Protect your pet from the pain and distress of a maggot attack!
Flystrike is an unpleasant and distressing condition which occurs in the summer months when flies lay their eggs around an animal’s rear end. The eggs hatch into maggots which then feed on the animal by burrowing into its flesh.
It is most common in animals that live outside such as Rabbits & Guinea Pigs but any animal is susceptible. Unfortunately we’ve seen several cats this year too who have suffered from flystrike. Elderly and sick or injured animals are particularly vulnerable: they’re too weak or tired to shoo flies away.
Rabbits are the most common pets to be affected. If a rabbit hutch is not cleaned out every day, it soon becomes the focus of busy fly activity. At some stage, these circling flies lay their eggs around the tail area of the rabbit. By the time the owner notices and the rabbit is brought to the vet, there are hundreds of teeming maggots burrowing into the animal’s flesh. It can be impossible to cure.
Prevention is better than cure; some pets can be successfully treated although unfortunately for some pets this condition can be fatal.
Some steps to help prevent flystrike:
- Examine your pet each day to check their 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. A pet with urine or faeces around their bottom will attract flies making them 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 are often an indication of lack of fibre. Lack of fibre in the diet also means a rabbits teeth do not wear down properly and become overgrown. Teeth which are overgrown prevent normal grooming and can also lead to dirty matted fur, which again increases the risk of flystrike.
- Feed complete foods from your vet to ensure that your pet’s 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 Rear Guard to help prevent infestation of maggots especially during the summer months.
Check your pets daily to ensure they don’t suffer from flystrike.
Talk to us about protecting your pet pet against flies and maggots, telephone 01670 457271