Fly strike is also called ‘myiasis’, this is when flies lay their eggs on rabbits and these hatch out into maggots, which become blowflies: – bluebottles and greenbottles, these then eat into the rabbit’s flesh.
All rabbits are at risk, but it is more common in the summer months. Rabbits that have dirty bottoms due to a poor diet, where faeces accumulate, because they have painful joints then they are unable to groom themselves properly and if a rabbit has any open wounds.
If you suspect fly strike, this is classed as an emergency and the rabbit needs treatment immediately. The treatment may involve a light sedation whilst a full examination of the areas affected is carried out. The fur will be clipped away, all the maggots picked off or out of the rabbit. In severe case were areas of the rabbit’s body have been eaten euthanasia maybe suggested.
Preventation is to check rabbits bottom area everyday maybe more in the summer months, clean away any urine or faeces and thoroughly dry the area. Keep hutches clean so flies are not attracted to any smells. Overweight rabbits tend to find it difficult to groom or squat properly and therefore do not stay as clean. Check for wounds and keep them dry and clean.
Rearguard is designed to treat and prevent fly strike. Rearguard comes supplied ready-to-use in a bottle with built-in applicator sponge. Gently depress the sponge to break the valve before applying. Apply the product using the same applicator; ensure that the rabbit fur is thoroughly wetted with solution from the middle of the back to the tip of tail.