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European brown hare syndom virus - Rabbit and hare shelter from Croatia

22 10:06:42

QUESTION: Hello Dana, please answer to us as quick as it is possible, because it would really help us if we have an answer until tomorrow (if it is not possible, thanks for your reply when it arrives).

Our rabbit and hare shelter ( has one hare named Đurđa. She has  abscess behind skin for a few weeks (she had large opened wound). We are often cleaning wound (hydrogen, iodine solution) and she gets enrofloksacin. We are interested in whether we should get her  penicillin G, as it MAY be given to rabbits (unlike other penicillin drugs of course) - but she is hare (European brown hare) so we are not sure wheter to give her Penicillin G or not.     
We have heard that hares may not always receive the same drugs as rabbits.

Also, if there are links to the allegations of the use of penicillin G in HARES, please let us know. So far we have found links about a treatment only on rabbits.

THANK YOU in advance,


Rabbit and hare shelter TarraLand
Association Mrkvica

P.s. attached image is wound 45 days ago .Today we have problems with under skin abscess. Injury is today still a bit open and somehow we are managing to "wash" under the skin.

ANSWER: Dear Sanja,

I have several hares (Lepus californicus) right now on Penicillin-G Procaine, and it seems to be very safe and effective.  Note that the main risk is developing an allergy and having an anaphylactic reaction, but this is quite rare.

I hope this will work for you.  We use the Pen G at a dose of 50,000IU/kg once every 24 hours.  If you have the long-acting version (usually also has benzathine added), then it's once every 48 hours.

Good luck!  I do love hares very much.  :)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for you answer, I'll show it to our veterinarians .

I would like you to ask you also if you ever had problems with European brow hare syndrome - virus? What I have learned, among other informations, is that it does not affect the rabbits (fortunately, although we do keep rabbits and hares separately), even not all hares - it affects European brown hare - Lepus Europaeus (in Croatia we have as I know only them), and mountain hares (Lepus Timidus).

We had huge problems this year with EBHS virus :((( :(((((
Many of hares have died in Shelter. One of them was virus carrier.

I do not know if there is a vaccine at all, I could not find it. Also, here in Croatia nobody knows anything about the virus, especially a vaccine.

Can you reccomend me a websites on english because I want to learn about the virus as much as I can.
I know some links (similarities) to RHD virus - rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

What is most important to me (to us all): is there a vaccine for EBHS :( ?

Answers to this questions are not urgent, and we can wait as much as necessary, in order to get a detailed response to it, and we belive you will be able to assist us because most of informations are in books and on web pages on your language. Also we believe that you know many well-known experts from which you can get the informations.

Excuse me on my bad english,

Kisses to your hares,
and thank you in advance,


Dear Sanja,

I wish I could tell you there was a vaccine for EBHD, but I do not believe there is one.  The main reason pharmaceutical companies develop vaccines is to make a profit (though those researchers who develop vaccines might also have more altruistic goals in mind), and there is little reason for any pharmaceutical company to develop a vaccine that would protect a wild animal, unless, perhaps, that animal was endangered.

The EBHD virus is apparently genetically similar to the RHD virus, but I am not sure whether the RHD vaccine would provide any protection against EBHD.  And vaccines carry their own risks.

Once a hare *has* signs of the virus, a vaccine will not likely help.  However, a veterinarian in Australia has reported success in treating and supporting rabbits suffering from myxomatosis (another fatal lagomorph virus) by treating symptomatic rabbits with a horse immune-boosting product known as Equimune IV.  Your vets can read more about the virus here:

Perhaps this might be something to try on symptomatic hares.  It can't hurt, and might help.

Good luck, and give your lovely, blessed hares a kiss on the forehead for me.  :)