A COUNTY Antrim rabbit breeder has urged pet owners to take action and vaccinate against Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).
Jim Gordon received confirmation this week the disease had reached Northern Ireland.
Jim explained: “Oh no, that was all I could think as I opened the letter from The British Council, informing me that the deadly (but preventable) VHD Viral Haemorrhagic Disease had reached Northern Ireland.
“My first thoughts were of my whereabouts in the last few days and that someone would be totally devastated at the thought of this killer virus in their stud. Then I was somewhat relieved as none of my stock had been in contact with other bunnies in the incubation period, usually one to three days.
“This is really so heartbreaking as our bunnies are like so many pets - part of the family, and at this point I am so glad that Fenaghy Veterinary Clinic were on hand to offer the new vaccine from MSD Animal Health which is a double dose. Only one combined vaccine that can be used to vaccinate your rabbit against myxomatosis and VHD will provide immunity against both diseases requiring an annual booster.”
Jim has urged anyone with rabbits to go to the vet and vaccinate as soon as possible.
He continued: “Anyone who has any of these adorable and very lovable animals in their care, should give them a Christmas gift that is so important to have a happy bunny and not a distressed owner, contact Fenaghy Veterinary Clinic for advice or help, as these are angels in animal care who only treat and care for small animals.”
For more information on the disease www.msd-animal-health.ie.