Monday, June 28, 2010

Fly Strike!

No apologies for returning to this horrid subject, but anyone of a sensitive disposition may prefer not to follow some of the links.

Hot and humid weather is perfect for carrion-feeding flies and there are lots of them about. Unfortunately they don't only feed on rotting substances—they will just as happily lay eggs on living animals who have open wounds, sores of any kind, or wet or soiled fur/skin. Rabbits are particularly vulnerable, but any animal which is having difficulty keeping clean or has matted fur will be at risk.

Sadly the rabbit brought to us late on Saturday evening had to be put to sleep because he was too badly damaged by maggots to be saved. Fatal maggot injury can occur within hours of flies laying eggs on an animal, which is why it is so important to check "at-risk" animals twice daily.

There are more details about preventing fly strike in pets and farm animals on the national RSPCA website (not upsetting) and a truly horrible report of a suffering cat in Kent online.

If you find fly eggs or maggots on any animal it is important to contact a vet immediately. Fly attack is a particular problem for rabbits and there are special veterinary products which can be applied to prevent eggs developing into maggots. Ask your vet about this when your bunnies go in for their Spring myxomatosis boosters.

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