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A beautiful, yellow-eyed cat receiving treatment. Doug Hall feeding a well-loved client.

Paws For Thought- Article 13

2nd August 2019



Pets living outdoors (most commonly rabbits and guinea pigs) in the summer are at risk of developing a serious condition called 'Fly-strike' (known as Myiasis.) This is a very serious condition and we always recommend being seen if you notice any signs of diarrhoea, eggs or maggots around their back end or any flies buzzing around them. Prevention is always better than the cure, so if you follow our tips below your pet will be at lower risk of developing this painful condition.


What is 'fly-strike’?


This condition occurs when flies lay their eggs within the tissues of the animal, specifically but not exclusively around the bottom. The eggs then hatch, and the maggots cause severe tissue damage by sadly feeding on the animal. This is unsurprisingly a very severe and painful condition.

If your pet is having diarrhoea, has urine stained fur or is in a dirty cage this can pre-dispose your pet to getting flystrike as it attracts flies to the area. To try and prevent flystrike, if you notice any change to your pet’s droppings or toileting habits (particularly in the summer) let us know as soon as possible.


What should you do?


Please don't bathe your rabbit/guinea pig if you notice signs of flystrike. This make the fur very difficult to clip and clean. Instead, phone us straight away and we can then arrange to see your pet as soon as possible.

We will clip the fur away, clean and remove any eggs/maggots and use 'rear-guard' to try and prevent this from happening again. The sooner we see your pet, the higher chance we have of saving them.


How can you try and prevent flystrike?


    Check your pet regularly to make sure their bottom and the cage is clean. If there are any signs of abnormal urination/defecation, contact us to book an appointment on 01483 538990.

    If you notice lots of flies in the garden, you can bring your pet inside.

    Using rear-guard can help to repel flies and stop flystrike. We sell this at The Cape Veterinary Clinic- let us know if you would like to purchase some and we will order it in for you.


If you require any further information on this article, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01483 538990.


Catherine Hannah BVSc MRCVS.

References: VetsNow