Rabbit Advocates volunteers thankful
Fall seems to be the perfect time to think about our lives and take stock of all the things we have around
us. Those who share our lives with rabbits think about our long-eared friends all the time, of course,
but this season prompts introspection, including what our pets give to us. A few Rabbit Advocate
volunteers offered what they are thankful for, as we enter this season of quiet reflection.
Always I’m thankful for rabbits. They were love at
first sight 17 years ago and still are. There’s nothing
like petting soft rabbit fur. They are amazing role
models for us humans: gentle, social, amazing
caregivers to each other, humorous, energetic,
curious, food lovers who enjoy their own space
resting alone. I’m thankful for Valerie Madison
and Joan Gilbert of Rabbit Advocates. Not only
do they do extensive care for rabbits, they’re also
amazingly compassionate in reaching out to other
humans, especially those in pain. They mentor,
introduce people to new experiences, and teach
medical techniques and treatments. Valerie offered
burial for my first rabbit and a “Dawn” rose plant
atop his grave. It was one of the nicest things
anyone has ever done for me. Recently Joan reached
out to a very sick rabbit who passed on and offered
a foster rabbit to the heart-broken caregiver. I’m
thankful for all the gentle, caring people who love
rabbits. They’re both a breath of fresh air from the
loud, busy world and are a rare treat to be around.
~ Dawn Iveane-Curell
completed my life by adding joy to every day. I feel
fortunate to have made so many acquaintances
and even a few true friends through the love and
acceptance offered us at the Rabbit Advocate
meetings and gatherings. Twinklenose and I
so enjoyed it when he was able to be a ‘therapy
bunny’ to folks at the Care Center on Division
Street. Thank you for giving Twinklenose and me
a place to come and play! If it were not for your
amazing Medical Fund I would have become
pretty discouraged at times, what with his ongoing
veterinarian expenses. He was very much loved
through it all. He ate our Bunny’s Best Bites hay up
until the end when he could no longer. He enjoyed
I am incredibly grateful for my too-short time with
Suzie and Amelia, two of the best bunnies ever!
They taught me so much about rabbit care and
love. I thank Rabbit Advocates for the wonderful
friends I’ve made over the years. I’m also grateful
for the opportunities Rabbit Advocates has given
me to teach people about rabbit care and to groom
rabbits at Outreaches; to raise funds for our
Medical Fund through Outreaches and hay sales;
and to develop educational materials and website
pages for fostering, adoptions, hay packing, and
~ Elizabeth Olson
Lagomorphs appreciate Us!
As one of the four people who answer our
Rabbit Advocate public Helpline, I have met and
rescued many, many rabbits who have come from
challenging situations. Ones left in a dark garage
or hutch with few visitors, ones with moldy water
bottles and no hay, ones dumped in an area with
coyotes searching for lunch, and ones left in a
shelter in a cage for a year.
I am grateful to my rabbits, past and present,
for bringing out more compassion, patience and
staying power in me than I knew I possessed, as
well as providing joy and stress relief simply by
being their rabbit selves.
~ Mary Thompson
I am so thankful to Rabbit Advocates for teaching
me so many things about caring for my sweet
Twinklenose Bunny during the seven short years
he shared and blessed my life. His loving presence
his Oxbow pellets and thrived on organic cilantro.
He was one spoiled bunny!
~ Marlena Sweet
continued on page 2
IN THIS ISSUE
Annual Holiday Gift Guide...................Pages 4 + 5
E. Cuniculi................................................... Page 2
Check out those big ears on Kai, Tonie Young’s
rescue rabbit! (Photo by Tonie Young)
Help Rabbit Advocates help rabbits........... Page 7
I have seen how excited the rabbits are to be leaving
places like that, and taste their first bite of parsley
or their first romp around a living room. And how
they do binkies or teeth purr or lick when they
suddenly have somebody to hold and pet them.
Yes bunnies appreciate us as much as we do them!
~ Joan Gilbert
Whenever I think of Kai, my heart swells with love,
I just adore this little boy! I am so grateful for Dr.
Surrency who brought my attention to him and
to Dr. Burgess who performed his leg amputation.
