RABBIT owners are being urged to get their getting their bunnies vaccinated against a fatal disease.
Avonvale Veterinary Centres is warning of the deadly risk posed to rabbits from Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (VHD 2).
It wants to make people more aware of the deadly risk posed to their rabbits from the disease, which is a highly-infectious condition primarily affecting the liver, causing uncontrollable haemorrhages in one or more parts of the body.
There are two types of the disease, which can cause death within hours of the animal falling ill.
Cases of VHD 2, which is the newer strain of the disease, were confirmed in Warwickshire last autumn.
Avonvale clinical director Simon Davies said: “The virus often has no symptoms meaning it is very hard to spot early on. Where symptoms do occur, these signs are easily confused with other health conditions.
“As well as being transmitted through a rabbit which already has the infection, it can be carried by birds and insects, soles of shoes, car tyres, other pets’ feet, the wind and owners’ hands and clothing.
“The standard VHD vaccination, which is combined with myxomatosis, only protects against one strain of the disease so it is vitally important that owners make sure their rabbits are also vaccinated against this newer strain.
“The disease can be transmitted so easily, even to rabbits who live indoors, so we urge all owners to get in touch with us as soon as possible to make sure their pets have as much protection as possible against this horrific disease.
“Sadly, there are very few cases of rabbits surviving VHD 2.”