Fly strike is often a life threatening condition. We see many cases of this at the surgery and unfortunately most cases have a very unhappy ending.
In the warmer weather, and it doesn’t need to be soaring temperatures, flies are attracted to urine and faeces around your rabbit’s rear end. The warmth and moisture is a fly’s dream come true. They use this environment to lay eggs which then turn into maggots. Maggots feed on flesh and very quickly this can have dire consequences for your rabbit. The damage the maggots have caused to your rabbits flesh can sometimes be treated but often it is the shock it has caused to their bodies that we cannot treat.
Prevention comes mainly down to good husbandry. As well as keeping your rabbits living accommodation clean, his own cleanliness is of great importance. It is important that your rabbit is checked daily to ensure he does not have a soiled rear end. This also helps with getting him used to being handled, especially if started at a young age.
Living accommodation should also be cleaned daily in these warmer months. Remove any damp bedding regularly. It would not be too obsessive to check twice a day as temperatures rise.
Spotting the signs of fly strike in rabbits also requires close inspection. Often, the first thing the owner spots is the rabbit not coming out of his sleeping area when approached. By then it is often too late to be treated as this is normally a sign that he has gone in to shock.
There are also prescribed veterinary treatments that can help to prevent this deadly condition. Please contact the surgery if you would like any further information.