When I heard that there was a two-month old
bunny with a badly infected broken leg who needed
help, I knew he would be mine and that I would
be the one to help him heal. The healing works
both ways, I can’t be anything but happy when I’m
continued from front page
around Kai. His three-legged wiggle movements,
hilarious expressions and satellite-sized ears draw
everyone to him, wanting to know more about this
~ Tonie Young
I am so grateful to live in a place and time where
good veterinary care for my pet rabbits is available. I
know we are spoiled here in the Portland area. I do
not take this expertise for granted and I appreciate
the kindness, guidance and professional experience
of the veterinarians who have taken care of my pets.
Thank you Dr. Burgess, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Ramsell,
Dr. Nell, Dr. Surrency, and Dr. Doerneck.
~ Leann Bleakney
Twinklenose brought much to Marlena Sweet’s
life, including the oppor tunity to do animal
therapy work. (Photo by Marlena Sweet)
E. Cuniculi common in rabbits
Prompt diagnosis, treatment relieves symptoms
By Dr. Melinda Surrency
Sudden onset of symptoms related to
Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi)
can be scary for rabbit caretakers. Rabbits
may very suddenly develop head tilt or
rear leg paralysis. Sometimes a symptom
may be more subtle like chronic bladder
incontinence. But the more you learn about
this parasite, the more you will understand
how to recognize symptoms and how to ask
for help for your rabbit.
and through injecting or inhaling spores.
E. cuniculi is a parasite that settles in the
rabbit’s brain, kidney, liver or lungs. It is a
strange parasite and is more closely related
to fungi than to protozoans or animals. It
gets its energy from the host’s cells it infects
and is not a choosey parasite. It can infect
guinea pigs, squirrels, rats, mice, dogs,
rabbits and even people.
of a host so it may be impossible for you
I do not tell you this to scare you, only to
demonstrate how common the parasite is.
This parasite can be transmitted in a Dr. Melinda Surrency performs a well-bunny check-up during
number of ways, including through urine Bunnypalooza. (Photo by Kem Sypher)
Commonly it is transferred from mother
to babies before birth. You might have seen
a very young rabbit with head tilt or with
cataracts in its eyes. Likely that rabbit was
born with E. cuniculi.
Symptoms may never show
The parasite can live a long time outside
to figure out how a rabbit was exposed
to the parasite. Many rabbits have the
parasite and suffer no ill effects. They
may have the parasite their whole lives
and not show symptoms. Other times
rabbits live long, healthy lives and as they
grow older, symptoms appear. Symptoms
can range from abrupt tilting of the
head or an inability to keep balance and
remain upright. More subtle symptoms
include strange leg postures or gradual
hind end weakness or paralysis. Urinary
continued on page 6
Even when symptoms are
mild, treatment still helpful
Neither of our rabbits Beauregard nor Alfie have
the severely twisted neck that people associate with
ear infections or E. cuniculi.
Alfie is a tiny dwarf bunny who weighs less than
two pounds. When he arrived at our house all he
could do was look down at the floor and his feet.
His little ears pointed forward together like a little
horn. Within several weeks of starting treatment
of Panacur, his head was upright, he could sit up
for treats and he can run his little sprints. After
he finished the initial round of Panacur, he had a
relapse. Today he is back on Panacur. While he’ll
always be a little stiff through the head, neck, and
shoulders, his head is up, he is again sitting up for
treats and performing his sprints. He may also
need a life-long, pulsed treatment with Panacur
in which he is on the medication for 30 days and
then off it for 10 days.
Maybe one day there will be a cure.
Connie Pollard in memory of
Corey Bun Bun
Emily M. Stuparyk in memory of
T.E. Huston in appreciation of
Paula Buchert and Joan Gilbert
Julia J. Heydon in memory of Rufty
By Kat Slinde
However, Beauregard’s balance is compromised
and he has seizures during which his little
face scrunches up, he scratches and then rolls
uncontrollably. He is on a three-part treatment
of Panacur for the E. cuniculi, Metacam for pain,
and acupuncture. It is possible he will need these
treatments for the rest of his life. His mobility
and quality of life has greatly improved. The
frequency of his seizures has been reduced with
the acupuncture treatments.
Beauregard is on a three-part treatment to keep
his E. cuniculi symptoms in check.
Alfie’s E. cuniculi symptoms caused his little face
to point straight down, but…
…with treatment, Alfie can look up, beg for treats
and run around.
