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View Full Version : Warning over Flystrike, feel so sick



kayjay
05-09-2012, 10:25 PM
This will be my last post on RU. I thought I was a good rabbit owner but I'm not. Over the summer I have struggled more and more with my rabbit's mucky bottom, taken her to the vets countless times to be shaved and tried to clean her myself but each time her skin was so thin I've cut it and she's had to have glue or stitches. I tried everything to stop the problem from pellets/no pellets/hay only/no veg etc etc. Nothing had any effect, she'd be ok for a few days then she just didnt' clean her bum and the problem built up again. I checked her daily. I checked her and cleaned her out on Monday evening, quite late on. Her bum was dirty and I couldn't clean it so I just thought to myself I'd book her into the vets on Weds or Thurs as I was busy yesterday. Yesterday I went to feed her and she was seemingly ok, lying down in the bedroom bit of her hutch, looked fine. And I didn't check her as I knew that if I did she'd run off the next time she saw me and hide in the bottom of the run where I couldn't get her, and I'd need to get her to take her to the vets. Last night my hubby fed her, in the dark. This morning I went out and she was really really unwell. I tipped her up and to my horror saw maggots burrowing into her. I vomited and my hubby rushed her to the vets (I was hysterical) and she was pts.

I haven't stopped crying yet, 12 hours on, and I don't know if I ever will. I got complacent as she'd had a mucky bum for a couple of years and she'd always been ok. I'd actually contacted Kayj and said I couldn't cope anymore with her and she needed an indoor home where someone could keep a close eye on her and I was going to take her to the vets to be cleaned up again before she went. Over the past year, I cleaned her, washed her, got her shaved and I got complacent. I should have checked her yesterday and I didn't. And she died a horrible death and I feel so horribly guilty and sick to my stomach. I will never have a pet again.

I don't want to hear it wasn't my fault, it was. What I want is to say to anyone out there with a 'dirty bum' rabbit, check them as much as you can. I had read about fly strike but had no idea it happens so quickly or it was so horrific. I'm an ex nurse and have seen some horrible things but this was one of the worst moments of my life. I'm so sorry for letting Opal down, she'd been a devoted companion to my rabbit MJ before he died and she deserved so much better. I'm so sorry for letting Kayj down. Please don't let your rabbit die like this. Check them and check them again. I'm so sorry.

sierra*323
05-09-2012, 10:30 PM
:( I don't really know what to say but didn't want to read and run. Sending hugs and hoping things get better for you. Sleep tight little one xx

lolabun
05-09-2012, 10:32 PM
Please don't give up!

I know you said you don't want to hear it, but it really wasn't your fault!
You did everything for her. Flystrike can happen so, so suddenly!

The fact that she had a mucky bum for a while, and you took such good care of her, is a testament to you as a person, you as a bunny owner and your deep love for her! You took care of her and loved her. She knew you loved her.

I know it's painful now, and it will be painful still, but you shouldn't give up. You shouldn't say you will never have another pet.

It's not true that you were to blame.

Thinking of you in this difficult time.

xx

alio71
05-09-2012, 10:34 PM
I'm sorry, none of us are perfect xxx

Janey
05-09-2012, 10:37 PM
I am so so sorry.

I have a rabbit who gets a mucky bum and I know the constant battle to keep on top of it. I just came to bed now and thought 'I won't check her bum, she hates me doing it and she will just run from me more' , I can completely understand how you leave it 'just that once'. Your post made me check Poppy's bottom and highlighted the importance when I was becoming complacent so thank you.

We aren't perfect,we make mistakes, it is human nature. I know nothing anyone can say will make you feel better but please try not to be too hard on yourself. Big hug and Binky free little girl.x.x.

chelle
05-09-2012, 10:39 PM
:cry:oh hun...Im so very sorry....we all sometimes dont do what we know we should do or check...I know how you feel...this happened to a bunny I had when I was younger...I didnt clean out the aviaries and my bunny Thumper also was in this state...Ive never really been able to forgive myself....its aweful to feel like this...Im so very sorry...binky free Kayj...xxx....You did so very well looking after her with such an ongoing issue....I know its hard xxxxhuge hugs xxx

Neleh
05-09-2012, 10:45 PM
I'm so scared of fly strike, Malteser is a poo bum bun and he hates me cleaning and checking his bum. I go mad if the hubby lets him play out without checking his bum first. I can't imagine how it must have looked but I'm guessing it is all you can see when you close your eyes.
Don't feel bad, its tough, you knew it was tough and you were doing something about it but re-homing isn't an easy process, it can't be done over night and a real messy bum can't be sorted over night either. *hugs*

susie bun
05-09-2012, 10:51 PM
I'm so sorry. It was very brave of you to post. As others have said, none of us are perfect, and it is clear that you cared deeply for her. xxx

helen01
05-09-2012, 10:57 PM
So very sorry:(

bunny babe
05-09-2012, 11:01 PM
I am so very sorry and agree you have been brave to come on here, but please don't let this be your last post.

