Small Animals Parasites & Disease

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Questions about Small Animals Parasites & Disease

What can I do to protect my rabbits against fly strike?

Fly strike is extremely serious and can be fatal, but there are things you can do to protect your rabbits.

Fly strike is more prevalent in the summer and occurs when blow flies lay eggs on an animal, often a rabbit. These eggs hatch into maggots, which feed off the animal’s flesh. Flies are attracted to dirty conditions, so the easiest way to protect your pet is to prevent such conditions from occurring.

  • Ensure the hutch is cleaned and disinfected once a week. Clean and disinfect litter trays/toilet areas daily, and twice daily in the summer. We recommend using Beaphar Deep Clean Disinfectant.
  • Feed your rabbit the correct diet, which includes high levels of fibre, and if you’re introducing new food do this slowly. This will help prevent diarrhoea or soft faeces, which may become stuck to their fur and put them at risk. It’s also important to feed the correct amount of food. This can help prevent obesity, which will hinder your rabbit’s ability to clean themselves properly.
  • Check your rabbits’ bottoms and clean if needed. This should be done at least once a day for older, arthritic and obese rabbits who may have problems cleaning throughout the year. In the summer, all rabbits should be checked at least once a day, but more at risk rabbits should be checked twice a day.
  • Check for open wounds, as these can also be a draw for flies.
  • Protect your rabbits with a suitable veterinary strength medicine, such as Beaphar Fly Guard, which kills flies and maggots and is effective for up to three months.
  • Use a fly screen on hutches and runs to reduce the chances of flies getting to your rabbit.

Fly strike can happen to any animal, but those that live outside such as rabbits and guinea pigs are at a higher risk. You can read more about fly strike, how to protect your rabbit and what to do if your rabbit is ‘struck’ in our blog.

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