(Photos by Kat Slinde)
Pamela S. Wagner in memory of
Kathy Fitzgerald in appreciation of
Helen Olson in memory of Petunia
Kristi E. Johnson-James
Shirley Carpenter in appreciation
for the care and adoption of
Amy Mosteller in memory of Lubby
Nicholas Drum for Bun-Bun
Kathleen Tierney in memory of
Susan Miller in memory of Flopsie,
Rusty, Pumpkin, Joey and Bucky
All recent donations will be gratefully
acknowledged in the next issue of The
Rabbit Advocate. All donations are
tax deductible and are very much
appreciated. Thank you!
The Rabbit Advocate
RA Board of Directors
The Rabbit Advocate is published
three times a year.
President: Dr. Melinda Surrency
Editor: Leann Bleakney
Layout: Peggy Pfenninger Reed
of P-Town Prints + Designs!
Vice-President: Karen Anderson
Recording Secretary: Kate Brownlie
Photographer: Kem Sypher
Writers: Sarah Yasutake,
Proofreader: Joan Gilbert
1. Bunny Bytes Umbrella. This 8 inch
tall umbrella, made of willow, seagrass,
palm flowers, and pumpkin, is perfect
for chasing those rainy-day blues away.
2. Rose Petals. Shower your bunny with
fragrant and tasty rose petals. Chemical
and pesticide free. $4.29 for 2 oz.,
3. Cup o’ Joe. Why not share a cup of
coffee with your bunny? The “mug” is made
of seagrass, and the “coffee” is sweet
orchard grass. It even comes with two
Bunny Biscotti. $4.99, bunnybytes.com
4. Holiday Binky Sack. Give your bunny
a delightful treat with this bag full of dried
willow leaves. The cotton sack is for you,
not your bunny, but your bunny will love
the willow leaves and the mini willow
ring toy that come with it. $6.95, store.
5. Beco Bowl. These eco-friendly food
bowls are made from a plant-fiber plastic
which is durable and dishwasher safe.
Available in three bunny-friendly sizes
with dipped sides that make eating
more comfortable. $4.25–$9.25, store.
6. Tunnel Haven. This is a cardboard
tunnel that is over 5 feet long and can be
stretched and twisted all sorts of ways to
make your bunny a burrow-like playground.
7. Starmark Clicker. If you’re thinking
about clicker-training your rabbit, this
gentle-sounding clicker is the tool you
need. $3.99, rabbit.org/shop
8. Willow Wreath. Rabbits love willow,
and these will be devoured quickly. Better
stock up! $ 3, www.etsy.com/shop/
FOR BUNNY LOVERS
9. 2015 Arthur Court Bunny Ornament.
Arthur Court creates a new, collectible
bunny ornament every year. This year’s
ornament features a “Jolly Jester
Bunny” made from cast aluminum
and hanging from a red silk ribbon.
10. Happy Hoppers Grocery Tote
Bag. Artist Ellen Jareckie has a “Happy
Hopper” collection of sweet bunnythemed illustrations that are available on a
variety of products, including this grocery
tote. $18.99, house-mouse.com
12. Litographs Peter Rabbit T-Shirt.
Litographs t-shirts feature designs
created out of the words of classic
books. In this case, the words are from
Peter Rabbit and other Beatrix Potter tales.
11. Bunny Butt Cell Case. Available for
iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones,
this cell phone case features an adorable
drawing of a fluffy bunny tail. $28.54,
13. Some Bunny Necklace. Dallas
Pridgen makes a variety of rabbit-themed
bracelets, pins, and necklaces, including
this hand-made sterling silver bunny-faced
necklace. $68, dallaspridgenjewelry.com
14. Crazy Rumors Leaping Bunny Lip
Balm. Crazy Rumors makes a variety
of vegan and cruelty-free lip balms,
but for every tube of this plum-apricot
flavored balm sold, they donate 50 cents
to the Leaping Bunny program. $3.99,
15. Bunny Night Light. This porcelain
“Still of the Night Light” glows softly and
also makes a nice decoration. $12.99,
16. “Furry Up, We’re Dreaming” Shoes.
Every bunny lover would love to walk
around with a pair of sleeping bunnies on
her toes. $54.99, modcloth.com
17. Sign of the Times. SS Bunny Imports
features fantastic signs with bunny
themes. Do you have a guard rabbit? You
can post a warning! Is your home a binky
zone? There’s a sign for that too! (Photo
by Kem Sypher) www.etsy.com/shop/
Gift Guide researched, compiled and written by Sarah Yasutake
continued from page 2
incontinence can be a symptom, as can be eye
twitching or difficulty chewing.
