Flystrike

Flystrike can affect any animal, but it is mainly seen in small furies such as rabbits. It usually occurs in the warmer months of summer, but can happen at any time of year.

When an animal doesn’t keep their rear end clean enough it attracts fly’s, which then lay eggs on the animal’s fur. After a short period of time their eggs hatch and the maggots/larvae appear which in turn start to eat the flesh of the animal. They cause massive trauma to the skin and can eventually end up internally causing damage. This can be very painful and dangerous.

petfriendlypracticeClinical signs

Shock, anorexia, depression, maggots on surface of skin, pyrexia and a bad smell coming from the traumatized skin.

Prevention

There is a liquid solution that can be placed on the animal’s fur which can last up to 10 weeks. Regular checks are needed daily, especially in the hotter months.

Treatment

Clip off the fur around the rear end or any fur which looks to be affected. Wash the skin in a soothing shampoo. Pick out any visible maggots. Sudocrem can be applied as the skin will be very sore and painful. Pain relief and antimicrobials such a Baytril should be given. Palliative will be needed such as syringe feeds, IV fluids, temperature monitoring and maggot watch.

It is so important to keep your pets clean and check them regularly, especially in the hotter months. Flystrike is nasty but we can’t unfortunately eliminate the cause (fly’s), but we can reduce the risk.