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Thread: FLYSTRIKE! Warning to all!

  1. #1
    Mama Doe
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    Default FLYSTRIKE! Warning to all!

    Hi, I hope you don't mind me posting, but I feel I need to to act as a warning to you all so as none of you have to go through what we are going through at the moment.

    Yesterday afternoon, I sat out in the garden and began to groom/clip nails on Leo and Adam (my two very fluffy long-haired lionheads). I started on Adam who as he has the thickest coat of the two. I began to start brushing and clipping back his coat (as I do in warmer weather for comfort as it is so thick and even grows over his eyes). Did his top and around his head. Got to his rump where the fur was very deep and thick and a couple of mats had formed. I started clipping and as I clipped one section and the fur came away...all I could see was maggots. Wriggling maggots.

    I know about flystrike after having rabbits for many years and reading about it, but naively thought it would 'never happen to me' as I am so obsessive with cleaning and checking my rabbits. What a fool. I completely broke down and panicked, shouting out to my husband. He came and within 15 mins we had got Adam to the emergency vets. We also took Leo, as although his coat isn't as thick as Adam's, it is still very thick and long.

    We were at the vets for about 45mins as the vet went to shave both rabbits to have a look at the extent of the flystrike. The image I had then, and still do is a hole into the inside of my rabbit and maggots. Horrific.

    After 40mins the vet called us back in to say that he needed more time to shave the rabbits as their coats were so thick they were blunting up the blades and the shaver needed to cool down so they needed to take a break. He advised us to go home and await a call within an hour or two.

    We did.

    An hour and a half later, he called us to say that thankfully Leo didn't have any maggots on his (unfortunately they had nipped him twice accidently whilst clipping though that needed to be glued and apologised for that). Adam on the other hand had flystrike with maggots that had got under his skin. They had caused damage around his bottom and opened a skin wound 4-5cms wide revealing the muscle. Thankfully, the maggots hadn't got to eating the muscle, but had extensively damaged the skin in large areas.
    The next 24hours were crucial.

    We went back to the vets and I was close to being physically sick when I saw the damage that had been caused to my beautiful rabbit. Both boys came home with us yesterday and have been moved into the house. The vets advised us that Adam would now require intensive care for the foreseeable few weeks/months. 24hours would see if he would continue eating/drinking. He had been given pain killer to last him 24 hours. The vet was honest in saying that if he survives to make the following vet appointment (today 2 o'clock) then he will need more pain killer and antibiotics). He was reluctant to give it us there as he said we needed to monitor the next 24 hours first.
    We have to keep everything spotlessly clean and wash the wounds with saline solution 3-4times a day.

    We are due back at the vets with Adam today in an hour. The vet bill so far is already over £300. He will be seen today and then every 2-3 days over the next two weeks (where then if recovery is going to plan he will then undergo an operation to try and fix his very large open wound over his muscle...quoted around £300 for this). We will pay for whatever Adam needs, but I feel it is important to put this here so that you have all of the facts.

    I have been monitoring and cleaning him/beddings/cage religiously. Adam is barely eating (he's had a small nibble on a piece of hay and a small nibble on a piece of apple. I've tried everything - all of his favourite things to try and get him to eat). He is far from out of the woods- in fact, when we see the vet in an hour, we will know more. In my heart of hearts I don't feel confident that he will make it. I am devastated.


    The reason I am posting this:
    1) Please, please, please be obsessively observant when checking your rabbits. I never thought this would happen to me (how stupid!) as I keep my rabbits clean, tidy, fed well, healthy, handle them etc. How wrong was I. I have been out to buy fly netting this morning for all the hutches.
    2) Adam gave NO sign what was going on underneath his coat. Hopping around, grooming his brother, eating/drinking. No sign was given until I saw it for myself when grooming him!!
    3)The guilt i feel for missing this and letting it happen to him is so intense. I blame myself completely. I didn't sleep at all last night as the image of the maggots on him, in his skin, in his body will stay with me forever. It is truly horrific. I would not wish any of you to go through this.
    The vet said that he had seen two emergency cases of fly strike already this week. It is common. It could happen to one of your bunnies. Be vigilant.

    Sorry to be so intense, but honestly, please don't be in the same place and Adam and I.

    Please send your prayers. I love my little boy so much.

