In light of the removal of all but the Nobivac Myxo-RHD plus vaccine from the market, we would like to re-iterate our advice on vaccination strategies for preventing RHD1 and 2, along with myxomatosis. We would advise, first of all, looking at the MSD page (this requires you to set up an account as a vet, which can be done quickly and easily).
In addition, we would like to add that, when considering whether a rabbit is truly naive (eg when presented with a young rabbit with no previous vaccine history) one needs to consider the likelihood of that rabbit having high levels of MDA against RVHD2, which is likely to be the case where such rabbits are born to vaccinated does (the majority of the pet shop population), and in those cases, to strongly consider an additional vaccine covering RVHD2 at a later date.
For any rabbit with an unknown vaccine or disease history, we would suggest the above protocol also, as immunity against myxomatosis may prevent RVHD2 protection developing.
From MSD’s website: ‘Rabbits that have been vaccinated previously with another myxomatosis vaccine, or that have experienced natural myxomatosis infection in the field, may not develop an adequate immune response against rabbit haemorrhagic disease following vaccination.’
It’s also really important to consider biosecurity, as no vaccine is 100% effective, and rabbits are often immune suppressed from chronic infections. RHD1 and 2 spread either by direct or indirect contact, via fomites, and can withstand long periods of time out of the host. Myxomatosis is spread directly by respiratory secretions, or more commonly, via biting arthropods.
For those reasons ALL rabbits are at potential risk of these diseases, and vaccination, even for urban indoor rabbits, is vital. Beware in mind also, that there is a constant reservoir of infection present in the wild population, providing a year-round threat.