If your rabbit suffers from symptoms like this,
please take the rabbit to your rabbit-savvy
There are tests your veterinarian can perform
to see if your rabbit has been exposed to the E.
cuniculi parasite. There are three tests, which
measure different phases of the rabbit’s exposure
to the parasite.
signs, which are symptoms I described earlier.
Often I will then suggest the ELISA titer to see
if it looks like there has been an exposure to E.
cuniculi. As a final test I may want to run a CRP
to look for inflammation in the body.
The second test is called ELISA titer, which
measures the levels of antibodies to E. cuniculi
present in the rabbit’s body. The titer may indicate
exposure but not necessarily an active infection.
If your rabbit is demonstrating symptoms and a
test indicates it is warranted, your veterinarian
may suggest treating the symptoms of E. cuniculi
with several different drugs. The first line of
defense is either albendazole or fenbendazole, both
of which are anti-parasitic agents. These drugs will
not completely eradicate the E. cuniculi parasite
from your rabbit’s body, but they will keep it from
growing and becoming stronger. The next thing
I like to consider prescribing for my patients is a
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory because it can
decrease inflammation in the body. An anti-nausea
medication may also be indicated if the rabbit has
a head tilt or is unable to keep its balance to the
point where it rolls.
The third test is called C-reactive protein
(CRP). This test can indicate an active systemic
inflammation, but other generalized inflammatory
processes like denta l disease and chronic
ear infections also can cause an increase in
inflammatory response in the body.
There is no one right way to treat E. cuniculi.
Many different strategies are often employed and
each individual will respond differently. It is best
to work with your veterinarian to determine the
best course of treatment and remain diligent about
monitoring for symptoms.
So without one fool-proof test, how would you
know whether or not your rabbit has E. cuniculi?
In my practice, I look for the presence of clinical
Note: Dr. Surrency practices at the Hillsboro
Veterinary Clinic. She is the President of the
Rabbit Advocates Board of Directors.
The first is called PCR, which can confirm that
your pet is shedding spores. It should be noted
that many infected rabbits do not continuously
shed these spores so a negative result may not be
a good indicator of active infection.
• • • In The Next Issue • • •
A recap of Bunnypalooza, including the number of
attendees, the money raised and the bunnies adopted.
Thank you to Tonie Young, Theresa Brennan and the
committee who made it possible.
to Our Vets!
We gratefully acknowledge
the generosity of the following
veterinarians and staffs for their
services to our rescued rabbits:
Dr. Katrina Ramsell
Northwest Exotic Pet Vet
Dr. Chris Wilson
Beaverton Pet Clinic, Beaverton
Dr. Mark Burgess
Southwest Animal Hospital,
Dr. Sheri Schlorman
Creswell Veterinary Hospital,
Dr. Melinda Surrency
Hillsboro Veterinary Clinic,
Dr. Doug Ferro
Barclay Hills Animal Clinic,
Dr. Nell Ostermeier
Lombard Animal Hospital, Portland
Dr. Peter Davis
St. Johns Veterinary Clinic,
Dr. Rebecca Prull
NW Neighborhood Vet Hospital,
Dr. Ken DeReamer
Dr. Monica Pollock
Paws and Claws Pet Medical
and Peninsula Dog and Cat Clinic,
Dr. Matt Fricke
McKenzie Animal Hospital,
We’d love to add more names to this list!
Please call us at 503-617-1625 if you are
a rabbit-savvy vet who is able to donate
services to help rescued rabbits.
The Rabbit Advocate Wish List ~ 2015
Here’s how you can make a difference in a bunny’s life!
Rabbit Advocates depends on generous people like you, who give of themselves, their time and their
resources. Please consider Rabbit Advocates during this time of the year. Here’s how you can help.
Donate your car
Volunteer for OHS
Rabbit Advocates accepts tax deductible donations
in any amount. Use the online donation feature
on our web site (www.rabbitadvocates.org) to
contribute securely with a credit card or through
Paypal. Checks can be sent directly to: Rabbit
Advocates, P.O. Box 14235, Portland, OR 972930235. If you would like your donation to go to the
Medical Fund, which offsets the costs of medical
procedures and spay and neuter surgeries, please
write “Medical Fund” on your check.
