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Vets in Scarborough

Alma Veterinary Surgery
11 Alma Square
YO11 1JR
Tel: 01723 360484


The dangers of flystrike in pet rabbits

Flystrike is a real danger to your rabbit in the warm summer months. Flystrike occurs when flies lay eggs around the rabbit's bottom, especially if the rear is dirty or matted.

This very unpleasant and sometimes fatal problem is wholly preventable. Some key points you can do are:

- ensure your rabbits rear is clean. If it isn't, then ask us for advice

- check your rabbit daily

- use net curtains or fine netting to reduce fly entry into a hutch

- use REARGUARD every 10 weeks on your rabbit-this is easily applied and protects against the maggots. This is a prescription treatment for which your rabbit needs to be under our care.

Flystrike is characterised by the speed with which it can kill a rabbit. Often, the owner will not be aware of a problem until fly eggs laid on the animal have hatched into maggots.

By this time, it may be too late, as the larvae will already have started devouring the rabbit.

Rearguard® is the only product licensed for the prevention of flystrike. It contains an Insect Growth Regulator, cyromazine.

When flies lay eggs on a treated rabbit, they will hatch as normal, and develop as far as harmless L1 larvae. Here, cyromazine goes to work, preventing the larvae from developing into the L2 and L3 stages which would otherwise feed on the epidermis and lymphatic exudate.

Rearguard® comes in liquid formulation in a single-use bottle with a sponge applicator making it easy to apply to the rabbit's fur. It remains effective for 10 weeks. Flystrike 'season' in the UK runs from at least April to October.

See more rabbit information