Flystrike

Did you know

At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, grass and dried grass, as a guideline as much as the size of the rabbit’s body! They also need a small amount of nuggets – 20-25g per kg ideal bodyweight is all that is needed. You also need to make sure they have some green leafy salad as part of their diet and water should always be made available.

Flystrike

Flystrike is a common, extremely distressing and often fatal disease which predominantly occurs in warm weather. It most commonly occurs when the rabbit’s rear end becomes soiled with faeces and/or urine. This attracts flies which lay eggs on damaged skin or on the soiled fur. These eggs then hatch into maggots that eat away at the tissues in the surrounding area and release toxins which makes the rabbit unwell. The problem, if left untreated, can get so bad that the maggots reach the rabbit’s abdomen, causing so much suffering that the rabbit has to be put to sleep. If you spot any signs of flystrike on your pet, such as eggs or maggots, seek urgent veterinary advice. You can prevent flystrike by:

  • Keeping housing clean and dry
  • Feeding the correct high fibre diet to make sure they eat all of their caecotrophs
  • Checking your pet thoroughly for signs of illness, injury or abnormal behaviour every day, and in warm weather checking the fur and skin around your pets’ rear end and tail area, at least twice a day
  • Removing any wet or soiled bedding every day
  • Keeping rabbits active and healthy - obese rabbits may be too big to clean themselves effectively or to eat their caecotrophs (which then build up around their rear end)


Using suitable insecticides and insect repellents (speak to your vet for more information)