Is your rabbit at risk?
Press release issued: 25 June 2007
A campaign to educate rabbit owners to recognise the warnings signs of an often fatal condition has been launched by Bristol University's Small Animal Practice. Known as 'Fly Strike' or 'Myiasis', the condition occurs for a number of reasons and most pet rabbits are at risk.
At the onset of Myiasis, flies are attracted to soiled areas of the rabbit, such as the bottom or any wounds the rabbit may have. The flies lay their eggs onto the area, which then hatch into maggots and burrow into the flesh of the rabbit.
The maggots do extensive damage to the soft tissue of the rabbit during just a few short hours, and all rabbits will die if the condition is not treated quickly.
Due to the number of Fly Strike cases treated by the University's Small Animal Practice every year, the Practice have launched a summer campaign aimed at educating rabbit owners to the warning signs and how to keep risks to a minimum.
The Practice will also be speaking to pet shops, and are offering a free consultation with a Practice Veterinary Nurse. The Nurse will perform a very basic examination and offer advice and help on Fly Strike. Costs may be incurred for any Veterinary treatment that is required as a result of the examination.
Yolanda Tucker, Veterinary Nurse, said: "Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are complex pets to keep, due to their very specific dietary requirements, and susceptibility to a wide range of problems such as dental disease and abscesses.
"If owners are aware of the potential problems that may occur and know what to look out for when they take on a rabbit, then we can significantly reduce the risk of Fly Strike occurring."
The Fly Strike campaign will run until October at the Small Animal Practice, Bristol University's School of Veterinary Science, Langford. For appointments or enquiries, please telephone (01934) 852422.