About RVHD1

Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 1 (RVHD1) is an extremely infectious virus that is usually fatal. RVHD1 the virus kills by causing internal bleeding.


RVHD1 often has no symptoms, meaning that it is very hard to spot. There is sometimes bleeding from body openings such as the nose, eyes and/or anus, but these are very easy to miss without daily checks.

Mode of transmission

It is a myth that RVHD1 can only be caught through contact with an infected rabbit. In actual fact the virus can be carried by:

  • Birds and insects and their droppings
  • The wind
  • Soles of shoes, car tyres or other pets’ feet
  • An infected rabbit or their droppings
  • Owners’ hands or clothes

The virus can survive months in the environment, especially in cold temperatures.


Your vet can vaccinate your rabbits against RVHD1 (this is often done with the Nobivac combined vaccination for myxomatosis and RVHD1). Your vet will then advise what booster vaccinations your rabbit will need (usually every 12 months).


There is no specific treatment available for RVHD1, though your vet can offer supportive care.


RVHD1 is usually fatal within a couple of days to weeks. There are very limited examples of rabbits surviving the disease.