As the summer months are upon us, we start to see a lot more publicity around fleas and ticks in cats and dogs. However, rabbits are often forgotten about, although preventative healthcare is just as important for them too!
Fly Strike is a potentially fatal, yet preventable condition in rabbits, which is caused by flies landing on the rabbit and laying eggs. The eggs are usually laid around the rear end, and while any rabbit can be affected, the flies are particularly drawn to rabbits with wet/dirty back ends. This means that victims are usually rabbits that can’t easily clean themselves, such as older or overweight rabbits, rabbits with large dewlaps or those that have recently had a bout of diarrhoea or urinary problems. When the eggs hatch, the maggots then start to eat the rabbit’s flesh, and also release toxins that are very dangerous to our small furry friends. If you see any signs of Fly Strike, immediate veterinary care is needed.
Soiled bedding helps attracts the flies, and so should be cleaned out daily. Also physically checking your bunny twice every day to make sure they are keeping themselves clean will help to prevent Fly Strike. A good diet made up of mostly hay, with small quantities of pellets and green vegetables will help prevent rabbits becoming overweight or getting diarrhoea. There is also a prevention treatment that can be applied, which if used when the weather starts to warm up helps to prevent any eggs laid from developing. If you have any questions about Fly Strike or rabbit care, please call your local surgery who will be more than happy to advise you.