “Therefore, we are suggesting that pet rabbit owners do not allow their rabbits access to the outside,” Sladky says.

On-line sources stating they hold hay four or more months before selling include: Oxbow, Small Pet Select, Rabbit Hole and Grandpa's Best. If you do buy hay in bales, you will want to store it at least four months prior to feeding.

Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate

All rabbits should be vaccinated. That is the best way to protect them that we have. And, for those vaccinated early on, I would suggest not waiting a full year to booster. This page contains the list , by state, of all veterinarians providing the vaccine.

We have not found any reason NOT to vaccinate. Safe Haven vaccinates regardless of other health issues or age. Any rabbit over 4 weeks can be vaccinated. Our oldest is 14+ and Danny says: "No excuses. Please vaccinate all your rabbits!"

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