What is Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease and Why Should You Care?

Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (VHD) is a highly contagious AND LETHAL disease caused by a calicivirus that affects only rabbits of the Oryctolagus cuniculus species. This includes wild and domesticated European rabbits, from which our own domesticated rabbits are descended.  VHD does not affect humans or other animals.

All VRRA rabbits are vaccinated against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease.

In Spring 2018, an outbreak of VHD started in the Nanaimo area on Vancouver Island and spread to Annacis Island in Delta, as well as Richmond, BC. In April 2019 the virus reappeared in Parksville on Vancouver Island.

JUNE 21, 2019 UPDATE: The VHD Virus has been confirmed in downtown Vancouver. If your rabbit hasn’t been recently vaccinated, contact your vet ASAP. The Vancouver SPCA is offering a vaccination day on June 26; refer to their web page for more info.

It is VITAL that you vaccinate any rabbits that you have, and confer with your vet about revaccinations as needed. This is the only way we will defeat this horrible virus. It makes no difference if your rabbit stays indoors. The virus spreads on feet, clothing, car tires, other pets (especially dogs). You cannot isolate your rabbit(s) well enough to be safe. If you need to find a veterinary clinic that does VHD vaccinations, contact us.