Flystrike in Rabbits

What is Flystrike?

When a rabbit gets a dirty or wet/urine soaked coat, flies are attracted to it.

These flies lay eggs, which hatch out into maggots which burrow into the rabbits skin.

The burrowing maggots can cause shock and death within 24hours.

It only takes one fly to do the damage and can affect both indoor or outdoor rabbits

What kind of damage occurs?

Maggots do not stop at the skin surface.

They eat their way into the deeper sensitive flesh (sometimes along the rabbits back where you don't see it), and once in the flesh, they produce toxins that create a state of shock.

Fly strike is often fatal, so many rabbits die or have to be put to sleep (euthanased) every year because of this preventable condition.

Which rabbits are affected?

All rabbits are at risk, but here is a list of those at increased risk:

  • Normally healthy rabbits with an episode of loose stools

  • Older rabbits

  • Overweight rabbits

  • A rabbit with any mobility issues which prevents the rabbit cleaning itself

  • Rabbits with open sores

Why does it happen?

Being at increased risk (see the list above) and not being checked twice a day during the warmer months of the year, means fly strike can occur.

Checking your rabbit at least once every 12-hours is the best way to avoid fly strike.

#rabbits #flystrike

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