Small Mammal Flystrike is a condition that affects small mammals, caused flies. It occurs when flies lay eggs on an animal’s fur or skin, usually around their rear end or near wounds, and the hatched larvae begin to feed on the animal’s flesh.
Flystrike can cause severe pain and discomfort for affected animals, and if left untreated it can lead to a serious infection and even death. The most common type of fly that causes this condition is the common housefly. Other types of flies, such as bluebottle and greenbottle, can also cause it. Flies are attracted to animals with dirty or soiled fur, or animals that have open wounds or injuries.
Symptoms of Small Mammal Flystrike
The most common symptom of a small mammal flystrike is the presence of maggots on the animal’s fur or skin. These maggots will often be clustered around wounds, skin folds, or the rear end. Other symptoms can include:
- Excessive scratching
- Biting at the affected area
In severe cases, the animal can have shock, dehydration, and even death if left untreated.
Diagnosing Small Mammal Flystrike
A veterinarian will need to conduct a physical examination of the animal in order to diagnose flystrike. This examination will include looking for maggots on the fur or skin, as well as checking for any other signs of infection. The veterinarian might also take a sample of the larvae, in order to determine which type of fly is causing the issue.
Stages of Small Mammal Flystrike
The stages of flystrike can be split into three categories:
The female fly lays her eggs on the animal’s fur or skin, usually near wounds, folds in the skin, or around their rear end. These eggs hatch within 1-2 days.
The larvae begin to feed on the animal’s flesh and can cause severe pain and discomfort for the animal. The larvae will molt several times over a period of 1-2 weeks, eventually becoming fully mature maggots.
The larvae pupate and transform into adult flies, which can then lay more eggs and begin the cycle again.
Treating Small Mammal Flystrike
The most important step in treating flystrike is to remove any maggots or larvae from the animal’s skin as soon as possible. This can be done by using a tweezer or a soft cloth, and then bathing the animal in warm water to ensure that all of the larvae are removed. After this, it’s also important to treat any wounds or sores that they might have. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help with this process.
In order to prevent flystrike, it’s important to keep your small mammal’s environment clean and free from excess dirt and debris. It’s also important to check your animal regularly for any cuts or open wounds, because these are more likely to attract flies.
Preventing Small Mammal Flystrike
The best way to prevent flystrike is to keep the environment of your small mammal clean. This means regularly cleaning cages and bedding, removing excess dirt and debris, and ensuring that there is adequate ventilation. It’s also important to check your animal on a regular basis for any cuts or open wounds, because these can attract flies more quickly.