Flystrike (also known as Myiasis) is when flies lay their eggs on a rabbit's skin (usually around the bottom). The eggs quickly hatch and the maggots chew their way into the rabbit's skin. This can happen within hours and can very quickly become fatal.
Always check your rabbit's bottom twice daily, and every time you pick him up.
Any rabbit can get flystrike but the risk is highest for rabbits with dirty bottoms, wet fur or wounds. If your rabbit often has a dirty bottom please read 'the importance of poo' - you may have to change his diet. Flystrike is especially common during hot weather, mainly summer, but it can occur at any time. Keep your rabbit’s living quarters clean and dry: flies are attracted by damp, smelly conditions.
All rabbits should have their bottoms checked twice daily, especially in summer. However, if any bunny is quiet and listless; or appears restless and shows signs of discomfort, pick them up immediately and check for eggs or maggots.
Don't just try and clean him yourself - telephone your veterinary practice IMMEDIATELY. Flystrike is a true emergency - day or night - and treatment cannot wait. So long as it does not delay your trip to the vet, pick off any visible maggots with tweezers. Do not dunk the rabbit in water: fur in the affected area may need to be shaved and wet fur clogs the clippers. Flystrike is a very serious condition and is, sadly, often fatal. However, rabbits can make a full recovery if the condition if found and treated quickly. Flyblown rabbits are usually in pain and severe shock, and need skilled veterinary and nursing care.
Remember to check your bunnies' bottoms twice a day - and more often on hot days! - keep their living conditions clean, and take out preventative measures.