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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Fly hit

My rabbit appears to have fly hit.

I'm hoping I caught it early. I like to use natural healthcare, and so when I noticed all this crusty stuff around the outside of her eye, I brushed it out and put some anti-worm powder after wiping it clean too. I had some antibiotic ointment that I used to try and smother anything that would be left.

I'm hoping I caught it early enough as I try to avoid going to the vet.

Does anyone have experience with this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 10:12 PM
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Do you mean fly strike?

Did you actually see maggots on her?

Fly strike (I assume that's what you meant in your post) is when flys lay eggs on the rabbit, usually on wounds or dirty areas, and then the eggs hatch into maggots which eat into the rabbit. Fly strike is most common on rabbit's backend.

If your rabbit has fly strike, it should see a vet. Even if the maggots are all removed, they release a toxin that can be deadly.

A crusty eye on a rabbit does not mean fly strike. It could be a ton of diffrent things - mites, an eye infection, tooth root problems - among other things. Unless you actually see maggots I wouldn't assume fly strike if all the rabbit has is a crusty eye.

I wouldn't advise putting worm powder and antibiodics near your rabbits eye like that unless instructed to do so by a vet. You don't know for sure what is causing the problem, and you could very well do more harm than good.

I strongly recommend that you take her to the vet to find out what she has for sure, and how to treat it.

Good luck! I hope you find out what's going on and your rabbit is feeling better soon.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I 've also heard it referred to as 'fly hit'.

I didn't want to make my post too wordy ... so I didn't explain that I've noticed a lot of flies around my bunny. She has had 'weepy eyes' for several days now ... we've had other bunnies with the condition and it has just gone away before.

However, now I wish I had done some more research. To my knowledge flies lay their eggs in 'dirty places' (I've spoken to a breeder whose bunny couldn't keep his bottom clean and ended up with fly strike). However, when I researched today, an article said they also lay eggs in moist places, where there's bacteria

The 'crusty area' I referred to was not in the eye itself ... that's why I felt comfortable using the powder and the ointment. No, they're not wiggly maggots yet, problably still in the egg stage. I should probably go on line and look up maggots in the different stages. I could look up mites too ... I guess I've just been a little paranoid about fly strike since this breeder told me her story.

Tomorrow I will probably take her to the vet so they diagnose it. I have just had bad experiences with vets who really don't know about rabbits. Rabbits get traumatized too ... so I avoid taking them in if at all possible. In this case though, I think it might be a good idea. Thanks for the input and advice! I'll keep you posted
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 08:18 AM
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Hmm... Yeah I keep my rabbits indoors so I don't really have to worry about flies, but just because you see flies doesn't mean it's fly strike. Although I completly understand why you'd be paranoid about it, it's really pretty gross and can be deadly.

Do you have a good rabbit vet? www.rabbit.org has a great list of rabbit savy vets if you don't have one. You really have to take them to a vet who knows and has experience with rabbits, because they are so diffrent from treating cats or dogs. However, these days rabbit owners are lucky that there are a good number of rabbit savy vets out there.

http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/vet.html
http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html

Good luck! Feel free to ask any more questions and definatly keep us updated


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the leads for vets. I'll go right to it and find one in my area hopefully.

By the way, I've read that it only takes one fly and although I keep flies out of my house too, there is still a risk with indoor bunnies.

I looked up the life cycle of flies and what seemed to be on my bunny was eggs, not the actual maggots, unless the vet identifies them as something else.

I've only had a brief look at her this morning as she was washing herself, especially around her eye and I was trying to get breakfast going for the family.

Pretty soon here I'll have a closer look at her with a magnifying glass etc.

Will keep you posted!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 12:42 PM
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Yeah indoor rabbits can get it too, but it's not as common. It's much more common in outdoor rabbits, and in rabbits with open wounds, skin infections, and/or dirty or damp fur.

If you think your rabbit has fly eggs on her, you can try to remove them with a flea comb. Also, vinegar can help to kill them. I would still take her to a vet though, to make sure that's what it really is and if it is, to make sure that you got them all.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:30 PM
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i live on a farm so i know a little about fly strike, normally flies don't lay eggs on some animal that is moving around good and can fend them off, however they do swarm and bite at them

Normally flies lay around the rear end where there is dirt, poo, wet and where the animal has a hard time reaching to cleanse their self

you can rid flies by a number of good traps you can look up how to make home made ones online.

when flies are an issue it is best to keep the cage as clean as possible and keep your bunny clean as possible.

i would take your bun to the vet anyway but just because there are a lot of flies, and she has weepy eyes, doesn't mean that there is fly strike there, but weepy eyes sounds like a concern for itself.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 12:56 PM
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I've never had fly strike on my buns, but I have on two kittens years ago. My uncle referred to it as wolf worm - but it's the same idea. With wolf worm, there's actually a small dug canal that the maggot lives in. But if try to pull it out yourself, you risk breaking it and it's toxins enter the animals body and is usually fatal. One kitten had it right under his chin, he was a bit older and survived (a vet removed the maggot). The other kitten was only a few weeks old and had it on her belly. We didn't catch it in time and she didn't make it.


All the same - I strongly recomment letting a vet handle it. Best of luck to you!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Too bad about your kitten!

I followed all the advice I was getting and took my bunny to the vet. They had to give her fluids and medication, shave off the area to remove those nasty things ... and although she's 5 years old and we've been having some amazing heat (in the 100s) she has made it so far.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 07:14 PM
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Glad to hear the vet was able to help. Can you bring her in until she is better?

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 10:26 PM
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Icks - I hate the hot weather! Hope you are finding ways to keep cool.

I'm glad you got her into the vets, and hope she's feeling better!


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