Flystrike can happen so quickly (within a couple of hours), especially in the mild weather we are having. I too have experienced it but my bunny (who had cancer and they could obviously sense she was very ill) did survive it as I was lucky enough to spot it early on so I do know how you are feeling as some had hatched. I am extra cautious and check at least twice a day, even though they hate it and sometime yes I too miss the odd time as one is very feisty but your post has made me more vigilant again and I won't let a bit of feistiness get in my way of checking in future.

Sending hugs x

Bella&Travis
05-09-2012, 11:03 PM
So sorry *hugs* xx

Mrs. Bunnykins
06-09-2012, 08:28 AM
I am so sorry.:cry:

But please don't leave RU. You are amongst friends here and no doubt by sharing your experience of owning rabbits will be able to help others.


Please re-consider.................................xxxx

Take care. x

Jack's-Jane
06-09-2012, 08:31 AM
:cry:

I dont know what else to say..............

cpayne
06-09-2012, 08:43 AM
So sorry for your loss. I think you were a very caring rabbit owner and please try not to feel guilty because you didn't check once. I'm sure she had a wonderful life with you and were doing all you can for her.

Geoff's people
06-09-2012, 09:08 AM
Sweetheart, the horror of flystrike is one that is indescribable unless it has happened to you. After MANY MANY years of animal keeping I too had a case this year with one of my lambs and I was distraught. I check my sheep twice a day every day minimum and this time I had checked just before tea time and got a call only a few hours later to say I had a lamb down. I cannot thank the people who's land I use enough as they adore my sheep and spend hours watching them, they phoned as soon as she had refused to come get her treat.

I had missed the eggs and she had maggots:cry::cry:
Fortunately for me, as a shepherd I am allowed to keep some good drugs on hand so she had ABX, pain killer and ivomec within minutes. I was able to save her thanks to the quick actions of my friends calling as soon as they noticed. I was there 2 hours previously and she was acting completely normal.

She now has the most ridiculous haircut and is still tinged with the blue spray. This was over a month ago and I am still applying salve to keep the damaged skin supple.

2 hours, that's all it took and I have treated many many sheep for other people and know all the warning signs and smells yet I missed one of my own babies and it took her down in 2 hours:(

You will need time to grieve and you will need time for the sheer horror of it to lose it's cold clutch on your heart. You will always remember but the details will blur over time and you will begin to feel better.

If you want to chat, pm me
I will keep you in my thoughts.

Binky free Opal :love:

lucy24
06-09-2012, 09:36 AM
you poor thing im so sorry! the exact same thing happened to me a few years ago-i went to bed crying because of the thought that i had been to blame. i thought i would never have rabbits again! but now i have 5 :oops: its not easy to get over so i really do understand ! all i can say is that at least you know where you went wrong and you would never make that mistake again. im now obsessed with checking bums but i know that even then threre is always a risk from those awful little things!! again im so sorry but dont give up on yourself! i know the guilt is horrendous but you will get past it!

all the best,

Lucy

MrsGibbo
06-09-2012, 09:57 AM
I'm so very sorry to hear about Opal. You have my deepest sympathies as we nearly lost Rupert to the same thing yesterday.

Huge, huge hugs to you. xx

Amy & Amber
06-09-2012, 10:05 AM
I'm so sorry kayjay, it's not your fault.

I promise that with time it will get easier x

Binky free opal xx

xlaurax
06-09-2012, 10:29 AM
I'm so very sorry for your loss. This is how my boyfriend lost his childhood bun and he found her :( I can only imagine how horrific flystrike is.

You're so brave for posting this. I know you don't want to hear it but I'm saying it anyway - it wasn't your fault!

Captain Helen
06-09-2012, 10:41 AM
How awful, I'm so sorry :cry: You did everything you could, it's not your fault. Binky free Opal xx

ripminnie
06-09-2012, 10:47 AM
:cry:

I dont know what else to say..............
This :cry:

parsnipbun
06-09-2012, 10:56 AM
Just to echo others - I have had four 'almost' cases here over the years -

one a bunny who was briefly incontinent after an op (and was EC as well), another renal failure bun, another who had an eye infection and was very elderly and they went for his rear end even though it was the eye that was weeping, , and a 3 legged bun who again was getting on rather.

