Important Notice: RHD/VHD/RCD

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Pat Lamar, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
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    Confirmation on the new VHD/RCD occurrence in Indiana/Kentucky has been
    received. Rabbit producers may wish to pursue the links provided on
    the PRMA web site to learn what it is and why it is considered to be so
    dangerous. This is the same disease which was released in Australia and New
    Zealand to control the over-population of wild rabbits, there. Their "wild"
    rabbits are of the same species as our domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus
    cuniculi). The US does not have a vaccine for this disease and prefers to
    use the quarantine and eradication method, instead. This is a very virulent
    and "sticky" disease and can survive even on frozen rabbit meat. Mexico
    originally became infected with the disease from a shipment of frozen rabbit
    meat from China in 1988.

    More information on this disease can be found on the PRMA web site at:

    http://www.prma.org/

    Updates will be listed as they become available.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee

    ***********
    From: <EMOC@...>
    Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 2:51 PM
    Subject: Emergency Management Notice : Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (Viral
    Hemorrhagic Disease of Rabbits ) in Vanderburgh county, Indiana


    > On June 7, 2005, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) was confirmed at a
    > private residence in Vanderburgh county, Indiana by the Foreign Animal
    > Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) on Plum Island, NY. Specimens from
    > these rabbits were positive for RHD antigen on ELISA, electron microscopy,
    > and PCR.
    >
    > A FAD investigation was initiated on June 3, 2005 on a premises that
    > raises rabbits primarily for sale to reptile owners as a food source for
    > snakes. The investigation revealed that many of the 200 rabbits on the
    > premises suddenly died during the past 10 days. Less than a dozen rabbits
    > had recently been purchased from Kentucky and introduced into the herd. An
    > epidemiologic investigation has begun in Kentucky. The remaining rabbits
    > are quarantined and will be euthanized and disposed of in accordance to
    > State regulations. Cleaning and disinfection of the area will follow. The
    > Indiana epidemiological investigation is ongoing.
    >
    > APHIS, Veterinary Services (VS), the Indiana Board of Animal Health, and
    > the Kentucky Department of Agriculture are working together to address
    > this situation. VS will assist the affected State in the euthanasia,
    > cleaning, and disinfection of the premises.
    >
    > VS will continue to investigate reports of suspect RHD as part of its
    > foreign animal disease surveillance program and will continue to diagnose
    > suspect cases at FADDL. The last known positive RHD case in the US
    > occurred in a captive exotic animal facility in Flushing, New York in
    > December 2001.
    >
    > APHIS, Veterinary Services (VS), the Indiana Board of Animal Health are
    > working together to address this situation. VS will assist the affected
    > State in the euthanasia, cleaning and disinfecting of the premises.
    >
    > VS will also investigate reports of suspect RHD as part of its foreign
    > animal disease surveillance program and will continue to diagnose suspect
    > cases at FADDL.
    >
    > Please forward this information to other Federal, State, and industry
    > counterparts as necessary.
    >
    > -----definitions---------
    > Emergency Management Issue is for information with no impact on APHIS
    > Emergency Management Notice is an ongoing incident with potential impact
    > on
    > APHIS
    > Emergency Management Warning is an ongoing incident with almost certain
    > impact on APHIS
     
  2. dugan

    dugan Well-Known Member

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    IF I DO NOT BRING IN OUTSIDE RABBITS WILL THIS affect my heard? thanks
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Any idea how fast this travels through the wild population?

    Meg
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    >IF I DO NOT BRING IN OUTSIDE RABBITS WILL THIS affect my heard?<

    This virus is very sticky and can travel on clothing, shoes, tires, etc., etc. Not bringing in outside rabbits, alone, may not be enough, as visitors can inadvertantly bring it in.

    >Any idea how fast this travels through the wild population?<

    This disease does not seem to affect our wild species... only the species known as Oryctolagus cuniculi (which is our domestic rabbits) and the Brown Hare native to Europe. Feral domestic rabbits would, of course, be endangered. Rabbits usually show symptoms within 48 hours. However, it does not seem to affect rabbits under 3 months of age, but which can become carriers, instead.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  5. kisota

    kisota Active Member

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    Oklahoma
    Dear Pat,
    What are the Symtems?

    Thanks
    Kisota
     
  6. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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  7. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Although there can be a lack of blood, this disease is often referred to as the "Ebola for rabbits."

    From the Merck Veterinary Manual at: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/171123.htm

    "The incubation period is 24-72 hr. Typically, rabbits are found dead, with no prior indication of illness in the colony. In more protracted cases, dyspnea, congestion of the eyelids, orthopnea, abdominal respiration, tachycardia, and increased uneasiness can be seen. Before death, there is violent cage activity, with rapid turns and flips, which resemble convulsions or mania. High shrills followed quickly by collapse and death are sometimes the only signs reported. In some instances, a blood-tinged nasal discharge can be seen, and blood-stained floors under the cages in which rabbits have died have also been reported. Morbidity is estimated at 30-80%, with mortality up to 90%."

    "Due to the rapid course, rabbits found dead are usually in good condition. Gross lesions are subtle and generally limited to congestion of the respiratory tract and liver. The respiratory tract appears to be most affected, with intense congestion of the trachea and lungs. The trachea may be filled with froth, sometimes blood-tinged. Hemorrhages in the thymus are common. Mild to marked congestion and enlargement of the liver, spleen, and kidneys can be seen. The liver may have yellow-brown surface areas. Congestion of the meninges has been reported. Distention of the distal bowel with gas has been seen, even when necropsy was performed immediately after death. The proximal areas of bowel are usually completely filled with ingesta."

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Pat, thanks for the info. Suggestions on how best to protect our herds?

    I think I just allowed the last person to admire my rabbits, and will have a separate place for viewing for sales...and those that don't sell get eaten, and don't return to the herd. My 'herd' at this time being very small, anyway.

    Geez, I was just congratulation myself yesterday on never having had to deal with snuffles....

    Meg
     
  9. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's what the commercial people do:

    Barn clothes (and including shoes/boots) are used ONLY when entering the rabbitry. Change and shower after doing all barn chores.

    Quarantine any new incoming rabbits for at least two weeks. Must be setup away from the main herd. Example: My quarantine area was located in my driveway. The two barns and outside rabbitry were contained within perimeter fencing. The quarantine area was outside the perimeter.

    Always take care of the quarantined rabbits LAST (e.g., food, water, chores).

    Do not allow visitors inside the rabbitry. Bring a rabbit out for them to look at, then quarantine that rabbit before returning it to the herd if they don't buy it.

    Others may have ideas, as well. I'm a bit tired, this evening, and may have missed something.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee