Flystrike is an unpleasant and distressing condition which occurs in the summer months when flies lay their eggs around a rabbit's rear end.
The eggs hatch into maggots which then feed on the rabbit by burrowing into it's flesh. Sounds horrible?! It is! Prevention is better than cure; some rabbits can be successfully treated although for some it can be fatal.
Some steps to help prevent flystrike
Examine your rabbit every day to check his / her fur is clean, dry and not matted, especially around the rear end. If you see any signs of maggots, remove them using soap and warm water, thoroughly dry the affected area and contact your vet immediately.
Rabbits with urine or faeces around their bottom are far more at risk of flystrike. Ensure your rabbit has a balanced, complete high-fibre diet to avoid digestive disturbances and dental problems. Soft faeces clumped around the bottom area is often an indication of lack of fibre. Feed complete food from your vet to ensure that their diet is balanced with the correct amounts of fibre and protein and ensure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
They should always have fresh water available.
Change soiled bedding every day – Use plenty of good quality absorbent bedding in your rabbit’s toilet area to avoid excess moisture.
Once a week, thoroughly clean and disinfect the hutch. Remove everything from the hutch and disinfect with a purpose made solution suitable for use with small animals. Allow to dry and put in clean bedding.
Use Rearguard to help prevent infestation of maggots, especially during the summer months. Effective hutch hygiene, feeding a complete diet and using Rearguard is by far the best defence.