Rabbits targeted with calivirus released planned for Southern Highlands

Don't let your pet rabbits fall victim to calicivirus. File photo
Don't let your pet rabbits fall victim to calicivirus. File photo

Rabbit owners  are urged to make sure their pets’ immunisations are up to date.

This follows notification to Highlands vets that the Local Lands and services Greater Sydney will commence a release of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5) which is a rabbit calicivirus K5 strain.

A live virus is realised in a solution with chopped carrots. All rabbits should therefore be up to date with vaccinations prior to March 1.

Calicivirus is spread by insects (flies and fleas), direct contact between rabbits, and via predator faeces (cat, dog and fox). The virus only affects rabbits and is not harmful to native or domestic species.

Clinical signs of calicivirus can vary and it is important to note that rabbits are the only species affected

Symptoms of infection can vary. Some rabbits will die suddenly. Other rabbits will have vague symptoms of illness including loss of appetite, lethargy and some rabbits will have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the mouth or nose.

Should your pet rabbit display any symptoms contact your family vet immediately.