Regional News

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed In Oregon

PORTLAND, OR -- Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) has again been confirmed in domestic rabbits in Oregon, according to Oregon's Department of Agriculture. State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz says RHDV2 is nearly 100% fatal for domestic animals, "Which is why it’s such a big deal in rabbits. If it gets into your rabbit tree, it’ll kill pretty much everything within days, if not hours." In this most recent case, 21 rabbits from a property in Multnomah County died within 72 hours.

He tells KBND News, "The strain that we have and have been dealing with also is able to infect North American wild rabbits and jackrabbits. That really worries us because of the ecological damage that this virus could do if it gets into, especially, some of the threatened or sensitive populations of wild rabbits." Dr. Scholz believes the Multnomah County rabbits likely contracted the virus from nearby wild rabbits, which can survive longer, allowing them to infect more rabbits. He suggests rabbit owners take immediate precautions, "Keeping domestic rabbits and wild or feral rabbits separate. Utilizing good bio-security: If you’re buying rabbits from someone, checking out the health of those rabbits, making sure that they haven’t lost rabbits recently; making sure you’re quarantining those new rabbits before you add them in with yours."

The last case of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in an Oregon domestic population was 14 months ago in Deschutes County.


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