Visiting the Rabbits at Red Door Animal Shelter, Part 2

In our search for a new rabbit to adopt, we came across a slight complication midway through the process. Quincy has a disease called E Cuniculi – something that’s somewhat common in rabbits. The disease typically stays dormant in most rabbits, but when it flares up it can cause a variety of problems – these issues differ, rabbit to rabbit, and age can be a big factor.

Some younger rabbits develop neurological problems (sometimes involving a slight tilting of the head), while older rabbits like Quincy develop other issues (like problems with kidney and bladder control).

E Cuniculi is transmitted through urine, or passed from mother to offspring. Oddly, though Quincy had the disease… Baxter never caught it, despite them sharing the same room and litter box for years.

When we met the rabbits at Red Door Shelter a few days ago, the topic of Quincy’s E Cuniculi came up… and everyone realized it was a potential concern. The rabbits we were meeting did not have EC, and the shelter had a smaller group of rabbits (kept in a different area) that did have EC.

This was a tricky thing, as we had gotten rather fond of a rabbit named Gum Drop when we were last here. While we had a list of three rabbits we were interested in, the EC issue was something that might not even allow us to bring in Quincy for a meeting, for fear of him given the other rabbits EC.

On Saturday, Liz and I returned to Red Door to meet some of their EC bunnies, and to talk more with the staff there about our options.

Our vet is Dr. Horton, who practices at Chicago Exotics and who also happens to be the primary medical advisor for the shelter. Fortunately for us, she also knows Quincy’s condition and history, so we’re waiting to hear word on whether we can safely introduce Quincy to some of the other non-EC rabbits or not.

In the EC area, we got to meet four additional rabbits to consider. This is Mojito, who unfortunately lost one of her eyes. Despite this though, she was really sweet and energetic, and hopped around a great deal. The one thing we had to ensure was to not “sneak up” on her blind side, which would often take her by surprise.

Though her eye loss was kind of an extreme case, most bunnies with EC are just like regular rabbits. In Quincy’s case, his symptoms sometimes flare up, but we are able to treat him with medication and he’s been fine ever since.

Toni, one of the senior members at the shelter, mentioned that people looking to adopt rabbits often shy away from EC rabbits. Which is a shame, because EC rabbits aren’t all that different from others – with Quincy, we give him a little extra medication with each meal, and so it’s not all that much more work to care for him.

Two other EC buns, left to right it’s Ziggy and Mo. Both these guys were pretty reserved, though Ziggy did come up to me a few times. Mo was very wary, but I got this sense that once he became comfortable… he’d warm up a great deal.

This is Cowboy, a favorite of nearly everyone who spoke with at the shelter. He’s a tiny little guy, but incredibly curious and within moments of Liz sitting down… jumped right into her lap.

Though we were taken with Gum Drop on our previous visit, I saw the look on Liz’s face when Cowboy hopped into her lap… and I’m fairly certain he is now our number one contender.

We’re heading back to the Red Door on Wednesday evening, to hopefully introduce Quincy to some other rabbits. We’re excited to have him meet Cowboy, and to see how they get along… and we’re looking forward to hearing how Dr. Horton feels, regarding Quincy’s ability to safely meet some of the other non-EC bunnies.

In addition to meeting this new group, we also went to spend a little time with our favorites from our last visit: Gum Drop, Fancypants and Zelda. All the non-EC bunnies reside in the main rabbit room, which also shares its space with a few free-roaming cats as well.

There’s a really funny sign on the door, warning visitors to beware of cats that sometimes perch by the door… and sneak out, when people come in/out. I was able to capture a bit of this via Vine:

Visiting the Rabbits at Red Door Animal Shelter, Chicago

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