Flystrike is a potentially fatal condition which occurs when flies lay their eggs around a guinea pig’s anus. The eggs then hatch into maggots which mature and eat away at the surrounding flesh. In the summer, this whole process can take as little as a few hours, so it’s advisable that guinea pigs are checked at least twice a day. Symptoms to look out for include eggs and maggots around a guinea pig’s anus, wounds and skin loss. Pets suffering from obesity, dental problems, diarrhoea, arthritis and skin wounds are at high risk of flystrike as flies are attracted to guinea pigs suffering from dirty bottoms or wet fur. Guinea pigs living in dirty hutches are also susceptible, as flies like damp and smelly conditions.
If you think your pet has flystrike, remove the visible maggots with tweezers and call your vet immediately. Your vet will be able to clip away the fur and remove the remainder of the maggots. Guinea pigs with flystrike are often given antibiotics to help prevent infection and some vets also use anti-parasitic products to try and penetrate the skin and kill any remaining maggots.