Killer rabbit disease confirmed in Leamington and Kenilworth

Rabbit owners have been urged to get them vaccinated
Rabbit owners have been urged to get them vaccinated

A new strain of a deadly disease which kills rabbits without warning has been confirmed in Leamington and Kenilworth.

The discovery of the VHD 2 disease in three rabbits has prompted Avonvale Veterinary Centres to urge rabbit owners to ensure their pets are safely vaccinated.

VHD 2, also known as viral haemorrhagic disease, is a highly-infectious condition which primarily affects the liver, causing uncontrollable haemorrhages in one or more parts of the body.

There are two types of the disease, which can both cause death within hours of the animal falling ill.

Victoria Clark, a veterinary surgeon at Avonvale’s Heathcote practice, said: “Unfortunately, there have been two suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic disease in south Leamington and one in Kenilworth.

“This is a very dangerous, deadly disease and all rabbits are at risk, even indoor bunnies, as the disease is transmitted very easily.

“The standard VHD vaccination, which is combined with myxomatosis, only protects against one strain of VHD and a further vaccination is necessary to protect against the more recent strain to give the best protection.

“We’re urging all rabbit owners to give us a call as soon as possible to discuss their pet’s vaccine status or book in for an updated vaccination.”