There are many reports of a disease that is spreading rapidly in Illinois which is killing rabbits, both wild and domestic.

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The American Veterinary Medical Association describes what is known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease. They define it as "a highly infectious and lethal virus that only infects lagomorphs, including rabbits and hares."

WGN in Chicago is reporting that rabbit hemorrhagic disease has been killing a lot of rabbits in Illinois including those being kept inside as pets.

The fact that this rabbit disease is highly contagious is only part of the problem. As the expert in the video mentioned, even if your pet rabbit isn't allowed outside, they can still get rabbit hemorrhagic disease if it exists on the surface of a plant you bring inside that they come in contact with or with plants you provide your rabbits for food.

It's also transmissible from rabbit to rabbit, but the good news is that it's not a disease that affects humans. The reports say that the disease attacks the kidneys of a rabbit and can bring on death very quickly. She mentions that since rabbits are naturally prey animals, they hide their illnesses which makes observing symptoms difficult at best.

What can you do to protect your pet rabbit from this disease?

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises vigorous hand washing before interacting with rabbits and eliminating any strangers from coming in contact with the animals. You can check out their official guide on this terrible disease on their website.

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