Fly strike is an infestation of blow flies, which lay their eggs on the peritoneum (bottom) when it becomes damp or dirty. Once the eggs have been laid, the maggots' hatch and feed on the skin, burrowing into the rabbit causing extreme pain and shock, commonly ending in death.
Fly strike can effect both indoor and outdoor rabbits of all ages. If your rabbit is obese, arthritic, unwell with diarrhoea, incontinent or sickness, or rabbits with open wounds, he or she is more likely to be at risk from fly strike.
Blow flies are also attracted to poor hygiene so it of the up most to keep hutches as clean and dry as possible, especially in summer months.
Rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets are effected by fleas and ticks just like all house-hold pets.
A full description of fleas and ticks can be found on the parasite control page.
E. cuniculi is a common parasite that is spread in the urine and affects the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and kidneys.
A recent study at The Edinburgh Vet School claims that this parasite has become the largest cause of death of rabbits in the UK, being the cause of death in just over 50% of rabbits in 2004.
This parasite is particularly worrying as it is zoonotic, meaning it is a parasitic infection that can be passed from animal to human. It can be contracted by the young, elderly, pregnant women or by people with a compromised immune system.
E. cuniculi can cause partial or complete paralysis, urinary incontinence and cystitis, conjunctivitis, cataracts and sore eyes, head tilt, weight and muscle loss, increased thirst, loss of appetite and muscle weakness.
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Our small pets can be affected by both burrowing and biting mites. These range from ear mites, (otodectes) to mange (sarcoptes), and skin mites such as demodex. More information on these mites can be found on the parasite control page.
The most common mite effecting rabbits is Cheyletiella, more commonly known as "walking dandruff".
Cheyletiella is a fur mite that causes severe dandruff. Signs of an infestation can vary from a small patch of scurfy fur, to large white flakes and patches of fur loss covering the rabbit's body.