Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

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Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by Tuckerbunnies on Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:25 am

~Warning Signs ~

Individual rabbits can react in different ways to flystrike. Some will try to escape from the pain, which is usually around their rear end, so they dig themselves into a tight corner; whilst others will dart about, and pull at their genital area. If you observe any unusual behaviour in your rabbit during the summer months, then pick it up immediately and check underneath.

~What to do if you find maggots on your rabbit ~

First of all – try not to panic, but do act immediately, as this is an emergency. Gather up your rabbit, either in a pet carrier or wrapped in a towel, and take it to the vets immediately. If possible, ring ahead, so that they can be prepared for your arrival and to treat your rabbit immediately. Flyblown rabbits are usually in pain and shock and need careful nursing if they are to survive. Generally they will admit cases of flystrike, and hospitalise them for at least 24 hours to get them through the initial infection and toxic stages.

If for any reason, you can not get to a vet immediately, then pick off as many of the external maggots as you can, using a pair of tweezers. The maggots which have burrowed into the flesh, can be encouraged to the surface of the skin, by heat e.g. a warm, wet towel, or by the use of a hair dryer on a low setting. Ideally you should avoid wetting the rabbit’s coat, as damp fur will clog the clippers which a vet will use to shave the infected areas.

~Which animals may be affected? ~

Flies will strike any healthy animal, but generally it is those which have a wet or dirty groin, which are most at risk. However, any rabbit which is unable to clean itself properly may become infected. Typically this includes obese rabbits, females with large dewlaps, or skin folds around their abdomen, rabbits with urinary problems, elderly or arthritic rabbits, long-coated breeds, and rabbits with teeth problems who are unable to groom themselves. Any animal with a wound is also a prime candidate for the fly to lay its eggs, as the odour and moisture from the flesh attracts these insects

~Husbandry: ~

Remove all soiled bedding daily;

Ensure that your bunny is not being overfed, as this can result in diarrhoea, leading to a dirty groin;

Feed greens and fruit in moderation, as some rabbits can not tolerate an over-abundance of green food, again leading to diarrhoea and a dirty bottom. For the same reason, take care when putting your bunny out on the lawn in the summer, not to allow too much access to fresh grass;

Check your rabbit twice daily to ensure that it is clean and dry. This includes house rabbits, who can also be at risk;

Disinfect hutches


~Fly traps: ~

Old fashioned sticky fly papers are still available from DIY stores and garden centres, and may be used in the home or the shed.

Nylon netting can be used to cover outdoor hutches and runs, to prevent flies entering your rabbit’s environment. It can also be used to create inner fly doors in sheds.


~Repellent Plants and Seeds: ~

A number of plants can be used to repel insects and flies. Some may be planted in pots to sit on top of outdoor hutches or near runs, whilst others may be dried and hung in the home, or the rabbit shed. Just make sure that all these plants are out of reach of your bunny.

Nigella - Love in a Mist, is a pretty annual, which is a good fly and midge repellent;

Lads Love - Artemisia abrotanum, a small bush with grey-green leaves and a pungent aroma which acts as a general insect repellent;

Gilead – Cedronella canariensis, a strongly camphor-scented evergreen shrub with showy pink flowers. The dried leaves and flowers make a moth and insect repelling potpourri;

Herbs – e.g. Balm, Chamomile, Hemp, Lavender, Peppermint, Basil, and Green Oregano have pungent smells which repel many insects


~Fly Strike Protectors for Small Animals ~

Johnson's Fly Strike Protector for Small Animals Suitable for rabbits and guinea pigs aged 4 weeks +.
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-pet-rabbit-care-c-649_197/johnson-s-fly-strike-protector-for-small-animals-p-8484

Beaphar Fly Guard 75ml The Beaphar Fly Guard is a veterinary prepared preventative measure that contains an insect growth regulator, giving protection for up to 3 months.
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-pet-rabbit-care-c-649_197/beaphar-fly-guard-75ml-p-8578

Beaphar Fly Free 150ml Particularly essential for rabbit owners, due to rabbits being more susceptible, the Beaphar Fly Free can prevent this from happening with a single application that lasts up to one week!
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-pet-rabbit-care-c-649_197/beaphar-fly-free-150ml-p-8577

Rearguard for Rabbits 25ml For the prevention of blowfly strike in domestic rabbits for 10 weeks after dosing.
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-pet-rabbit-care-c-649_197/rearguard-for-rabbits-25ml-p-1660


Last edited by Tuckerbunnies on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by gentl on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:22 am

Thanks Maysie. I hadn't thought that flystrike could affect a totally indoor house rabbit. Assumed it was just a problem with bunnies that went or lived outdoors.
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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by KatieB on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:12 pm

Brilliant Post Maysie!

Thank you.

Its one of the things I fear most especially with Annie and Charlie quite often having dodgy poos (because of all the medication)

As you have said above. - checking them twice daily is essential!


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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by Tuckerbunnies on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:27 pm

Katieb wrote:Brilliant Post Maysie!  

Thank you.

Its one of the things I fear most especially with Annie and Charlie quite often having dodgy poos (because of all the medication)

As you have said above. - checking them twice daily is essential!

I actually copied and pasted it offline as I thought it was good information especially with the repellants and seeds which I shall try.

I put the fly protectors at the end as they are all pretty good although some rabbits can have a reaction to the spray and their fur comes out.

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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:40 pm

I am a big fan of neem powder from gorgeous guineas which you can put in bedding and litter. It keeps the flies and bugs away.

http://www.gorgeousguineas.co.uk/p/product/0606178712-Bugs+Be+Gone%3A+100gms/


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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by Sparky on Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:09 pm

Theo has had Rearguard applied as he does get a dirty bottom sometimes due to not being able to clean properly with no front teefs. Fortunately he didn't have any adverse reaction to it, apart from getting the hump with Humum for not letting him groom for a couple of hours Laughing 



Humum is also growing lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage on to go around the shed and runs.
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Re: Flystrike / Warning signs / what to do / Protectors

Post by paullp on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:11 pm

I have rearguarded all three earlier today. When we used it for Myrtle in the past it has put her off food but they are all fine this time!

We have used xenex ultra on Myrtle in the past and although it is really good (killed all insects in the house!) it made her irritated and jumpy for 3-4 hours after application like it was itchy so we don't use that anymore.

None of them get mucky at the moment but they are going into boarding soon so the stress or if they get their mouths round different foods could make them ill.
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