(Courtesy of The DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, TRADE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION)
With the growing threat of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is recommending that shelters and rabbit owners review their biosecurity measures to help protect their animals.
The disease has not been detected in Wisconsin, but since March it has been found in six states—Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Nevada. The strain that has been detected in the United States, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 (RHDV2), is a highly contagious viral disease that affects wild and domesticated rabbits. Although fatal to rabbits, the disease does not affect humans.
Often, the only signs of RHDV2 are sudden death and blood-stained noses caused by internal bleeding. Infected rabbits experience fever, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing or seizures. A vaccine is currently not licensed in the United States, but vaccines licensed in Europe could be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in affected states Download the entire article here.