SALM, Oregon (KTVZ) — The Oregon State University Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed Monday that a domestic rabbit living in Lynn County died of rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 (RHDV2) virus.
This confirmation comes about a week after seven house rabbits living in Multnomah County also died from RHDV2, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Their news release continues below in full:
The rabbit’s owner reported that the animal became lethargic, refused to eat, and then experienced convulsions shortly before his sudden death on the morning of July 29. Later that day, another rabbit in the house also died. Then the owner submitted one of the animals to OSU for testing. There are no other rabbits in the house.
RHDV2 is a highly contagious virus that can spread rapidly among rabbit populations. The virus does not pose any risks to human health and is known to infect rabbits and rabbits only. It is resistant to temperature extremes and can survive in the environment for several months under certain conditions.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease causes the sudden death of rabbits and is spread through direct contact between infected and exposed live rabbits or exposure to contaminated materials (carcasses, hides, food, water, feed, etc.) birds, rodents, flies, predators, and litter can. They spread the virus through their feet, fur, feathers, or faeces without getting infected themselves.
In the case of Lynn County, wild rabbits have been known to live close to home and the owner’s cat has been known to spend time outside, as well as spend a lot of time with pet rabbits.
Please report rabbit deaths to track the presence and movement of the virus.
Call 1-800-347-7028 or visit https://oda.direct/RHD To report pet rabbits suspected of having died of RHDV2.
To report a wild rabbit death, please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) by calling 1-866-968-2600 or emailing [email protected]
For those who keep pet rabbits (also talk to your vet for advice):
- Minimize exposure to hares and hares by keeping rabbits in cages or cages elevated off the ground.
- Keep pet rabbits indoors to avoid exposure to environments potentially contaminated with wild/feral rabbits or with people, vehicles or tools that can spread disease.
- Do not allow rabbits to graze or roam the yard if hares are present in your area.
- Limit visitors to your rabbit and limit visitors’ interactions with animals.
- Avoid transporting or importing domestic rabbits.
- After visiting a show, fair, or meet where rabbits mingle, shower and change your clothes before handling rabbits.
- Isolate new rabbits from existing rabbits for 30 days.
- Learn about the health of the rabbits from which you buy rabbits.
- Keep dogs, coyotes, insects, birds, rodents, and other animals away from your rabbit because they can carry diseases.
- Be aware of rabbit disease status in the state or country of origin of any equipment or supplies you purchase.
- Wash and sanitize hands, clothing, gloves, shoes, cages, and equipment between rabbits from different sources. (RHDV is inactivated with a 10% bleach-to-water solution.)
- Immediately call the ODA (800-347-7028) if you suspect RHD or have recently sick or dead rabbits.
- If sick or dead rabbits are observed in an area, do not hunt, run dogs, or fly hawks in that area. Call ODFW immediately at 866-968-2600.
- Avoid hunting in areas of states where recent RHDV-2 outbreaks have been documented. Contact your state wildlife agency where they will look for information on where to locate RHDV-2.
- After handling wild rabbits, wash your hands and change clothes and shoes before handling or caring for pet rabbits.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling animals.
- Wear rubber, nitrile, or disposable gloves while handling and cleaning the toy. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water or a sanitizer after handling the toy. Disinfect all knives, equipment, and surfaces that have been in contact with the game.
- Thoroughly cook all toys to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not feed bushmeat from wild animals that appear sick, have been found dead, or have tested positive for a contagious disease to people or pets, including hawks.
- Avoid transporting live wild rabbits for release into training sheds or field trials, especially if sick or dead rabbits are observed in the area.
If you are Find a dead rabbit:
- Wear disposable gloves when handling rabbit carcasses.
- Carcasses of the double bag and sprayed outside the bag with a disinfectant.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling dead bodies and remove gloves. Dispose of gloves in the trash destined for the landfill.
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