How do maggots differ from flies?

Fly maggots

Fly maggot infestation (myiasis)

The fly larva is a very dangerous and often underestimated parasite.

Mainly old, sick or weakened rabbits are infested in the summer months. If an animal has wounds, feces or urine stuck to its fur, cannot clean itself properly or is weakened, it is at high risk. Healthy, vital rabbits are not attacked. Frequent victims are rabbits with diarrhea or dirty rumps (e.g. because they cannot clean themselves, as is the case with joint diseases or overweight, for example).

An infestation can be seen through small, white, oval eggs and the maggots themselves, these are deposited in the anus region or in a wound, the maggots can hatch after eight hours. The eggs often look like adhesions in the fur and are sometimes difficult to find in the undercoat. The maggots are also extremely small and inconspicuous (see photo). The maggots are often hidden in the dark skin pockets to the right and left of the genitals (inguinal glands, perineal glands, genitals).

They eat their way into the tissue and cause major internal injuries, sometimes also to the organs, internal bleeding and infections also occur, most of the time the skin is severely irritated and inflamed. The fur or skin often comes off even in an advanced stage.

The rabbits affected usually appear apathetic (listless), eat less or nothing at all, and do not move. Some rabbits get nervous, twitch, and clean themselves.

First aid

  • Visible maggots should be removed or washed under warm water before visiting the vet. By keeping the rabbit in a warm water bath you can get the maggots to come out. They flee from light and let themselves be drawn out by darkness and warmth.
  • We recommend storing Nitenpyram (Capstar® 1mg / kg in the mouth) in the emergency pharmacy and using it in an emergency! It ensures that the maggots quickly leave the rabbit. Especially since some vets do not have the drug in stock and it can save lives.


Only an immediate veterinary treatment can save the rabbit (rabbit-trained emergency service if possible), the longer you wait, the worse the chances of treatment, the rabbit will continue to be eaten from the inside during this time.