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Forum DIET & CARE What is E. Cuniculi exactly?

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    • BunnyLass568
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        I don’t know if this is the right post for this thread/post but I was watching Critter Fixers last night and one of the doctors said the rabbit he was treating had E. Cuniculi and the narrator said that ear mites and E. Cuniculi were the same thing but my research told me they’re not? But I don’t fully understand it so I’m just looking for some help on what it is in simple terms. (I’m not very smart.) Any help would be greatly appreciated!

        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pets-Passed away: Hailey (9 years old, half rat terrier and miniature pincher, Feb-5-2019),Monster (13 years old, mixed breed, Lhasa Apso and some form of terrier, Sep-14-2020), Demon (14 year old Lhasa Apso, Aug-3-2022) Blossom (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-7-2024) Thumper (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-12-2024)💔💔💔💔


      • DanaNM
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          That narrator was definitely wrong! I’ll try to lay it out in simple terms, but let me know if you have more questions (I have a parasitology background).

          E. cuniculi is a type of single-celled fungal parasite, whereas ear mites are multi-celled animals in the same group as spiders and ticks. I have no idea why the narrator would say they are the same thing! But they are both types of parasites, so maybe that’s why!

          Because it’s a fungus, EC has a very different life cycle than something like a bacteria. A bacterial infection will just reproduce by cell division in the host and can just do that indefinitely until the host immune system kills it or the host dies. EC has a complex life history involving a spore stage that is shed in the rabbit urine, along with cell division stages that occur in the rabbit. A rabbit can be infected but not actively shedding spores, and in fact we think many rabbits fall in this category (they are infected but asymptomatic and probably not actively shedding spores). There is still a TON that we don’t know about EC and the group of parasites it’s a part of in general. It’s a very understudied area!

          Also because it’s a fungus, EC can be more difficult to cure because fungal cells are somewhat similar to our own cells. EC is usually treated with a 28 day course of fenbendazole, a deworming drug that also happens to have activity against fungal cells. Ear mites are treated with either ivermectin or selamectin, which also happen to be deworming drugs that so happen to also affect mites! So that could have been some of the source of confusion? But different drugs are needed for each parasite.

          Let me know if that clears things up or if you have other questions 🙂

          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


          • BunnyLass568
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              That clears up a ton! Thank you so much!

              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pets-Passed away: Hailey (9 years old, half rat terrier and miniature pincher, Feb-5-2019),Monster (13 years old, mixed breed, Lhasa Apso and some form of terrier, Sep-14-2020), Demon (14 year old Lhasa Apso, Aug-3-2022) Blossom (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-7-2024) Thumper (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-12-2024)💔💔💔💔


          • LBJ10
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              Excellent job explaining Dana! I wonder why the TV show would say that. Unless they were just trying to say they are both parasites?


              • BunnyLass568
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                  The narrator said that after the dr looked in the rabbits ear for like a second and said it was EC when it was just mites. 🤷‍♀️

                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pets-Passed away: Hailey (9 years old, half rat terrier and miniature pincher, Feb-5-2019),Monster (13 years old, mixed breed, Lhasa Apso and some form of terrier, Sep-14-2020), Demon (14 year old Lhasa Apso, Aug-3-2022) Blossom (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-7-2024) Thumper (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-12-2024)💔💔💔💔


              • DanaNM
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                  Happy to help! I love talking about parasites 😀

                   

                   

                  . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                • jerseygirl
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                    I wonder if the narrator was referring to Psoroptes Cuniculi (ear mite) and shortened that to “P. cuniculi” because that would sound VERY similar.


                    • DanaNM
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                        Oooh that would make a ton of sense. “cuniculus” is Latin for rabbit, so many diseases of rabbits have some variant of that word in the name.

                        . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                      • BunnyLass568
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                          I found the episode earlier and I put on closed captions/subtitles and the narrator and doctor said EC, I rewound it (we have a DVR) just to make sure.

                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pets-Passed away: Hailey (9 years old, half rat terrier and miniature pincher, Feb-5-2019),Monster (13 years old, mixed breed, Lhasa Apso and some form of terrier, Sep-14-2020), Demon (14 year old Lhasa Apso, Aug-3-2022) Blossom (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-7-2024) Thumper (6 year old bunny breed(s) unknown, April-12-2024)💔💔💔💔


                        • DanaNM
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                            What a mystery!

                            . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                        • Wick & Fable
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                            Definitely a great explanation above. Just wanted to add this link as well for add’l reading and resources: https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Encephalitozoon_cuniculi

                            The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.

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                        Forum DIET & CARE What is E. Cuniculi exactly?