This year we have seen more cases of fly strike than in previous years. The condition is generally seen between April and October, but if this warm, humid weather continues we may be seeing it into November. Amongst our pets, Flystrike is most commonly seen in rabbits, but this year we have also seen cases in dogs and cats. Flystrike is a devastating condition caused by the fly Lucilia sericata / green bottle fly.
These flies are attracted to damp fur, generally seen at the rear end of the animal or between the shoulder blades. Each fly can lay up to 200 eggs which can hatch into maggots within 8 hours. If left the maggots can eat away at large areas of tissue.
If caught early, prompt treatment comprising of removal of maggots, clipping and cleaning fur from debris, pain relief, and topical soothing products are effective. If the case if severe, more extensive treatment is required and can sometimes be fatal.
Animals who cannot groom themselves effectively due to long fur, obesity or arthritis are at a greater risk. It is important to keep the fur clean and check daily for any signs of maggots or eggs. If maggots/eggs are found we would recommend seeking veterinary advice.