Highlands & Islands

Protect pet rabbits against virus RVHD-2, say vets

Pet rabbit

Owners of pet rabbits have been urged to protect them against a contagious virus that has spread to Scotland.

The virus, rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease variation RVHD-2, had previously been detected elsewhere in the UK.

It can be potentially fatal to the animals.

Vets, including surgeries in Inverness, are encouraging people to have their pets vaccinated.

Gudrun Ravetz, president of the British Veterinary Association, said: "The risk of a rabbit contracting RVHD-2 is highest in situations where rabbits are kept in large groups with regular new additions, such as at breeders or rescue centres.

"However, we'd encourage all owners to speak to their vet about vaccinating their rabbits against this potentially devastating disease.

"Owners should also be aware that the vaccination for the original strain of RVHD doesn't appear to offer long-term protection against RVHD-2.

"But vaccines for this new strain are now available and your vet will be able to best advise you on this."

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