Blowfly strike

Blowfly strike is a very upsetting condition where the bluebottle or greenbottle fly lay eggs inside the guinea pig’s rectum or any open wound. The eggs hatch into maggots that proceed to eat the guinea pig from the inside.

What to do about blowfly strike: this condition is more often seen in rabbits and sheep. But guinea pigs can also be victims of this dreadful condition which needs to be caught early on. A visit to the vet may be necessary or you can try to empty the guinea pig of maggots yourself under warm water, each and every one. If you hassle the maggots, they let out a toxin which in turn affects the nervous system causing a trauma related heart attack in the guinea pig. If you are successful in removing the maggots, he should be kept on clean towels and checked for further maggots every day for a week or so. Wash, pat dray and use an antibiotic cream , like bepanthen nappy rash cream from the chemist.

The prognosis for blowfly strike is poor. The guinea pig will normally die a painful death within 12 hours of the maggots hatching. Prevention is essential!

Prevention of blowfly strike: this condition is more likely to affect older, less active, long haired guinea pigs which perhaps have loose droppings, do not groom themselves so well and their coat is unkempt. Keep your guinea pig in a cool room on hot days, always use clean bedding, check for diarrhoea, clip his long rear hair and keep him clean and groomed, especially around his rear end. Dab on a product called ‘rear guard’ or use some citronella which is a grapefruit extract. Fly strike spray is also available from our shop.