Last updated on June 18th, 2023 at 08:55 am
Guinea pigs often face various diseases that can affect their health and life.
Can guinea pigs get flystrike?
Yes, guinea pigs can have flystrike when flies lay eggs on the back of their bodies, which turn into maggots and eat the flesh of the guinea pigs.
Fly strike is one of the possible diseases that can occur in guinea pigs, and it can cause fatal consequences for our pets.
However, flystrike can be avoided and the guinea pig will not have unpleasant consequences of this disease.
In today’s article, you will find out what flystrike is, how guinea pigs get this disease, and what to do to prevent consequences for the health of guinea pigs.
What is flystrike in guinea pigs?
Fly strike occurs when flies lay eggs on the back of the guinea pigs, near the buttocks. The eggs turn into maggots, which then eat the flesh of the guinea pigs.
Eggs can very quickly hatch into maggots in about 24 hours, and release toxic toxins in their body, so it is necessary to react quickly so that there are no consequences for the guinea pig because they can cause the death of our pet.
When a guinea pig has a flystrike, we should immediately take it to a veterinarian to examine it and give it therapy.
What are the symptoms of flystrike in guinea pigs?
When guinea pigs have flystrike it can be noticed by certain symptoms.
Here are some of them:
- loss of appetite and refusal to eat
- they don’t want to drink water
- unpleasant smell from the cage
- lying in the corners of the cage
- wounds on the body
When a guinea pig has a flystrike, it is quickly noticed because this disease is quite unpleasant and causes pain in our pets.
If something is not taken in time, the death of the guinea pig can occur.
What are the causes of flystrike in guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs get flystrike mostly due to an unclean environment because the smell of urine and poop of guinea pigs attracts flies to come and cause this disease.
The appearance of flystrike in guinea pigs usually happens in the summer period, when the weather is warmer, and then there are much more flies.
Although this is the main reason for flystrike, there are still other reasons that we will immediately look at so that you know what to watch out for, and prevent the occurrence of a fly strike in your pet.
If the guinea pig has diarrhea, it can be the cause of flystrike.
It can very easily happen when there is a residue of diarrhea on the lower part of the guinea pig body, which will cause the appearance of flies.
That’s why you should bathe the guinea pig every time when it has diarrhea if it can’t just clean itself, although this rarely happens because guinea pigs are quite clean animals.
Guinea pigs with long hair
Guinea pigs with long hair are more likely to get a fly strike.
The reason is that it is a little more difficult to clean them because they like their long hair.
It is necessary to regularly check the back of the guinea pig so that there are no remains of excrement.
Obesity and old age
Old age can be the cause of flystrike because the older the guinea pigs are, the more difficult it will be for them to clean themselves all over the body, especially on the back.
Obesity can cause indigestion and more liquid poo in guinea pigs, which will then be difficult to clean up.
In both cases, the guinea pig should be examined on the back of the body to ensure that it is clean or needs a bath.
The hygiene of guinea pigs
The cleaner the guinea pig is the less likely it is to get a flystrike.
Flies are attracted to the excrement and food in the guinea pig’s cage and therefore often attack the guinea pig.
Guinea pigs groom and clean themselves, but sometimes they can be very dirty, which will attract flies to attack them.
Sometimes guinea pigs need to be bathed, but not more than 3-4 times a year, because they have sensitive skin.
It is very important to clean the waste in the guinea pig cage in a timely manner because in this way you will help the guinea pigs maintain their hygiene and reduce the chances of flystrike.
Maintain hygiene in their cage
Guinea pig cage hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing flystrike.
Guinea pigs poop a lot and their cage will be surrounded by a lot of feces, urine, and food, which is a target for flies.
That’s why you should clean the cage often and maintain hygiene,
It is necessary to change the bedding frequently to remove the pooing and peeing of the guinea pigs, and once a week to thoroughly clean the cage and all toys and objects in it.
If you notice flies around the guinea pigs’ cage then you should clean the cage immediately, as something has obviously attracted them to approach the guinea pigs.
The clean environment around the cage
Sometimes even though the guinea pigs and their cage are clean, they can get flystrike from the dirty environment around the cage.
If near the cage of the guinea pigs, there are remnants of food that we humans have left, then the flies can come again and attack the guinea pigs.
Juices, soft foods and similar food in the vicinity of the cage is a magnet for flies, and therefore we should pay attention to the remains of food around the cage, we should always clean them promptly so that there is no flystrike on the guinea pig.