The vehicle does not need to be in running
condition, but it should be able to sell for at least
$75 at public auction. All of the proceeds will go
to the Rabbit Advocates and you will receive a
donation receipt for your tax records. For more
information, contact volunteer Chris Arends at
Rabbit Advocates started as a group of Oregon
Humane Society volunteers and the connection
with the shelter remains strong. Rabbit Advocates
volunteers are encouraged to spend time at
the shelter, helping the rabbits in the Small
Animal Room. For more information on how to
volunteer for OHS, check the web site at www.
Search or shop online
Rabbit Advocates is registered with GoodSearch.
com , GoodShop.com and Amazon Smile. Simply
select Rabbit Advocates as your designated charity,
and each time you conduct an internet search
using GoodSearch.com or shop online using
GoodShop.com or Amazon Smile, a donation
will be made to our organization. It costs you
nothing, but raises a small contribution for the
Rabbit Advocates each year.
Adopt a rabbit
Give a forever home to one (or more!) of the
many rabbits currently being fostered by Rabbit
Advocate volunteers. Each adopted rabbit opens
up a space for another rabbit in need. Adoptable
rabbits are featured on our website: w w w.
Foster a rabbit
Shop at Fred Meyer
PHOTO BY KEM SYPHER
Provide a temporary home for a rabbit in an
emergency situation or for a rabbit that needs
special care. For more information on how to foster
a rabbit, contact foster care coordinator Karen
Anderson at [email protected]
Sponsor a rabbit
Rabbit Advocate volunteers care for many
rabbits with medical issues requiring ongoing
vet care or major surgeries and medications.
All rabbits are in individual foster homes and
all expenses, including medical treatments, are
paid by the foster person. Most of these special
needs rabbits are unadoptable because of their
medical problems and will remain in foster care
for their lifetimes. The Rabbit Advocate website
(www.rabbitadvocates.org) now features a way
to help sponsor the ongoing care of these special
needs rabbits. Donations are gratefully accepted
online with a credit card or through Paypal. All
donations are tax deductible. Sponsor names will
be gratefully acknowledged on our web site unless
the sponsor would prefer to remain anonymous.
Donate time to Bunny’s
Help raise money for the Rabbit Advocates’
medical fund by joining other volunteers who
mix and bag hay for Bunny’s Best Bites, the
Rabbit Advocates’ own custom blend of hays. Hay
packing parties take place at least once a month.
For more information check the web site at www.
Fred Meyer, Inc., is donating $2.5 million per
year to non-profit organizations in Alaska, Idaho,
Oregon and Washington. Rabbit Advocates is
now listed as one of the non-profit organizations
eligible to receive donations. The donations are
based on customer shopping patterns. To help
direct donations to Rabbit Advocates, register your
Fred Meyer rewards cards and follow the prompts
to direct your donation to bunnies. This is part of
the Fred Meyer community rewards program. If
you have a Fred Meyer Rewards card, register it at
www.fredmeyer.com/community rewards. Search
for Rabbit Advocates by name or by the assigned
non-profit number, 81975. Every time you shop
and use your rewards card, Rabbit Advocates earns
a small donation. The program does not change
your earnings for rewards points or fuel points. But
it will help Rabbit Advocates. If you do not have
a Fred Meyer Rewards Card, pick one up today.
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Permit No. 2191
PO Box 14235
the Welfare of
Upcoming Meetings & Events 2015
Bunny’s Best Bites
Education & Adoption Outreaches
3rd Sunday of the month
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Hay Packing Parties
Rabbit Advocates sponsors educational events featuring
adoptable foster rabbits along with tips on rabbit
handling, diet, housing, health and general care.
Experienced volunteers provide grooming and nail
trimming services for rabbits (suggested donations
of $5 for nail trims and $5 for light grooming are
appreciated). Outreaches are held the second Sunday
of each month from noon-3 pm at the Tigard Petco
at 11705 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard, Oregon. For
more information, see the Rabbit Advocate website at
Location: Humane Society for SW
Washington, 1100 NE 192nd Ave.,
Meetings begin with a “Bunny
Basics” Q & A session where we
invite your questions about any
aspect of rabbit care. The public
*Rabbit Advocates will not be holding a monthly
meeting during the months of July and August. Check our web site for more information.
Volunteers blend and bag different types of hay
to create Bunny’s Best Bites, our own custom
blend of hay. For more information about the
hay parties, see the Rabbit Advocate website at
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