In our post last week about caring for your pets in warm weather we touched upon Flystrike.

Flystrike, which is also known as myiasis, is known for affecting rabbits can also occur in other pets too.

So what exactly is Flystrike? The condition is caused when flies are attracted to dirty and moist fur, often around an animal’s bottom. The flies then lay eggs in the fur which hatch as maggots; this can happen in just a few hours. The maggots eat into the animals flesh causing the animal pain, and if not treated promptly can lead to toxic shock and ultimately death. It is more prevalent in warmer weather, especially between April and October.

As the condition can take hold very quickly it is important to monitor your animal and, if you see any signs of maggots, take them to the vets straight away.

The best course of action however is prevention so it is important to check you animal twice a day for any dirt or maggots, especially around their bottom. Insecticide sprays are also available to prevent flies laying their eggs in the first place. It is also key that any wounds or other problems are managed and treated as appropriate.

Flystrike can occur even in well cared for pets however it is worth bearing in mind that animals with soiled rear ends or dirty fur are at higher risk. This means it is important to be extra vigilant with pets that are unable to properly clean themselves, are ill, suffer from an internal parasitic infection and have unsuitable diets.

If you ever have any concerns about the health and well-being of your pet we recommend that you contact your vet.