While some owners are busy ensuring their rabbits are vaccinated against the deadly RHD virus, many rabbits are still living...
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With the COVID-19 situation ongoing in Singapore, there are some considerations that pet owners might want to think about – what if I’m infected? Who will continue to care for your rabbits?
- Identify family, friends or your trusted bunny boarder whom you will entrust your bunnies with. Let them know that they are on your list.
- Prepare a note that comprises of:
– Feeding instructions (hay, pellet, veggies)
– Medical needs
– Vet’s contact
– Litter box setup
- Prepare a care pack that can last a couple of weeks.
- Take a picture of where all the above is placed outside your house before you head to isolation/treatment
- Work out a careful arrangement on how your friends/family/boarder will be retrieving the bunnies and care pack.
- Always place a bottle of F10/mask/glove outside your house.
Every arrangement will be unique to every circumstance but please bear in mind the safety of you and your entrusted friend who will be picking up your bunnies.
KEEP OUR BUNNIES SAFE
In line with the AVS advisory on Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD), Bunny Wonderland will be taking precautions to keep our rabbit community in Singapore safe. Below are some social distancing measures our volunteer team will be taking:
We will not hold adoption drives but will meet potential adopters on a one-to-one basis without interactions of rabbits.
We will continue our rescue activities but new rescues will be quarantined for at least 2 weeks to ensure no RHD-2 symptom.
We will no longer be taking grooming appointments until further notice.
We will not be participating in activities that requires the gathering of our volunteers or rabbits to prevent contamination.
Like how we protect the humans from COVID, let’s stay vigilant and act responsibly to protect our rabbits from RHD. Do not bring your rabbits out unnecessarily and wash your hands and clothes after touching other animals. Keep your home clean and save your vet’s number in your phone for emergency!
Stay Safe, Everybun
(Image credit to https://www.rhdv2.com/)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RHD IN SINGAPORE
There is a lot of information out there about RHD. There is also a lot of speculation about the ongoing outbreak In Singapore. From the ZOOM Q&A we recently held, here’s the top 10 messages for you to have a quick understanding about the current situation.
Singapore is affected by RHDV-2 which shares the same genetic make as RHDV-1 that first appeared in China. RHDV-2 is also affecting USA, UK and Australia now.
RHDV-2 is not zoonotic. This means it only affects rabbits and will not spread to humans or other animals.
RHDV-2 Is highly contagious and can be spread by the faeces of infected rabbits, contaminated food, infected insects and fomites (human, animals or material in contact with virus).
Signs of RHDV-2 includes persistent fever >40C, appetite loss, lethargy, neurological disorders, respiratory difficulties, bleeding, anaemia, jaundice and sudden death.
The incubation period for RHDV-2 is 3-9 days and the mortality rate is 80-90%. Survivors can continue to shed virus for 2-3 months after recovery.
There is no cure for RHDV-2 and no country has been able to completely eradicate it. Vaccination and quarantine are the keys to control an outbreak.
In Singapore, the outbreak source is unknown. AVS is investigating but owners need to take strict measures against the spread and practicing social distancing.
Singapore is in the process of obtaining vaccines but it is not available now. It has to be given annually starting at 10 weeks old. A vaccine is not 100% protective but will confer immunity and result in less fatalities.
Owners should keep their rabbits indoor. Going out to breeding farms, pet shops, vet clinics, grooming/boarding facilities and pet gatherings will increase your risk of exposure.
If you suspect contact with infected rabbits, you can disinfect with virucidal disinfectants such as bleach or Virkon. Follow guidelines especially the length of contact time to ensure effective disinfecting.
The risk of an indoor rabbit catching RHDV-2 is very low if the owner do not bring their pets out unnecessarily or interact with pets other than their own. We hope the above information can guide owners to take proper measures and be responsible to themselves, their pets, and their community.
(Comic credit to our volunteer May Lee)
MY PROMISE TO YOU
People typically get a pet with good intentions to care for it and bring their family joy. However, being a good owner is more than just caring and playing. It’s about commitment, responsibility and sacrifice. A dedicated rabbit owner will confess it’s no less than a marriage bond, no less than the duty of a parent to a child.
“To hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish;
For this day forward until death do us part.”
This, is the duty of a pet owner to their beloved pet. Regardless if the pet was purchased, found, adopted or gifted, as the main caregiver, you means the world to them. In good days and bad, your pet will always be there for you. You, as the only person who can protect them, should love and cherish them. And not to think about giving them up when they, will never give up on you.
The spirit of commitment, responsibility and sacrifice can never be instructed. They have to be nurtured and cultivated. We hope more people realized the importance of being a responsible pet owner. For these animals will love you unconditionally till their last breath. The question is, are you ready to do the same for them?
BE A BUNNY WATCHER
In Singapore, it is very common for us to find rabbits living in the outdoors such as along our corridors, at an exposed balcony or in the patio of landed homes. These are actually dangerous and very cruel ways to house a pet as they can be exposed to bad weather, attacked by predators, or even be stolen!
Many animal lovers have expressed their concerns but they are unaware how to help. To assist, Bunny Wonderland and House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS) have initiated our ‘Bunny Watcher’ program! This is an all-voluntary initiative aim to empower the community with knowledge to provide immediate relief to an animal in need.
There is no qualification process so anyone and everyone can be a bunny watcher! All you need is to download our ‘Bunny Watcher’ brochure and share it with the rabbit owner you like to help. There is a recommended protocol in event you require professional assistance and also our contacts if they need to rehome their pets.
Both HRSS and BW are all-voluntary welfare groups. We do not have full time staffs nor professional inspectors who can conduct house visits. We also do not have authoritative rights to remove pets from premises. We hope all rabbit lovers can be a part of this program and help us help the animals together!
To download our ‘Bunny Watcher’ brochure,