Flystrike- what you need to know
Flystrike is when house flies (green and blue bottles) lay their eggs on your rabbit, these eggs hatch into maggots in a matter of a few hours, maggots will literally eat your rabbit alive. Whilst they eat away at the rabbits flesh they also release toxin which leads to the rabbit developing shock which will make the rabbit appear listless.
Flystrike is often fatal.
What can I do to prevent my rabbit getting flystrike?
Flystrike is most likely to occur in hot or warm and damp weather.
Remove all soiled litter and bedding daily as this attracts flies and leads to soiled fur.
Physically check your rabbit twice a day for soiled, damp fur as flystrike is most likely to occur due to the rabbit having a soiled bottom.
Older rabbits who have mobility issues, rabbits with bladder or bowel issues, overweight rabbits, long haired rabbits, rabbits who have large dewlaps or open wounds are all considered high risk as they may be unable to keep themselves clean.
If your rabbit is at high risk you should speak to a rabbit savvy vet who can recommend preventative treatment if needed.
But even healthy rabbits can get dirty,
soiled bottoms especially if their housing
isn’t kept clean or they are fed an incorrect
or unbalanced diet leading to uneaten caecotrophes (soft dark poo which looks like a bunch of grapes).
House rabbits can get flystrike too!
Help, I think my rabbit has flystrike!
If you think your rabbit has flystrike contact your emergency vet immediately and without delay.
Is there anything else I can do to help prevent flystrike?
The most important thing is to check your rabbit twice daily, trimming or cleaning any soiled fur as needed. Please do not bath your rabbit!
Ensure your rabbits housing is kept clean and free of any soiled bedding and litter.
You can use fly screens, fly papers or fly traps as long as they are kept out of your rabbits reach.
Some rabbit safe herbs also repel flies, these include chamomile, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and basil.