Watch out for fly strike in rabbits, especially the longer hair types. Causes of flystrike in rabbits can be from loose stools, disabled or injured, overweight and dirty living conditions.
Common house flies and blowflies can infect your rabbit. Within 72 hours, flies can cause fatal damage to your rabbit simply by laying eggs, these eggs turning into larvae (maggots) the maggots then burrowing down into the skin and eating the tissue. During this time they are also releasing dangerous toxins, potentially proving fatal to your rabbit.
Fact: At one time, one fly can lay up to 100’s of flies, in various locations.
Checking your rabbit regularly and cleaning of waste is most important to avoid flystrike in rabbits. Rabbits are very clean creatures and are easily litter box trained as they will toilet in one area.
If you notice any wounds or abrasions on your rabbit, be especially cautious during the initial healing stage as this type of environment will attract flies, and an open wound is easy feeding for flies and maggots. Ideally, the area would be very carefully clipped (rabbits skin is especially sensitive and can be easily damaged), and the area should be kept very dry.
Rabbits eat grass. They have evolved on a very high fibre and low calorie diet. This diet is important for a number of reasons, such as; gut health (preventing diarrhea which can attract flies), dental health, and to protect against obesity.
Some good food options are bok choy, broccoli, carrots, dandelions, kale, grass, parsley, basil, water cress, hay and straw. Pellets should only be a small percentage of the diet.
Variation is the key to a healthy rabbit.
If your rabbit is a fluffy breed, keeping the back end hair free and clean is especially important.
I can see flies hanging around my rabbit, what should I do to avoid flystrike?
Bring your rabbit inside immediately, and give them a thorough check up. If there is any soiled fur, wet patches of skin, or areas of uncertainty, you are best to carefully wash the area in warm water and pet shampoo, very thoroughly dry the area, and keep your bunny inside until you can have them checked by a vet if you are at all concerned.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding flystrike in rabbits, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.