Hello Friends of AMC of Corona!
Many of you may have heard that a new virus, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Virus, was found in (dead) Jack Rabbits in Palm Springs. While this virus is not new to the world, it is new to the US. It can spread rapidly among wild rabbits and is fatal to all rabbits, domestic and wild (both Cotton Tails and Jack Rabbits). It is NOT contagious to any other animal, including humans. It only affects rabbits. There is a vaccine available but, since this disease has not been reported in the States, it requires special handling and permission from the CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). It has to be imported from Europe We have recieved permission from the State Veterinarian and are in the process of getting permission from the USDA. Importation can take up to a month or so due to all the paperwork and special handling. The vaccine is a single dose once a year, even the first time, it still one dose. An important thing to remember is that as this disease affectes wild rabbits, it will decrease the food supply for the predators that eat them. This means a potential increase in coyotes and birds of prey (and to a lesser extent – bob cats and mountain lions) looking at your pet as food. So, please keep your cats and small dogs inside as well as any rabbits if you have them! In the mean time, here are some links that will help you to better understand this disease:
Oxbow Animal Health YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FaB3Y0f9-w&feature=emb_title
House Rabbit Society – https://rabbit.org/rhdv/
CDFA, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease – https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/pdfs/RabbitHemorrhagicDisease.pdf
CDFA, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease FAQ – https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/pdfs/RabbitHemorrhagicDiseaseQA.pdf
CDFW (CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife), Deadly Disease Detected in California Wild Rabbitsd Rabbits – https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/pdfs/RabbitHemorrhagicDiseaseQA.pdf
We know this is a lot of information but, like COVID, it’s new to our area. BUT unlike COVID, this disease is well understood, been around in the world for a while and does have an effective vaccine. We will keep people updated as to when we have the vaccine available.
We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. Take care and God Bless.
Dr. Bart, Dr. Hsing, Dr. Code, Dr. Dominguez and the AWESOME staff of AMC of Corona!