Fly strike is a severe condition in rabbits which can lead to death. Fly strike, occurs when flies are attracted to a rabbit’s bottom and lay eggs- these hatch into maggots and damage the skin around the bottom, eating it away. Fly strike is an emergency and affected rabbits should be seen by a vet immediately.
Fly strike is more common in rabbits kept on soiled bedding, rabbits with health problems such as incontinence (including urinary incontinence) and overweight or arthritic rabbits who cannot eat their caecotrophs (faeces which the rabbit re-ingests to keep the gut healthy).
It is important to check your rabbit’s bottom and tail area twice a day during the summer months and clean their living areas regularly all year round. Your rabbit’s bottom should not be dirty- if it is there could be an underlying health problem and veterinary advice should be sought. Fly eggs look like tiny rice grains- if you see these seek veterinary advice immediately.
Preventative medications can be applied starting in early summer before flies are seen- ask your vet for advice on administering these products.
Call us on 01223 232 111 to book an appointment.
Tanya King MA VetMB MRCVS