Flystrike: we are fly haters, and we do not apologize.

by Wolf May 31, 2016


Flystrike is a disgusting topic, but we’d rather write about it than hear that any of our lovely customer’s animals actually get it.  And guess where it shows up?  You got it!  The bum!  Sometimes we think all we do is write about bums. Our new slogan:  Check the Bum! 

Rabbits are the most common sufferers of flystrike, but guinea pigs are quite susceptible too.  It isn’t just the little animals – sheep, horses, dogs, nobody is immune.  It just works out that often rabbits have poopy bum and that is a prime location for flystrike.  Any bum that isn’t fresh as a daisy and dry dry dry is just asking for flystrike.

Flystrike happens when nasty flies lay eggs on your animal, the eggs turn into maggots, and the maggots eat their way into your animal’s flesh.  Sorry.  There just isn’t any nice way to put that.

Note: the maggots don’t stop at the surface.  When they are done with whatever dirt might be readily available, they burrow down in.  This is when the real emergency sets in: the maggots release very powerful toxins, and is quickly and efficiently lethal.  These toxins can cause your animal to go into shock, and you have little time to save your animal’s life.

Here’s when to suspect flystrike and leap into action:

FLYSTRIKE IS AN EMERGENCY.  Your animal may have seizures.  Your animal may go into shock (possibly unconscious, cool ears and paws, fast heart rate, fast shallow breathing, pale gums). You may see something like this (sorry for the ickyness factor but you’ve gotta know what to look for):


If this is what you see, you MUST GO TO THE VET RIGHT THIS MINUTE.  Please don’t try to get the maggots off yourself – depending upon how far along the infestation is, they may be in the tissues of your friend.  Medical assistance is necessary, and necessary very fast.  This is not a DIY situation.

Here’s how to prevent flystrike:

Keep your friend’s but clean, dry, and well “aired”.  If your animal has long fur, you may want to keep the back area shaved down.  If your friend is very young, sick, or elderly, they may not be able to clean themselves properly, so step up and take care of that for them.  Don’t let poopy bum happen!

Make sure you’ve got screens in the windows, and keep sliding doors without screens shut.   We don’t recommend using any sprays or chemicals to control flies, since your small friend is very very sensitive to these products as well, and may easily become poisoned just by breathing in any mist, or picking up residues on paws.

 Nature can be a *&#$%.  We’d like to say we love all living things, and flies are only doing what flies are meant to do.  But we do get to hate flystrike.  Hate.

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