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Knoxville animal hospital providing life saving vaccines for domestic rabbits

The vaccine will help protect them from the highly contagious and deadly RHDV2 virus.
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Lange Animal Hospital in Knoxville is administering live-saving vaccines to pet rabbits.

According to the hospital, the state of Tennessee has given them access to a vaccine that prevents the deadly and highly contagious Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Two (RHDV2).

Dr. Richie Burdeaux at Lange Animal Hospital said it’s best for rabbits to stay inside until they are fully vaccinated, since the deadly virus can be transmitted through mosquitos, water, hay, and even clothing.

It has also been found to linger on grass and other surfaces.

“This one is more alarming because it affects our wild rabbits and then they can pass it to our domestic rabbits. It is hemorrhagic, so sometimes the only sign you see is a dead rabbit with blood coming out of its’ nose,” shared Burdeaux.

The virus has mostly been seen in the Western area of the United States, but Dr. Burdeaux said some cases have been found on the east coast.

“It had been very frustrating not being able to get this vaccine, knowing that it was out west, and then we saw cases in Florida and Georgia so it was creeping this way,” said Burdeaux.

Matt Cameron with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said there haven’t been any cases reported in East Tennessee.

Studies claim the vaccine is over 90% effective against the fatal virus.

Lange Animal Hospital will be hosting vaccine clinics every Tuesday. You can call (865) 690-6481 to schedule an appointment.

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