In each case through what I can only call freak circumstances we caught them literally within an hour of it happening (in one case we actually saw the fly 'acting oddly, another it was within 10 mins) but even with that the maggots had started to hatch by the time we got to the vets in two of the cases.

All survived - some with nothing more than an injection and a wash - .

Your very brave post does highlight very much that if a bun doesn't come to food and hasnt been seen out and about that day then they definitely need hauling out from wherever they are and checking - and I think it s very very good of you to post it because it will really really emphasise to everyone how careful to be, and by that you will have saved future lives.

I really feel for you.

.

KarenM
06-09-2012, 02:33 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. :( It's natural to blame ourselves and hindsight is a wonderful thing. I hope in time you can forgive yourself because you didn't intend for her to become ill - you made a decision based on what you thought would be least stressful for Opal at that time and you were just very unfortunate. Take care. xxx

kayjay
06-09-2012, 03:53 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind words. I keep crying, and every time I think about it I feel sick with guilt and I don't think that will ever go away. And every time I feel of poor Opal and what she suffered I feel like vomiting. I really don't want to go through this again ever. I've lost two buns to EC despite preventative treatment with panacur and now this. So I think I can confidently say I won't be having a rabbit in the near future, if ever. And if I ever did it would have to be in a new house where I can keep them indoors or in a conservatory or similar, so I can keep an even closer eye on them. I knew I was losing control of the bum situation, which is why I was going to rehome her to someone who could keep her indoors and I'm so angry with myself for not seeing this coming. Hindsight is a good thing, but I considered myself a good rabbit owner and that's now gone. My friend pointed out yesterday that I have cleaned Opal's bum for a good few years now and she's helped me on several occasions to wash her but recently it's become harder to keep her clean and she hated it so much she'd hide in the far corner of the run where I couldn't reach her if she saw me coming.

Just let this be a lesson to anyone with a mucky bum bunny, check them twice a day even if they hate it and don't assume it won't happen to you.

Mackers
06-09-2012, 04:38 PM
So sorry for your loss and thank you for being so brave to post about it. I think if you ask people on RU, many of us will have experienced fly strike. I know I have - but I was lucky and my bunny survived. All I can say is if your post makes just one person check their bunny then something good has come out of something awful. Hugs xx

*lily*
06-09-2012, 05:13 PM
So sorry xxx

Tinsel
06-09-2012, 05:54 PM
The hardest losses to cope with are the ones where we feel we've contributed, but the important thing is to remember that Opal herself is pain-free and at peace.

It's almost impossible to keep pets without making some error of judgement at some point. I'm so sorry yours had such devastating consequences, but it was an honest mistake, and although torturing yourself with "what-ifs" is probably part of the grieving process, I really hope you can forgive yourself in time and find some kind of peace..... So very, very sorry. :cry:

BB Mommy
06-09-2012, 06:00 PM
I'm sorry you have lost Opal - flystrike is horrib le:(

I have kept rabbits for years, and regularly through my work talk to people about the risks of flystrike, yet I had a case last year with my BB.

Luckily I caught her in time as the maggots had only recently hatched and I got her treated immediately, but she had an awful wound that took weeks to heal properly.

People need to be aware that it is not only mucky bums that attract flies. Incontinent rabbits and damp fur are just as big a risk, if not bigger.

The flies don't often lay the eggs actually in the poopy area, but often just above the tail, at the back of their necks, on the underside of their legs, in fact anywhere.

At risk rabbits need to be checked ALL OVER, not just a quick tip to look at their bum. I didn't see BB's infestation at first - it was only because I'd bought her up to the house to check why she was acting differently that I found them. I shudder to think that I so nearly missed seeing them (they were right in the crook of her back leg, deep in her fur)

So sorry about Opal:(:(:(

Laurachapstick
06-09-2012, 10:27 PM
I also lost my rabbit, Toby, yesterday to fly strike. I have read about it before but for whatever reason never really appreciated the risk. Toby had problems with his bottom all his life. I have spent 4 years 7 months doing my best to keep his bottom clean. I too had put Toby out in the garden during the milder months thinking he would be happier out there.

