MSD Animal Health has launched Nobivac(r) Myxo-RHD Plus, the first single shot vaccine against the three main infectious diseases in rabbits - Myxomatosis, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) classic and variant strains (RHDV-1 and 2).

A single 0.5ml vaccination provides 12 months immunity against all three pathogens, which will make vaccination more convenient and should help improve levels of compliance against variant strains of RHD which is currently estimated to be at around only 60% of the vaccinated rabbit population.

Nobivac Myxo-RHD Plus is available in a pack of five, single dose vials, with a shelf-life of two years. The vaccine can be used from the age of five or seven weeks onwards to achieve the full duration of immunity. Immunity is provided within three weeks of administration.

Leonora Bell, Product Manager at MSD Animal Health said: "It's clear that this year the usually busy spring season, where purchasing and vaccinating rabbits is at its highest, will not be as predictable as previous years. Vaccinating rabbits is unlikely to be at the top of your agenda. MSD Animal Health's new Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS has arrived, however, so this is a good opportunity to understand how to safely switch vaccinated rabbits and introduce new rabbits to vaccination. This is a time when clients can be encouraged back into your practice, ideally prior to the increase in infectious disease which we tend to see during the peak summer months.

"The variant RHD-2 strain appears now to predominate in cases of rabbit haemorrhagic disease and readily transfers over long distances via flies and the wind. Vaccinating rabbits that live both outdoors and indoors is therefore vital. Rabbits are popular pets and rabbit owners are highly motivated to seek veterinary advice once they are made aware of their pet's specific health needs. They are, however, much less likely to take their pet to a veterinary practice than cat or dog owners or to seek advice on vaccination, neutering or other routine health matters."

Leonora added: "Production of our existing Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine will necessarily be replaced with the new Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS to ensure that rabbits are vaccinated in the most appropriate way. Following the correct switching protocol is therefore vital. For unvaccinated rabbits it's a simple case of starting with the new vaccine. For rabbits due for a booster of Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2, again, vets can simply switch to the new vaccine when the booster is normally due. Where rabbits have already only been vaccinated with the existing Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine it is recommended that vets vaccinate the rabbit with an inactivated RHD-2 vaccine, such as Filavac or Eravac vaccine, as soon as possible. For boosters due later this year and all subsequent boosters, use Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS."

The launch of the vaccine is being supported by a range of educational materials designed to help vets switch and encourage new rabbit owners into the practice. A new website is also in the pipeline, with rabbit owner support videos, an educational launch webinar, a detailer, practice posters, noticeboard materials and e-mail templates as vaccination reminders for rabbit owners. 

For further information contact your MSD Animal Health account manager or visit

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