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RHD2 in Rabbits

If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.

If you believe your rabbit is sick, please contact your closest veterinary immediately. Symptoms can include not pooping or eating within the last 12-24 hours. Loud breathing noises and pain noises.

Protect your rabbit against RHD2

RHD2 was previously known as VHD (A different Strain), it is a Haemorrhagic Disease which is highly contagious and extremely fatal. VHD is less severe than its newer strain, however, both have very high mortality rates.

Key Points

  • It is a new strain stemming from VHD
  • It is extremely deadly
  • over 1.3 million pet rabbits are at risk
  • It is a standard vaccination for most rabbits


RHD2 has fewer symptoms than VHD, in some rabbits, it can cause sudden death. For others it can cause the following:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Spasms / Fits

Unfortunately, if one rabbit is subject to RHD2, the chances of your other rabbits having it as well is incredibly high. There have been lots of cases of entire homes lose their bunnies within 24 hours.

If you are able to diagnose one rabbit, the others should be kept in a decontaminated area with no traces of other rabbits.

What Treatments are there?

Unfortunately, treatment is near impossible with RHD2, there is no way to stop it once RHD2 has made its way into your rabbit. However, a vaccination can prevent RHD2 from causing problems when it enters your rabbits home or body.

Can it be prevented?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent RHD2 from spreading. The vaccinations will simply protect your rabbit for a period of time that lasts around a year.

If you have an outbreak of RHD2 in your home, you will need contain the outbreak and do your best to keep each of your rabbits in clean and separate homing. This can take weeks, even months before you can reintroduce your rabbits.

What do I need to do with the Vaccine?

The vaccine for RHD2 should be given after 2 weeks of the initial vaccine for the first RHD strain, you will need to get annual booster vaccines moving forward.

What should I do if I think my rabbit has VHD, RHD1 or RHD2?

Disinfect your hands, move your rabbits into separate homing and call your veterinary immediately. Unfortunately, the chance of your rabbits surviving can be very slim, so you will need to do your best to do this quickly and efficiently.

Thank you for reading this post!
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.