Flystrike in rabbits
Warmer weather brings problems for rabbits which you can take action to prevent to give your rabbit a happy, healthy life
Now the weather is warming up its as well to be aware of the effects of all the problems your rabbit may face and take steps to prevent them to keep your rabbit happy and healthy.
Prevention is always far easier than cure so with a little planning and knowing what to look out for you can ensure your rabbit has the best of care.
Green bottle flies cause major problems for rabbits. You should check your rabbit's bottom daily. Soiled wet fur attracts flies and flystrike is a potentially lethal condition.
Flies lay eggs on the rabbit's rear end which quickly hatch into flesh eating maggots causing your rabbit considerable pain. There is the risk of infection and also irreparable damage by the maggots.
Even healthy rabbits and house rabbbits are at risk.
It is important to ensure that your rabbit can clean and groom itself properly:
- Overweight rabbits find it difficult to groom.
- The fur of long haired rabbits quickly becomes matted and soiled if not brushed daily.
- Rabbits with overlong teeth cannot groom themselves properly.
- Rabbits with an open wound are especially liable to attack by flies.
If you see your rabbit behaving unusually, darting about, trying to dig out of its cage or pulling at itself check it carefully and if you are unsure please bring it into the surgery and we will check it for you.
Prevention is better than cure:
- Keep your rabbit and its living area scrupulously clean.
- Disinfect the hutch weekly.
- Use fly traps and fly repellants cover hutches or runs in close mesh netting.
- Ask your vet about a suitable spot-on repellant for your rabbit.
- Keep your rabbit's weight down.
- Do not feed too many green foods that will lead to diahorrea.
- Put pots around your rabbit's housing planted with fly repelling plants such as Nigella,Artemisia abrotanum, Cedronella Canariensis, herbs such as chamomile, lavender, peppermint, basil or green oregano.
We would also recommend neutering your rabbit which helps prevent unwanted behaviours.