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Beware - Flystrike in rabbits

Monday, June 06, 2016

Now that warmer weather is upon us, all rabbit owners need to be hypervigilant for flystrike in order to keep their rabbits safe.

Flystrike is an incredibly distressing and painful condition caused by flies laying eggs on your rabbit. If left undetected, the hatched maggots will literally eat your bunny alive! This is a veterinary emergency and your rabbit should be seen straight away.

Flystrike is caused by Blue and Green Bottle fly larvae. These flies lay hundreds of eggs at a time in smelly, moist areas (e.g. your rabbit’s bottom). Warmer weather means that the eggs can hatch within 1-2 hours and the maggots will begin to eat away at the rabbit’s flesh.

As the skin is eaten by the maggots it gives off a smell that attracts more flies, leading to even more maggots.

How can I prevent flystrike in my rabbit?

  • Check your rabbit a MINIMUM of twice daily
  • Use a recommended flystrike prevention treatment

      - Applied to rabbits bottom

      - Lasts 10-12 weeks

      - Stops fly eggs from hatching

      - Available from your vet

  • Discuss other tips for high-risk rabbits with your rabbit savvy vet

 

What should I do if I find flystrike on my rabbit?

Rabbits that have flystrike are often initially lethargic and reluctant to move around and eat. If you find fly eggs (white clusters on the hair) or maggots on your rabbit, you should contact your vet ASAP and make an emergency appointment made.

DO NOT wash your rabbit, this will make it very difficult for your vet to shave the area and could affect correct treatment. If left wet, it will also increase the risk of further infestations from the smell.

Flystrike can, and often does, kill very quickly. We cannot stress enough how important it is to get your rabbit to a vet immediately if you notice any sign of infestation.

Is your rabbit at risk of flystrike?

All rabbits are at risk of developing flystrike, however, certain rabbits will be more prone to attracting flies if:

  • They suffer from dacrocystitis
  • Faeces build up around their bottom easily
  • They suffer from urinary tract infections
  • They are kept in unclean environments

 

Rabbit Awareness Week 18th – 26th June 2016

10% off flystrike prevention

As part of Rabbit Awareness Week we are offering a 10% discount on flystrike prevention. Also, FREE health checks for all rabbits throughout the week.

Book an appointment now by contacting your local surgery.


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