Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Does Walter Have E. Cuniculi?

I dropped Walter off at the animal hospital this morning for blood work, after receiving a call from the veterinarian last night. The doctor informed me that he found crystals in the rabbit’s urine, which can be a sign of Encephalitozoon Cuniculi, familiarly known as E. cuniculi.

E. cuniculi is a parasite that young rabbits can contract while still nursing from an infected mother, or sharing a close space with other infected rabbits. The parasite attacks the rabbit's central nervous system.  Symptoms of E. cuniculi include incontinence, loss of function in the legs, eye twitching, cataracts, liver failure, kidney failure, and the dreaded head tilt, along with other neurological symptoms.

Many rabbits will test positive for the parasite but never show symptoms.  Additionally, I’ve read that those who do show signs of being affected can live happily and healthily with the aid of medications.  Despite this, I would (of course) rather that Walter’s blood work results came back negative.  I won’t know for a few days, though.  The discovery of crystals in Walter’s urine, coupled with the head shaking I’ve witnessed him doing for the past two days, has me quite stressed, anxious, and worried about my bunny.

Do you have familiarity with treating a rabbit with E. cuniculi?  What was your experience like?

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