Friday, December 22, 2006

Living with E. Cuniculi in Rabbits.

This entry is really for search engine purposes. My regular eclectic readers should probably just pass this entry by.

It is always so crazy how life snaps you awake. And maybe it wouldn't have meant anything except it happened a year ago this week. It was the last thing on my mind. I'm just going to the vet to pick up eye lube for Jane. But there it our file.. a printout.

You see about a month ago we had a titer retest on our bunny Fudge who had previously tested positive for E. Cuniculi. This - the 4th test - was negative. This was surprising, considering this was not thought to happen. One of the staff had done some research and placed this printout in our file for us. But oddly - I went in today. A year after we learned about this disease by a fatality. Our girl Amber. She tested E. Cuniculi titer positive at .1803. High positive. Before this, we knew nothing about it.

I told myself when I could - I would make an entry for those searching for information about having rabbits who have positive titers for E. Cuniculi. Mostly because there is come debate about what happens to rabbits who are infected.

We immediately set to get everyone tested. We thought because they all live within 25 feet of another there might be other losses. At the time we thought any testing positive would meet the same fate as Amber. What we found out was pretty interesting.

Amber - who tested the highest was 1.803. She was 3 years old.

Willow - tested at 1.083. We thought he might not live since he was very high. Even thought he was the healthiest bunny we had/have.

Jane - Willows' mate tested at 0.536

Fudge - who was housed next to them tested at 0.436

Paisley - housed the furthest away tested at 0.284

Kirby - housed 2nd to closest, tested Negative 0.139

We were amazed that a house full of positives would produce a single negative. Kirby. It also made trying to figure out how we became infected hard. We had gotten Kirby in the middle of the pack. Those before and after her were possitive.

There was much discussion about re-testing with our vet. Since there has been very little positive information about treating for this illness, we collectively decided that now we have a base titer count we will wait and see. If anyone shows signs of anything - we will retest.

Willow was the obvious one to watch. His count is very high. He is going on 9 years, and is perfectly healthy. At this point, one could cautiously hope he will die from old age rather than E. Cuniculi. We don't know when he was infected.

Jane also seemed greatest as risk. She and Willow lived together. This was about the time her Glaucoma acted up. We also thought it was E. Cuniculi related and that she might perish. The eye turned out to be Primary Glaucoma, and she has also been very healthy now that they eye has stabilized for right now.

Fudge seemed in the grey area, but he has had more health problems - so has been tested 4 times. Positive 0.436, negligible, undetermined once, then Negative. He is also about 9 years old.

Who knows how this will turn out, but it is interesting just with our own small control group.

To learn about E. Cuniculi (Encephalitozoon Cuniculi) go here, here and here.

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