RHD2 Vaccination Update (Filavac / Eravac)

Vaccination poster by the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund 

Vaccination poster by the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund 

This is an update on the RHD2 vaccine situation.  There are now two licensed vaccinations for RHD2 available in Britain, from British wholesalers.  The vaccine no longer requires the vet to apply for an import license, so it much easier to obtain now. 

The most frequently used vaccine is Filalvac, but Eravac is also available as an alternative. We will accept either of these vaccines for boarding rabbits (alongside the standard Nobivac for myxomatosis and RHD). 

Filavac is a yearly vaccine, and must be given at least 2 weeks apart from Nobivac.  Immunity should establish within 7 days of receiving the vaccine.  

RHD2 is a virus and is very easily spread, it is airborne and can be carried on objects such as clothing, footwear or car tyres. Therefore it is very difficult to prevent without the vaccine.  It is usually fatal, with few symptoms seen before death. This is why all boarding rabbits must be vaccinated with both Nobivac and either Filavac and Eravac. It is definitely worth doing for any rabbit, indoor or outdoor, regardless of if they will be boarding or not. 

Vaccine certificates showing valid Nobivac and Filavac / Eravac vaccines within the last year, must be shown on arrival at 4 Little Paws. Failure to show this (or alternative proof such as a letter from your vet) will result in your rabbit/s being turned away, and the full boarding fee will  still be payable. 

Some vets seem to be slow to stock the vaccine (its been available here since 2016), with several saying they are waiting for RHD2 to hit their local area - but I think that would be too late. Rabbits need vaccinating to prevent the spread, not when they are at high risk. If your own vet doesn't have the vaccine you can use any vet for it, without having to leave your own if you don't wish to. However, I'd question whether any vet that doesn't stock the vaccine is up to date on the latest rabbit care and welfare information. 

Sources and further reading:

Filavac Manufacturer's Information Sheet

Map showing vets stocking the vaccine

Facebook group about RHD2 information

Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund article on RHD2

Article by Frances Harcourt-Brown on RHD2 and vaccination