A highly contagious virus that kills 70 to 90 percent of the rabbits it infects has made its first appearance in Minnesota — in two indoor pets in Ramsey County (Saint Paul area) who investigators determined died from Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus:
“Only affects rabbits, but it can affect both domestic rabbits and wild rabbits, including hares and cottontails.”
Doctor Greg Suskovic with the state Board of Animal Health says they don’t know how the rabbits contracted the deadly virus, which can survive up to 15 weeks in dry conditions. Suskovic urges rabbit owners to prevent their animals from having contact with other rabbits, either domestic or wild… keep them indoors… and don’t harvest grass or hay for feed because it might contain the virus. Anyone whose rabbit dies unexpectedly should contact their veterinarian, who should also inform the state Board of Animal Health.