Flystrike happens when flies lay eggs on a rabbit which then hatch into maggots. Flies such a bluebottles, produce maggots that mature very rapidly and are able to eat flesh in less than 24 hours. It is a very painful and distressing condition which often results in death.
When would my rabbit be at risk?
Flystrike can occur at any time of year, but is more commonly seen between April and October.
What would make my rabbit at risk?
Any rabbit can get Flystrike, but the following factors can increase the risks:
- Rabbits that are overweight
- Long haired rabbits
- Rabbits with abscesses or wounds
- Rabbits with diarrhoea
- Rabbits that have wet fur
- Rabbits that are in dirty or damp living conditions
- Rabbits with dirty bottoms
What are the warning signs of Flystrike?
Rabbits can either by quiet or very restless as they are uncomfortable.
What do I do if I find maggots?
Do not panic! Contact the Veterinary Surgery and you will be seen immediately. Flystrike is an emergency as rabbits need to have immediate attention. Carefully wipe off any maggots, but do not wet the fur.
What is the treatment for Flystrike?
If found early enough, affected rabbits can make a full recovery. The area is clipped and then all maggots removed. Sometimes this may require sedation or an anaesthetic so that any concealed maggots can be removed a well a damaged tissue being dealt with. Rabbits will also need pain relief, fluid support and antibiotics to prevent infection.
We can recommend a suitable prevention programme to help you protect your rabbit.