It is essential that rabbit owners constantly monitor for signs of flystrike.
Flystrike, also known as myiasis, is a serious condition that can affect all rabbits at any time of the year. However, we see an increase in cases during the warmer months.
It occurs when flies lay eggs onto your rabbit’s fur. These eggs then hatch into maggots which feed on your rabbit’s flesh. This leads to infection and severe tissue damage and is life threatening. If you believe your rabbit may be suffering from flystrike, treat it as a veterinary emergency and contact Alpha Vets immediately.
As well as regularly checking your rabbit for signs of fly eggs or maggots, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of your rabbit becoming affected by flystrike:
- Hygiene – regularly clean your rabbit’s living areas and remove damp and dirty bedding to avoid attracting flies.
- Fly control – as well as keeping the area clean, invest in fly screens or fly traps to use around your rabbit’s living areas.
- Regular grooming – keeping your rabbit’s fur free of faecal matter, particularly around their hind end, will reduce the risk of flies laying their eggs on your rabbit’s fur.
- Bunny-proofing their hutch by using very fine mesh will stop flies entering their living areas, making them less susceptible to flystrike.
- Fly repellent – check with our vets about which products are safe to use around your bunny’s home.
Flea infestations on your rabbit and their living areas will cause itching, discomfort and there is the risk of skin infections. By cleaning their living areas and grooming them regularly, it will help prevent flea infestations. Contact us if our vets need to advise on an appropriate flea treatment for your rabbit.
Rabbits can be affected by two different kinds of mite:
- Ear mites – tiny parasites that cause itching, head shaking and inflammation of the ears. Regularly inspect ears for ear mites or evidence of them, such as darkened ear wax.
- Fur mites – microscopic parasites that cause itching, hair loss and skin irritation. Keeping bedding clean and regularly grooming will reduce fur mite infestations.
If your rabbit is exhibiting symptoms of either fur or ear mites, contact our team for advice on the best treatments.
These parasites attach themselves to your rabbits’ skin and feed on their blood. They can transmit diseases that also affect humans so regularly checking for signs of ticks is essential to keep your household healthy. If you do find a tick on your rabbit’s body, contact us for the best ways to remove them. Incorrect removal can result in infection, so it is best to consult a vet.
Keeping your rabbit’s living and exercise areas free of tall grass/vegetation will reduce the risk of them becoming affected by these parasites and certain parasite prevention products will help keep your rabbit protected.
Practicing good hygiene and a clean/balanced diet will reduce the risk of intestinal parasites. Chat to our team about what products are available to reduce the risk of certain intestinal parasites in your rabbit, such as pinworms or roundworms.
By following basic hygiene, regularly grooming and ensuring your rabbit’s living environment is as clean as possible, you will provide your bunny with the best chance of avoiding parasite infestation. Remember, if you do notice signs for any of the parasites listed above, contact us for further advice immediately.