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Fly Strike in Rabbits

Fly strike or maggot infestation commonly occurs in warm weather, usually from April to October. Where severe fly strike occurs the rabbit will become seriously ill and often die from the secondary shock.

How can flies harm my rabbit?

Fly strike can occur at any time, but particularly during warm and humid weather.

The most common site for fly strike is around the hindquarters and under the tail where droppings become stuck to the fur, especially if the rabbit is producing loose, 'runny' faeces.

Flies are attracted to the soiled areas and lay their eggs on the fur.

The small white eggs hatch in as little a as 8-10 hours and there can rapidly be hundreds of maggots present within a short period of time.

The maggots cause severe trauma to the pet.

As skin and flesh are damaged tremendous distress and pain are caused for the animal.

Within a day or two the damage caused by the maggots will cause the rabbit to go in to shock and die.

Preventative Measures

  1. To keep rabbits 'fly-free' check that their bottoms and the hutch floor are clean and free of accumulated droppings. During the warmer months one should undertake this check twice daily especially in 'at risk' individuals (e.g. those having loose faeces).
  2. Use rearguard every 8 weeks to prevent fly eggs hatching.
  3. Hang a fly strip close to the hutch.
  4. If you suspect fly strike has occurred or can see maggots then treat it as an emergency and see the vet right away.

Protect your rabbit from flystrike using rearguard.

Rearguard is a liquid application that is sold in a single-use bottle that owners apply to the hindquarters of their rabbit. It gives approximately 8 weeks protection from maggot infestation.

The active product in Rearguard does not repel flies, but is an insect growth inhibitor that prevents maggots developing and becoming big enough to feed on the rabbit and damage its skin and deeper structures.

Page updated 3rd Mar 2017, 16:29
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