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Rural dog owners, hunters and Field Trial enthusiasts beware! A highly contagious and deadly new rabbit disease currently confirmed in 11 states.


April 11, 2022

TheDogPress Staff


Note the term “highly contagious” so if your dog proudly presents you with a rabbit, immediately check its eyes. The bleeding disease will be evident there as very pale membrane because the bleeding out is internal.



Other symptoms of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) are blood stains around the nose which is also a sign of internal bleeding. Note that symptoms in wild rabbits are not always obvious.


At this point in time, we are told not to worry if your dog comes in contact with an infected rabbit or sniffs around a rabbit hole or nest. We are told that the bleeding disease is not infectious to humans BUT that we can play a role in spreading it.


The problem is that a dog owner may not know his dog has come in contact with an infected rabbit and consequently not notice the first symptoms in their dog. If the owner doesn’t realize something critical is happening and fails to quickly get the dog to a veterinarian their pet may die.


The highly contagious disease was first identified in 2018 but the New York State Department of Agriculture just confirmed a 2022 case in a domestic Maryland rabbit.



No one has been fast enough to catch and check a live wild rabbit but by spring of 2022, the bleeding disease was confirmed in in the following states: New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon.


If caught in time streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, and ciprofloxacin may be effective. “Treatment usually lasts 10 to 21 days depending on the stage of illness and the medication used.” ~


Vaccines are under production but rabbit owners question the ethics of infecting/killing rabbits in order to harvest their livers and spleens with which to make vaccines.


We talked about that but one of our Science and Advisory Board veterinarians who said “that’s the way vaccines are made” pointing out that if 1 percent are sacrificed to protect 99% it is morally and ethically right. . “Just one more thing in an endless list of what animals do for people. EST 2002 © Apr 2022





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CROSS-SPECIES TRANSMISSION RISK - Simple science on Zika virus, Avian flu, viral influenza, how virus replicate, CDC warnings, and how to better protect ourselves and our pets from new outbreaks?

ZOONOTIC DISEASE: Kissing a bunny or puppy does not transmit zoonotic disease.  Bacteria are everywhere but are more likely to cause pneumonia than zoonotic disease.


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