FLY STRIKE

 

What is fly strike and how does it happen?

During summer months fly strike can be a life threatening condition caused by flies laying eggs on damp fur.  Rabbits that have long wool or are experiencing wet stools are prime targets for flies.  Flies will lay eggs in the wet fur and as a the eggs hatch they will feed on the flesh of the rabbit.

 

It can be prevented by strict fly control in the rabbitry and by keeping cages free of any accumulated feces and fur.  Keeping wooled breeds fur trimmed on the bottom will prevent fly strike if they happen to have a bout of diarrhea or just stuck night feces clumped on the fur.

 

Babies can be targets as well and should have daily "butt checks".  Trimming the fur will help prevent the problem.

 

The best treatment for fly strike or warbels is Ivermectin.  It can be given orally or injectable under the skin at the back of the neck.

 

If you don't have Ivermectin on hand when you find the condition, trim the fur immediately and spray with Iodine Sanitizer or pour hydrogen peroxide on the area to cause the maggots to retract and die.  A product called Co-Ral powder will also work to kill the maggots. Treatment with Ivermectin is the best solution.

If left untreated, it can lead to a painful death.