Flop eared Rabbit.

Fly strike

Summer is when our pet rabbits love the warmer climate and longer days this brings. Unfortunately so do flies with the warmer months being their prime breeding season. The larvae they produce can actually be deadly to our pets, which is why we’ve outlined steps on how to keep your pet bunny safe!

What is Fly Strike?

Flies naturally lay their eggs in warm, moist conditions in piles of faeces or rotting material. These eggs hatch into maggots within days, which then start eating their surroundings. If your bunny has any faecal material stuck to their fur then this can be a perfect site for the flies to lay their eggs. Once the maggots have eaten the faecal material they will then start burrowing into your rabbit’s skin – something that will be extremely painful within a short matter of days. At best this often requires surgery to fix by flushing the maggots out. At worst it can cause severe infections and death.

How do I prevent Fly Strike?

Luckily Fly Strike is easy to keep on top of! Just follow the steps below:

Examine your rabbit routinely

    1. It is good to get into the practice of handling, picking up and examining your pet rabbit.
    2. You can check for any faecal material this way. The rear is a commonly affected site, and is impossible to examine unless your rabbit is picked up.
    3. It is recommended to check your rabbit all over ideally daily during the hotter months.

 

Clean your rabbit

    1. If you notice any faecal material, remove it straight away.
      1. Ideally this should be done by your vet/vet nurse, as rabbit skin is very thin and easy to damage.
      2. If you attempt to remove it yourself then do not use electric clippers. Use blunt ended scissors and go very slowly.
      3. You can wash small areas of faeces off with warm water. Ensure you dry your rabbit thoroughly afterwards, as flies like moist environments.
    2. This is especially important in rabbits who do not have a companion, or are overweight. Both of these reduce the chance of your rabbit being able to clean itself properly.

Apply preventative fly repellents

      1. These repel flies from laying eggs and you should only need to use them during the hotter months.
      2. Rearguard is the licensed preventative for fly strike. It will repel flies for up to 10 weeks once applied.
      3. You can use insecticide sprays too, however these are not guaranteed to prevent the condition.

Follow the above steps and your pet bunny should be safe from Fly Strike! If you ever think your pet has the condition then contact us immediately so they can help you get your bunny the treatment they need.

 

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