Fly Strike

Fly Strike is when a fly lays it's eggs on a rabbit and the eggs hatch very quickly and the maggots start eating the rabbit. If a rabbit has urine or droppings stuck on it especially on it's bottom there is a big chance that the rabbit can get fly strike. Or, if there is an open wound the rabbit may be vulnerable to fly strike. Fly Strike can be more common in long haired rabbits (such as Jersey Woolies or American Fuzzy lops) because they can get what is called "wet bottom" where their hair around their bottom becomes wet with urine. If a rabbit has fly strike action must take place quickly! The maggots move really fast! I have heard of someone who had a kit and it was fine and a couple of hours later it was almost completely consumed by maggots. From what I have heard and I would assume so, fly strike is really nasty to deal with. Fly strike can kill a rabbit if action is not taken, or if the maggots have done alot of damage.

How do I know a rabbit has fly strike?
If the rabbit has fly strike on its bottom it will probably not be very comfortable to sit down. So you might notice the rabbit not really wanting to sit down all the way. If the maggots are in a sore the maggots might be visible. The rabbit may not be acting normal because it doesn't feel good. Sores and maggots may be seen especially on the underside of the rabbit. Maggots may even be seen in the droppings

* One of the best ways to treat a rabbit with fly strike is with warm soapy water. If the rabbit has the maggots on it's bottom fill a container (such as a dish pan, deep bowl etc.) with the warm soapy water and put the rabbits bottom down in the warm water and try to wash out the maggots (warm soapy water can also be ran on the area that
is infected). The maggots should start coming out because from what I have read the maggots really start going crazy with the soapy water and start to fall off. You may need to take tweezers to get out some of the maggots. This procedure should be done several times a day for several days.

* Another way to get the maggots out is to put hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and wipe it on and into the infected area. The maggots don't like this and they should come to the opening of the wound. When they come to the opening take a pair of tweezers and start taking them off. Repeat this procedure several times a day and for several days in a row until all the maggots are gone.

* Another way of treatment is to wash the area with warm soapy water, apply hydrogen peroxide to the infected area (make sure all the maggots are gone). Give a shot of Ivermectin (1/10 cc per pound of body weight). If there are any maggots on the rabbit they should start falling off. The rabbit should recover depending on how much of damage the maggots did.

* Another way of treating is to soak the infected area in warm soapy water. If it can't be soaked, warm soapy water can be poured on it. After that is done dry off the area and spray the infected area with Blu-Kote. Do this every day for several days (a week may be needed) until all the maggots are gone. If needed, or just to really make sure the maggots are gone, you can pick the maggots off with tweezers. I have heard of someone who used this treatment for their rabbit with fly strike, and they did not have to use any tweezers to pick out any maggots; and their rabbit lived and ended up being a breeder.

* A way to prevent fly strike is to always check the rabbit and make sure there are no droppings or urine on the rabbit and to check for sores and if there is a sore watch it.

* Another way to prevent it is to add one tablespoon of vanilla (artificial or real) to one gallon of water. Give this to your rabbit all the time instead of normal water. After doing this continually for a period of time the flys should not be a problem. The flys do not like the vanilla for some reason! I have heard of someone who gives their rabbits
vanilla in their drinking water and they have some American Fuzzy Lops with the wet bottom and the flys are not even a problem.

* It is best not to have flys around your rabbits. We used the sticky yellow fly tapes when we had alot of flys in our barn and it took care of all the flys. It worked really good! Any other fly traps can be used, but this is the one we found to work the best.




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