Fly Strike in Rabbits
As the hotter months approach and temperatures rise, flies begin to return to the air in search of a mate, which is when
rabbits become most susceptible to fly strike. Rabbits are said to have ‘fly strike’ or to have been “struck” when
flies lay eggs upon them, the eggs hatch into maggots and these eat into the rabbit’s flesh. Some species of
flies produce maggots that mature very rapidly and start to eat into the living flesh of your rabbit in just 24 hours. This
maggot infestation will seriously affect your animals welfare.
Is your rabbit at risk of Fly Strike?
Flies are attracted to muck, so to prevent fly strike occurring it is vital to have a healthy and happy animal and a
regular routine for hutch hygiene.
Rabbits with the following symptoms are especially at risk of developing fly strike:
- Overweight or obese
- Long haired
- Dental problems
- Rabbits with wounds
- Older rabbits
- Suffering from diarrhoea
- Living in dirty hutches
- During the hotter summer months
Fly strike can be fatal. Owners are advised to check their pet twice a day to ensure no eggs have been laid and that
they are immediately removed if found.
How to Prevent Fly Strike in Rabbits
You should check your rabbit for signs of illness every day. Loss of appetite, changes in drinking or toilet habits can be
signs of illness. You should check their eyes, ears, noses, mouths, coats and bottoms on a daily basis (twice if possible),
as well as monitoring weight, faeces, general condition and behaviour.