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Hart Veterinary Centre, Browning Drive, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX26 2XL & Frederick Street, Waddesdon, Aylesbury HP18 0LU

© Hart Veterinary Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number 5213242.


RCVS Accredited Small Animal Hospital Member of the British Veterinary Hospitals Association Go to Hart Vets Facebook page Go to Hart Vets Twitter page Go to Hart Vets Google+ page

Bicester    01869 323223  24hrs

Aylesbury  01296 651000

Vaccinations for rabbits

What vaccinations do rabbits need?

We advise all domestic rabbits should be vaccinated against RHD-1 and Myxomatosis. Breeding rabbits, show rabbits, rabbits at rescue centres and rabbits that have contact with the public should also be vaccinated against RHD-2. Pet rabbits kept in the back garden have the lowest risk of infection with RHD-2 and the decision to vaccinate should be made on a case by case basis.

When should young rabbits first be vaccinated?

We advise young rabbits have their first vaccination as soon as possible after they are 5 weeks old.

How often are booster vaccinations needed?

Booster vaccinations are required yearly for the combined Myxomatosis and RHD-1 vaccine. We send reminders to help you remember when your rabbit's vaccines are due. RHD-2 vaccine needs to be boosted every six months.

What are the diseases we vaccinate against?

Myxomatosis is a viral disease which causes an infected rabbit to become depressed, have a temperature and stop eating. It is characterised by swellings and discharges around the eyes, nose and genital areas. Treatment is rarely successful and affected rabbits suffer awfully. There is a much less common skin form of the condition which presents with mild lethargy and lumpy lesions on the skin – these cases can be successfully treated. Myxomatosis is spread by biting insects including fleas and mosquitoes.

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) has been in the press lately following reports of a new strain called RHD-2. The most widespread strain is RHD-1. The RHD virus is extremely hardy and survives for a long time in the environment. It is spread through direct and even in-direct contact - this means the virus can easily be brought into your home or garden on contaminated shoes, food and bedding.

RHD-1 and RHD-2 are different strains of the same virus. RHD-1 is the most common strain and is almost always fatal. Rabbits with RHD-1 sometimes develop bloody diarrhoea but most rabbits are found dead or severely depressed and collapsed. RHD-2 has a lower mortality rate (20%) and a slower course - most rabbits will have a mild illness and then recover.

Hart Vets is currently in the process of importing the RHD-2 vaccine Filavac from France and it will be available towards the end of August 2016. If you are interested in vaccinating your rabbit against RHD-2 please contact us.

Pet care

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