Lost 14 rabbits

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Amy90

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Hi all, Ive lost 14 rabbits in 5 days šŸ˜¢
The mum, dad and 12 5 week old babys.
The week before mum had sneezes for 3 days this cleared up.
1 day before deaths started 1 had swollen underneath part, same day I found a slug attached to the stomach of another baby, i swifly removed it.
Then the deaths started lost 6 babies in 2 days, then mum, 4 babies over next few days followed by dad, then last of babies day after.
All died the same death, fit healthy looking bouncing round and eating, no messy bottoms, 1 hour before death going off into a corner and slighly rocking, followed by zoning out and not responding, started going off balance and then fitting/spasms for about 20 mins.
All rabbits were housed indoors.
Im devastated wondering whats gone wrong
 

Preitler

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I'm sorry this happened, in my first year with rabbits I lost all but one (which was quarantined in my kitchen after I realised what was going on) to a Myxo outbreak.

Your case does sound a lot like RHDV, other things, like mentioned in the other thread, would be possible, like moldy feed, but I would consider it more unlikely at that rate.

How many rabbits are left? Can you quarantine them from each other? I reckon the slug got in with forage? Are there any wild rabbits where you live?
 

Amy90

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I'm sorry this happened, in my first year with rabbits I lost all but one (which was quarantined in my kitchen after I realised what was going on) to a Myxo outbreak.

Your case does sound a lot like RHDV, other things, like mentioned in the other thread, would be possible, like moldy feed, but I would consider it more unlikely at that rate.

How many rabbits are left? Can you quarantine them from each other? I reckon the slug got in with forage? Are there any wild rabbits where you live?
Hi, ive 4 outside rabbits that have exactly the same feed they havent been near the indoor bunnies, but the outdoor bunnys have played outside on the grass etc, im terrified that these will come into contact with virus.
 

MsTemeraire

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Hi, ive 4 outside rabbits that have exactly the same feed they havent been near the indoor bunnies, but the outdoor bunnys have played outside on the grass etc, im terrified that these will come into contact with virus.
Were any of them vaccinated?
It does sound like RHD2. They usually look a little bit quiet, then are either found dead or seen having seizures just before they pass. It is a very fast disease and there can be little or no warning, just a matter of hours before they die. Often the first stages resemble the symptoms of gut stasis, so even if you could get them to a vet, the diagnosis would probably be a digestive issue - even if the vet could tell it was RHD there is no treatment that can be given, and no cure.

Unfortunately, RHD2 is endemic in the UK... everywhere from the Shetlands to the Scilly Isles, and spread very easily. Vectors include flies, biting insects such as mosquitoes, and wildlife such as hedgehogs and foxes. Birds like crows, seagulls and jackdaws which have eaten an infected wild rabbit carcase can land in your garden (or fly over) and poop. It can also come in on hay and feed, or if you (or your dog) have walked in an area where there are wild rabbits, it can come in on your shoes or the dog's feet. The same goes for neighbourhood cats who may come into your garden after hunting wild rabbits, or have crossed land where infected rabbits have been.

It is a terrible virus. The only protection is vaccination, but in many cases there may be babies too young to be vaccinated, People in endemic areas are advised not to allow unvaccinated rabbits out into runs. In the UK all vets now stock the Nobivac Plus vaccine which covers RHD1, RHD2 and Myxomatosis, although RHD1 has all but died out since RHD2 appeared around 6/7 years ago.

I am sure that getting more rabbits is the last thing on your mind at the moment, but if you do decide to, wait for at least 4 months as the virus can survive on objects and equipment for that long, and disinfect everything with Virkon S or Anigene. You might also put someone else's rabbits at risk by visiting a pet shop or breeder to collect new ones if you don't wait out the 4 month quarantine.

The best and most informative advice on the virus is here, written by a UK rabbit vet who has been studying it for several years:
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

I am so sorry for your loss.
 

Amy90

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Thank you for your response.
Yes outdoor bunnys are vaccinated, just the house bunnys were not, the house bunnys did go for a run on patio 2 days before they started dieing on the tues, i dont know how quick that disease takes hold as the mum was sneezing the week before for 3 days not continiously but I heard a few sneezes here an there.
Outside bunnys seem fine, just a worry isnt it.
Ive threw as much as I can that came into contact with house rabbits including the indoor hutches, mops brush etc, bowls
These had free run of the house, so im bleaching as much as I can.
Just a very traumatic time for me
 

MsTemeraire

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Thank you for your response.
Yes outdoor bunnys are vaccinated, just the house bunnys were not, the house bunnys did go for a run on patio 2 days before they started dieing on the tues, i dont know how quick that disease takes hold as the mum was sneezing the week before for 3 days not continiously but I heard a few sneezes here an there.
Outside bunnys seem fine, just a worry isnt it.
Ive threw as much as I can that came into contact with house rabbits including the indoor hutches, mops brush etc, bowls
These had free run of the house, so im bleaching as much as I can.
Just a very traumatic time for me
It's a pretty quick disease - it takes only 3-5 days from infection to death. I would strongly advise getting some Virkon S and disinfecting with that as very few disinfectants are effective against the virus, it's a tough one and can survive high temperatures and freezing. Bleach is effective in a 10% solution but must be left for 20 mins to do its work before rinsing. The first rule of disinfection is to clean and remove all organic material before using disinfectant otherwise it may not work.

The sneezing may not be connected; many rabbits carry Pasteurella and stress can bring on a flare-up - the extreme hot weather recently may have been the cause.
 
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