RCD, Haemorrhagic Rabbit Calicivirus Disease appears to have caused the sudden death of a well looked after pet rabbit in the Findon region of Adelaide TODAY (11 September 2015). This rabbit was in excellent health and recently vaccinated (8 days ago), and found dead with haemorrhage from its nostrils.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO CONSIDER about this tragic RCD case:
- Protective immunity to vaccinations takes approximately 14 days
- Please note actions, listed below in this article, that you can take to further protect and minimise the risk to your pet, and ensure you do as much as possible and especially during the interim period where maximal immunity is yet to occur (ie 14 days).
- Pet rabbits are HIGHLY susceptible to the RCD virus, EVEN when they are in good health.
- Pet rabbits have no inate immunity to RCD when born, however there is widespread varying degrees of natural immunity and partial immunity to RCD amongst Australia's wild/feral rabbit population.
- It takes approx 2 to 3 days for rabbits to show symptoms of RCD after they have contacted the virus (see below for ways RCD is spread and symptoms), however the first thing that owners are likely to encounter is a dead pet rabbit, often some bleeding from the mouth and / or nose, and sometimes some scratch marks in the earth from a brief struggle prior to passing.
- Recent discussions about RCD in Australia have speculated that a variant STRAIN of the RCD virus has developed and that the current (AND ONLY) RCD vaccination may not provide complete protection.
- If a RCD vaccination has been given in the last 14 days, a booster RCD vaccination is strongly advised as soon as 14 days has passed from that previous vaccination. Thus, even if vaccination has been given eg 4 months or 9 months ago, ANOTHER vaccination is advised NOW. The usual annual vaccination will still be given on its current 'Due date' of the next annual vaccination.
- A booster RCD vaccination is strongly advised for pet rabbits even if the next vaccination is not yet due.
- The Findon Vet Surgery has decided to offer this important RCD booster vaccination at cost value or $25 until the threat passes. This involves NO consultation component, it is an injection ONLY, and offered to strongly encourage immediate action to give a booster vaccination to rabbits as soon as possible.
- If your rabbit is due or over-due for its annual RCD vaccination, or if it has not ben previously vaccinated, the USUAL annual RCD vaccination fee applies HOWEVER the additional RCD booster advised for 14 days later will be at $25.
Please contact us for any questions or advice.