    Frenchies..Dolly and Bear,
    Pete and Greyie the Nethies
    Leo & Adam the double maned lion heads
    House rabbit, Snowy, the BEW Netherland Dwarf
    Phil & Dev (RIP Grant), the rescue Guinea Pigs

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Sending loads of vibes for Adam. I really hope he is able to recover.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of hugs. I can imagine how distressing this is.
    "The mind tells me this is our new reality, the heart aches for it to be just a bad dream" Frans Timmermans

  3. #3
    Warren Veteran
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    This is a horrific ordeal for you to go through, thank goodness you found it when you did & so have given him a chance. I shall heed your warning & I hope all other bunny owners will do likewise. Millions of vibes for Adam, I really hope he makes it xx

  4. #4
    Warren Scout Leannean27's Avatar
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    Sending lots of vibes for Adam and snuggles for his bun friend and yourselves too. Thank you for posting and being so honest too. I already use the spray at the moment but am going to buy some fly netting now. Such a devastating thing which can take hold so quickly

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Default

    Oh goodness, what a horrific and distressing situation I'm so sorry you had to go through that.
    Thank you for the reminder, it's good to remember that sometimes we take things for granted and let our guard down to things that are a real risk.
    I really hope poor little Adam recovers quickly but although I really do understand how you must feel it is not your fault. You had no idea they were there, he wasn't showing any signs and you got him to the vet as soon as you noticed. You've done everything you can and everything right so as hard as it is (believe me, I know how I'd feel in your position) please try not to blame yourself. It is not your fault in the slightest.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Vibes for Adam and for you. I'm sorry. What a horrible experience. I always feared it when I had rabbits - they were short-haired but their hair was so thick.
    Hope your boy heals well. xx

  7. #7
    Mama Doe
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    So sorry you are going through this.

    It is important that you get some food into Adam to keep his guts functioning. Syringe feeding may be the best option if he is not eating for himself. You can get some powdered food (eg Critical Care) which is made up with water, or use your regular pellets soaked in boiling water and stirred until they go to a mush. Ask your vet about how to syringe feed him, and see if he would benefit from some meds to keep his guts moving.

  8. #8
    Mama Doe
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    Firstly, thank you so much to every one of you for sending Adam your thoughts. We are just back from the vets (£70- I hope you donít mind me posting, but Iíve always found it useful when reading other peopleís threads about treatment costs).

    His wound (albeit very large) is looking good at this crucial 24hour mark. The vet felt around for any pus or further maggots that can reveal themselves after (!!). Nothing on either front and the vet said that the would is looking nice and clean. Iím to keep my regular cleaning of it as I have been doing.

    I talked to her about my worry of not seeing him eating other than a couple of teeny nibbles. She felt his tummy and said it didnít feel empty and that he must have eaten something. As she was doing this, Adam actually pooped some perfectly normal round droppings on the table. Thereís your proof heís eating the vet said! Iím absolutely delighted!
    So, weíre home now with painkiller, fibreplex and have to go back and collect the baytrill in the morning as they had ran out. Lucky, Adam had an antibiotic injection late last night which is still in his system so Iím going to collect the bay troll first thing.

    Good news so far. The vet says he has a very, very long road to recovery, but he sure is a little fighter!!

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Sending loads and loads of healing vibes for Adam. Please keep us up to date.

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1984 View Post
    Firstly, thank you so much to every one of you for sending Adam your thoughts. We are just back from the vets (£70- I hope you donít mind me posting, but Iíve always found it useful when reading other peopleís threads about treatment costs).

    His wound (albeit very large) is looking good at this crucial 24hour mark. The vet felt around for any pus or further maggots that can reveal themselves after (!!). Nothing on either front and the vet said that the would is looking nice and clean. Iím to keep my regular cleaning of it as I have been doing.

    I talked to her about my worry of not seeing him eating other than a couple of teeny nibbles. She felt his tummy and said it didnít feel empty and that he must have eaten something. As she was doing this, Adam actually pooped some perfectly normal round droppings on the table. Thereís your proof heís eating the vet said! Iím absolutely delighted!
    So, weíre home now with painkiller, fibreplex and have to go back and collect the baytrill in the morning as they had ran out. Lucky, Adam had an antibiotic injection late last night which is still in his system so Iím going to collect the bay troll first thing.

    Good news so far. The vet says he has a very, very long road to recovery, but he sure is a little fighter!!

    I've just come in and read your post. What an absolutely horrific experience!

    I'm glad you've posted, even though it makes for gruesome reading and you must have found it challenging. I can well imagine you having nightmares about this.

    However, the news is good and I am sending vibes and prayers that Adam makes a full recovery

    Did the vet say what could be done about the extensive skin wound, or will it scab and heal by itself?
    Please vaccinate your rabbits for RHD2 as well ..
    Two more house rabbit deaths just confirmed


    Reliable, up to date advice on RHD2: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...40#post7012340

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