Sunday, June 7, 2009

Maggots! (Fly Strike)

These two videos from explain exactly what flystrike (maggot infestation) is. Warning: some upsetting pictures.

Rabbits are the animals most likely to be at risk, but it is possible for ANY animal, including cats and dogs, to be attacked if he/she has open wounds, soiling round the anus, or has difficulty in grooming all parts of his/her body (for example due to old age or obesity). We had a request for help with treatment for a cat suffering from fly strike at our branch this weekend.

There are veterinary preparations which can be used to reduce the danger of fly attack, so if you keep rabbits, this is something you should discuss with your vet. Be aware that sensible diet is an important method of reducing risk: rabbits should have hay and grass as their main source of calories with vegetables and commercial pellets only as a treat, not their main meal. It is also important to keep cages and litter trays scrupulously clean to avoid attracting flies and prevent them from breeding. Avoid leaving uneaten cat or dog food anywhere where flies can get at it to lay eggs.
Any animal with conditions causing soiling of their anal area needs to be checked for fly eggs at least twice daily during warm weather when flies are active. If eggs or maggots are found this is an emergency and you need to contact your vet immediately. Wounds or sores are also attractive to flies and should be checked as well.

1 comment:

  1. Have just returned from leaving my cat (14) at the vets. He had large maggots from fly strike. We did not realise because he has long hair, kept out of our way and would not let us close to him when he was around. He had loose faeces two days ago and has trouble grooming so, with the hot weather, he was obviously an easy target. He thankfully seems to be recovering, but look out for the signs-listless, loss of appetite, not happy to sit down, generally not himself. We will keep a really good eye on him in the future! NB Dont delay going to the vets.