Fly Strike in Rabbits

This article aims to provide you with information about fly strike, how to prevent fly strike occurring and what action to take if your rabbit becomes infected.

What is Rabbit Fly Strike?

Fly Strike (or Myiasis) can occur in rabbits, especially during the summer months. It is a painful and life threatening condition. However it can be treated.

It is caused by flies laying eggs on the skin or fur of a rabbit, often around the rectum. Within hours the eggs hatch on the rabbit and the larvae bury their way into the animal's body. Once inside the body the larvae feed off the rabbit releasing toxins. This can lead to infection and the animal going into shock, eventually if untreated the animal will die.

Prevention

Fly Strike is most common in the summer months, when flies are at their most active. You can reduce the chance of infection by checking your rabbit twice daily during the hot season. You should also maintain a clean cage and remove any soiled bedding.

You can buy pet friendly preventative measures, such as the plant-based Xentex which will kill flies, ticks and mites. Other options include covering the front of your rabbit's cage with a thin mesh or rabbit hutch cover, or consulting your vet about a preventative vaccine.

Rabbit Fly Strike Treatment

If you are concerned that your rabbit has been a victim of fly-strike you should immediately seek the help of a qualified vet. The vet should be able to treat the animal by way of an injection, which should not cost an excessive amount.

If your rabbit is taken ill by fly strike, take all measures available to stop it happening again in the future, as whilst the animal can make a full recovery, it will not have been a pleasant experience.

Remember - always consult your vet for advice and guidance.