Friday, May 8th, 2009 | Events | No Comments
As those who know me from this site you will know I am very proud of my 2 house rabbits Buffy and Bradders who are the best of friends and partners in crime.
Sadly we had to say goodbye to our girl house bunny Buffy on Monday 4th May.
Rather suddenly and very unexpected she was struck with Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection.
At just shy of 3 years old we were obviously shocked and upset at this dramatic turn of events. She woke up on Monday morning (bank holiday) unable to bend her back legs. We took her to the emergency vet before 9am (as it was bank holiday our usual vets were closed) and she was diagnosed with Pneumonia, given a steroid injection, a painkiller and some sort of tonic solution to keep her strength up.
As the day progressed however she got worse, her front legs would no longer bend and she was shaking and falling over with a sever head tilt. Immediately I thought it was more then Pneumonia and something neurological such as floppy rabbit syndrome.
We called the vets again who told us to bring her back down.
Just as we were at the front door of the vets when Buffy had a massive seizure – the vet diagnosed her with Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection which affects the nervous system. Although there was treatment available it would require hospital treatment which would traumatise her further and her chances were 50/50 at best.
We were told this disease is prevalent in house rabbits and when it strikes it strikes fast and is extremely debilitating, often fatal.
It was based on this evidence my fiancé and I had the soul destroying, heart rendering decision to put Buffy to sleep. We stayed with her until she gently drifted, giving her cuddles and telling her we love her and she gently slipped away at 2:05pm 4th May.
We are still very sad and our other bunny Bradders is still a little bamboozled at the absence of his soul mate. In fact he sometimes trots about unexplored areas of our house in the hope of finding her hiding and its all just a game. Very upsetting but he is getting better.
So hopefully Buffy is now sleeping peacefully and we will always miss her!
What is E.cuniculi?
E.cuniculi is a tiny single celled organism called a protozoon, which has to live inside a host cell to survive (an obligate intracellular parasite). It belongs to the phylum Microspora. These are spore-forming parasites with a wide host distribution. Recent research has indicated that they may be more closely related to fungi than to protozoa, which means that novel antifungal drugs may be of use in treating this disease. Microsporidia contain a unique internal structure called the polar filament, which plays an important role in infection of the host cell.
E.cuniculi primarily infects rabbits and is a significant cause of disease. Infection has been diagnosed in rabbits in Europe, Africa, America and Australia. In the United Kingdom this parasite is frequently encountered in laboratory rabbits, but is thought to be rare in the wild rabbit population. It has been diagnosed in pet rabbits and a recent study has shown a 52% incidence of exposure in normal healthy domestic rabbits.
The British Rabbit Council
August 2006 – 4th May 2009
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See photos of Buffy in my Gallery