With the warmer weather has come an increase in numbers of flies, which means an increased risk of flystrike in our pets. Whilst rabbits and guinea pigs are more commonly affected cases can also occur in cats and dogs. Flies prefer to lay their eggs where it is warm and moist so animals with a wet coat, particularly animals who leak urine or get faeces stuck around their back end, are most at risk. What can initially start as a low number of eggs or maggots can soon become a more severe infestation as more flies are attracted to the affected areas. Animals affected by fly strike can suffer severe tissue damage and become systemically unwell.
To reduce the risk of fly strike in pets, particularly those with soiling issues, should be checked regularly (at least once a day); animals suffering from urine or faecal soiling should be cleaned up as much as possible; bedding should be changed regularly; fly repellents may also be used but it is important to ensure any products are safe for use around pets. If you notice evidence of fly eggs or maggots on your pet, if possible, remove as many as you safely can and seek veterinary attention. Further information on fly strike can be found in our Summer 2019 newsletter.