Poor nutrition increases the chances of a fly strike even more, so pay attention to the guinea pigs’ diet.
Guinea pigs need a proper and healthy diet so that they can have clean and neat droppings, Hay is the most important because it contains fibers that help with digestion and normal function of the colon and pooping.
In the summer guinea pigs are more often the target of flystrike
In the summer period, flies are more dominant and then the chances of flystrike among guinea pigs increase.
When the temperature is warmer they will appear more and more and attack the guinea pig and its cage.
Therefore, it is necessary to keep the temperature in the room with the guinea pig always at an optimal temperature.
If you have the air conditioner on and the temperature outside is warmer, then the flies will prefer to be outside than inside your room.
Open wounds are another cause of flystrike in guinea pigs.
Open wounds attract flies and they will quickly act and attack the guinea pig.
That is why we should always pay attention to our pet when it is injured or if there are open wounds somewhere on the body.
What to do if a guinea pig has a flystrike?
When a guinea pig has a fly strike, you need to react immediately to help your pets in such an unpleasant situation.
There is no need to wait and you must take your guinea pig to the vet immediately. If they do not receive timely help from a veterinarian, guinea pigs can die.
If you have multiple guinea pigs you should take them all together to the vet to be examined whether they have symptoms or not.
How to prevent flystrike in guinea pigs?
The more you care about the hygiene and health of the guinea pigs, the lower the chances of your pet getting a fly strike.
Here’s what you need to do:
- cleaning – of guinea pigs by bathing, because they cannot always clean themselves completely, especially if they have liquid poo or diarrhea.
- disinfection – of the entire cage and regular cleaning with vinegar and water, as well as changing the bedding once a week.
- Litter tray – must be cleaned thoroughly with an agent such as vinegar and water or some other agent specially formulated for pets such as guinea pigs.
- food – do not leave it standing for a long time in the cage, especially fruits and vegetables, which attract flies when they spoil.
- fly net – put a net over the cage to protect the guinea pig if you often have a problem with flies in and around the cage.
How are guinea pigs with flystrike treated?
When a guinea pig has a flystrike only a veterinarian can help them treat and treat this disease.
The vet will prescribe certain antibiotics to treat the guinea pig and may also try to remove the eggs and maggots by trimming the fur at the site of the fly strike.
Can guinea pigs get flystrike in your room?
Guinea pigs can get flystrike when the cage is in your room, although in an open area such as your yard, the risk is far greater.
It is enough to have just one fly in your room where the guinea pig is then flystrike can occur. If the fly is a female, she can lay eggs on your pet, so you have to watch out for flies in your home.
Especially if the fly has no more attractive food choices, then the danger of flystrike is very high.
Can house flies cause flystrike in guinea pigs?
The common house fly can cause flystrike in guinea pigs.
Although it is not common, house flies can lay eggs on the guinea pig’s fur, especially if it is dirty.
When guinea pigs have feces on their body and fur then the chances of flystrike and laying eggs, and then hatching maggots, are highest.
Can a guinea pig be successfully treated for flystrike?
Yes, the guinea pig can be successfully treated from fly strike if the disease is detected in time.
The vet will treat the guinea pig with antibiotics to cure it, however, if the maggots are too far into the guinea pig’s body then it may be too late to heal.
Sometimes in such situations, the veterinarian may suggest euthanasia to reduce the suffering and pain of the guinea pig, so it is important to catch the disease in time.
Can a guinea pig die from a flystrike?
Yes, unfortunately, flystrike can kill the guinea pig if the disease is not detected promptly.
That is why it is necessary to pay attention to the guinea pigs and to examine them regularly in order to avoid such unwanted moments in their lives.
Еven if there are no symptoms of flystrike, you should regularly examine the guinea pig’s body, which will protect it from other possible diseases.
Fly strike is a dangerous phenomenon caused by flies that through their eggs and maggots can be very harmful to guinea pigs, and can cause diseases and fatal consequences.
Fly strike usually occurs when guinea pigs have diarrhea or runny poop and are unable to clean themselves completely at the back of their bodies.
Regular cleaning of the cage, bedding, and if necessary bathing the guinea pigs are the best prevention of flystrike.
Diet is also an important factor, give them hay as the main meal with small amounts of vegetables and fruits to have a healthier digestive system.