Fiona Mullan BSc Hons RVN VPAC
Flystrike is particularly common in summertime, but it can happen at other times of the year also.
Why does it happen?
Flies are attracted to dirty living conditions such as warm soiled hutches, and rabbits with urine-soaked fur or faeces attached to their rear ends.
Rabbits who are ill are also at great risk, as they may have urinary problems or diarrhoea, or not be as active, and therefore are more likely to soil themselves and remain sitting in it.
Rabbits who have wounds are also a target for flies, as are rabbits who are obese, or rabbits which are arthritic and cannot keep themselves clean.
What are the symptoms of flystrike?
Depending on the stage of the condition, you may see fly eggs on your rabbit’s fur, or you may see fully developed maggots crawling on their skin. The rabbit will likely be lethargic and off their food.
What should I do if I see Maggots on my rabbit?
DO NOT WAIT – contact your vet immediately. Flystrike is incredibly fast, and maggots will quickly burrow deep into the patient’s flesh with fatal consequences if not removed as soon as possible. Do not try to wash the maggots off your rabbit’s fur at home, as this makes clipping and removal much harder for your vet.
How can I prevent flystrike happening?