Dear AEMV Members:
We find ourselves in yet another evolving situation with the resurgence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RSDV2). The disease affects both feral (in British Columbia) and pet European rabbits. It has also been found to kill desert and eastern cottontails and black-tailed jackrabbits.
I would like to thank Dr. Tom Donnelly, Dr. Cheryl Greenacre, Dr. Jennifer Graham, Dr. Angela Lennox, and Dr. Cathy Johnson-Delaney for providing the most current scientific information to date.
Again, the point of this email is not to incite panic among you or your clients but simply to recommend you read the information provided, stay up to date, and make your own decisions on how to handle your patients and effectively communicate with your clients.
Dr. Tom Donnelly noted “The Nobivac Myxo-RHD Plus was not slated to be commercially available in Europe until fall. With the COVID pandemic, this release date is unlikely. We may be looking at 9-12 months before we can get it. It is also more expensive because it is a triple vaccine.” The availability, cost, and delay in getting vaccines will heavily impact this situation. Publications regarding the vaccine will be on the website.
There are state veterinarians already working on getting a vaccine more readily available to practitioners within the USA. AEMV will be working alongside these efforts to help mitigate this disease.
As we get more information we will be posting on our “Member Resources” area of
. If you are not a member of ExoticDVM forum (
) or Veterinary Information Network (
) now would be a good time to join as there are currently discussions on both RHDV2 and COVID 19. VIN graciously allowed us to reprint their news article “Southwest US faces lethal rabbit disease outbreak” by VIN news reporter, Lisa Wogan.
These are times that none of us expected, much less were prepared for. AEMV remains steadfast in its commitment to our members and the animals we serve. Please remain safe, well, and hopeful that this pandemic will end soon. Stay connected with friends and family as that has never been more important. Food insecurity has become an even larger issue globally so if you are in a position to donate to the many causes providing food to those in need please do so. As veterinarians we are also part of the front line workers and it is vital to continue providing care to the animals that give people comfort when so many have little hope.
Melissa A. Kling, DVM