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Vet Parasitol. 2006 Oct 10;141(1-2):150-5. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Blowfly strike prevalence in domestic rabbits in southwest England and Wales.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


The prevalence of blowfly strike in rabbits in southwest England and Wales was investigated using a retrospective postal survey of small animal and mixed veterinary practices. Questionnaires were sent to 474 practices; 219 were returned completed, giving a response rate of 46.2%. The prevalence of blowfly strike was estimated as the percentage of veterinary practices that reporting having treated at least one rabbit for strike between May and September 2005. Overall, 94.5% (+/-2.21) of practices treated at least one case of rabbit strike. Almost half, 49.3% (+/-11.3) of practices reported treating only 1-5 rabbits for blowfly strike in the study period; 32.8% (+/-4.56), 13% (+/-3.27) and 4.8% (+/-2.08) treated 6-10, 11-15 and more than 15 struck rabbits, respectively. In 46.3% (+/-4.84) of the practices most infested rabbits survived. For 40.4% (+/-4.77) of practices, about half the struck rabbits survived. However, for 13.3% (+/-3.30) of practices most struck rabbits were reported to have died. The practices reporting that most animals died were those that saw significantly fewer rabbits and fewer struck rabbits than practices where more animals survived. This suggests that training and experience in the appropriate care of infested rabbits may be critical in ensuring a favorable outcome.

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