When It is Sunny, Be Careful With Your Bunny!

By Species, By Topic, Exotic, Parasites

Nothing is cuter than watching a bunny hop around in the pretty green grass, beneath a bright blue sky, but take care before you indulge your urge to bask in adorability. Parasitic insects, called bot flies, seek out wild rabbits to lay its eggs in their skin; however, bot flies do not discriminate between wild and domestic rabbits.  Bot flies are most active during the hot humid summer months and can lay several eggs in your pet bunny in just one unsupervised sitting outside.

First, bot flies lay their eggs, which develop into nasty larvae (also known as maggots…yuk!)  The larvae burrows under your pet bunny’s skin, then feeds on its flesh. A larvae infection is called botfly myiasis, which results in large painful cysts that often become infected and the subsequent immune reaction can be fatal. If your rabbit is infected with a botfly, the larva and any infected tissue must be surgically removed. Even if your rabbit avoids an infection from a botfly invasion, eventually the larvae will develop into a full-grown botfly that will hatch (very, very painfully!) and fly away to infect more victims.

The best precaution against bot flies is to supervise your bunny anytime it is playing outdoors. Bot flies are voracious and only need a few minutes on your rabbit to cause harm. So keep your bunnies indoors or behind a fine screen enclosure to protect them from these nasty parasitic flies.

If you think your rabbit has a bot fly infection, DO NOT try to remove it yourself. If a botfly removal is not done correctly, a damaged larvae could release a dangerous toxin, which could result in the death of your beloved bunny.  Please call CEDARCREST at 540-943-7577 for a professional and safe botfly removal!

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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