Yesterday morning he seemed quiet but I was in a rush for work. At lunch he was still quiet so I picked him up and was horrified by what I saw. Can't get that image out of my head. I took him straight to the vets but they said the wound wouldn't heal and he was put to sleep. I couldn't bring myself to see him one last time.

I am overwhelmed with guilt. Also anger. My vet was aware of his bum issues but never once warned me about fly strike of advised I could buy a product to guard against it. I have done countless research on the Internet over the years but only ever really focused on his diet.

Please be vigilant. Don't let this happen to your rabbit.

happybun
06-09-2012, 10:59 PM
goodness, i am so sorry for the losses people have suffered. i'll check my buns again tonight.

kayjay
07-09-2012, 07:57 AM
I also lost my rabbit, Toby, yesterday to fly strike. I have read about it before but for whatever reason never really appreciated the risk. Toby had problems with his bottom all his life. I have spent 4 years 7 months doing my best to keep his bottom clean. I too had put Toby out in the garden during the milder months thinking he would be happier out there.

Yesterday morning he seemed quiet but I was in a rush for work. At lunch he was still quiet so I picked him up and was horrified by what I saw. Can't get that image out of my head. I took him straight to the vets but they said the wound wouldn't heal and he was put to sleep. I couldn't bring myself to see him one last time.

I am overwhelmed with guilt. Also anger. My vet was aware of his bum issues but never once warned me about fly strike of advised I could buy a product to guard against it. I have done countless research on the Internet over the years but only ever really focused on his diet.

Please be vigilant. Don't let this happen to your rabbit.

Hugs to you, I know exactly what you're going through, I still can't get the image out of my head :( I lay in bed last night for ages as everytime I close my eyes I see poor Opal. I too focused on her diet. Each time I took her to be shaved by the vet they charged me 25 and her bum would be ok for a few days then as soon as the fur grew back the poo would start accumulating again. If I got her when it was fresh I could wipe her clean but if it dried it was impossible to cut away without her skin tearing. And I just couldn't afford a weekly trip to the vets so I did the best I could which obviously wasn't enough. I was too upset to go with Opal to the vets, I was so lucky that my hubby was there and he took her and stayed with her whilst the vet put her to sleep. I have since heard a few people locally say flystrike is a big problem this year and they've lost lambs to it. That feeling of the realisation that as I lifted her skin, she had a big wound with maggots in, will never leave me.

BB Mommy - now I had no idea they can lay their eggs anywhere, I have only ever checked the bottom area and briefly at that, as we know rabbits hate being tipped upside down.

parsnipbun
07-09-2012, 08:01 AM
I'm sorry you have lost Opal - flystrike is horrib le:(

I have kept rabbits for years, and regularly through my work talk to people about the risks of flystrike, yet I had a case last year with my BB.

Luckily I caught her in time as the maggots had only recently hatched and I got her treated immediately, but she had an awful wound that took weeks to heal properly.

People need to be aware that it is not only mucky bums that attract flies. Incontinent rabbits and damp fur are just as big a risk, if not bigger.

The flies don't often lay the eggs actually in the poopy area, but often just above the tail, at the back of their necks, on the underside of their legs, in fact anywhere.

At risk rabbits need to be checked ALL OVER, not just a quick tip to look at their bum. I didn't see BB's infestation at first - it was only because I'd bought her up to the house to check why she was acting differently that I found them. I shudder to think that I so nearly missed seeing them (they were right in the crook of her back leg, deep in her fur)

So sorry about Opal:(:(:(

I have found that between tail and upper back is their favourite

millymolly3
09-09-2012, 07:10 PM
So sorry to hear your sad news!

You come across as a very loving, conscientious rabbit owner!

One of my rabbits is prone to a sticky bum but hates being handled so your thread has at least, made me extra vigilant :oops:

Thank you for your post,

Thinking of you x

Barn Yard Bunnies
09-09-2012, 07:20 PM
:cry::cry: Oh sweetheart I want to give you a big hug.

I had to have the back door open all day and the big flies were relentless. I found maggots in my bunnies hutch years ago.

I am very very sorry you lost Opal. You sound like a very caring owner who loved Opal.

VickyC83
09-09-2012, 09:26 PM
I think everything has been said in other peoples posts.

Honestly, even if you'd checked her it could have still happened. It takes hold so quick. My vet was telling me yesterday he has seen massive numbers of cases this year compared to others.

I know nothing anyone else says can stop how you're feeling, but as others have said - the fact you cleaned her so lovingly for so long really is a testament :)

If only buns could talk eh?

Keep your chin up and stick with RU x