Most helpful positive review
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I have worked with rescued rabbits for a decade. I would not use anything else.
on 16 May 2014
Flystrike is about the most cruel thing for rabbit to be affected by and I must stress this product should be the very last line of defence against it. In the past I managed a busy rabbit rescue centre for over a decade and I remain a rabbit owner. I have never had a case of fly strike (except the ones bought in to the centre who had already been fly struck) because it is preventable. Good rabbit care should prevent your rabbit from becoming a victim and that means picking them up for regular checks, good diet and clean accommodation. Bottom line (excuse the pun) is that flies are not interested in clean, dry, fur on healthy rabbits living in spacious, well ventilated housing with fresh clean bedding. Flies are attracted to dirt, smell and excrement. So, if your rabbit has a dirty bottom, this is not normal and needs investigating. Nor is your rabbit 'lazy' or 'not bothering' to clean themselves as I have heard people say in the past. Rabbits are fastidiously clean animals, so not cleaning themselves requires attention.
Healthy rabbit poos come in 2 varieties. The first is crumbly hay filled sphere shaped droppings. The second are shiny sticky droppings bunched like tiny grapes. These are caecotrophs, which are the parts of the dropping normally reingested, eaten straight from their bottom. Ick, I know, but this a normal and healthy process for rabbits (and lots of other herbivores) called Copography. You would not usually see these poos. If these are not being ingested and are collecting around the anus causing a dirty bottom then one of 2 things is likely to be happening:
1) Too many caecotrophs are being produced. This usually happens when a rabbit is fed incorrectly and their gut bacteria is adversely affected by too much carbohydrate in the diet. Usually this means too much commercial rabbit food and not enough hay and grass. Rabbits do not actually need to be fed museli mix. Their teeth and digestive system is exactly the same as their wild cousins and you don't find many of those dying of starvation due to lack of a huge bowl of rabbit food! Rabbits are evolved to eat good quality fresh hay and grass and some green vegetables and this will result in healthy teeth and healthy digestion.
2) The rabbit cannot reach down to their bottom to collect the caecotrophs or to clean the area. This could be due to spinal arthritis, muscular pain, being overweight or possibly mouth/dental pain.
Either way, your rabbit needs to be reviewed by a vet to get to the root cause. In the meanwhile, if needed, the vet nurses can shave your rabbits back end to assist with keeping the fur and skin clean and dry.
All that said, there are times when a rabbit is ill with an infection, old, arthritic or impaired in some way, when they will need the protection this product offers while the underlying cause of their risk factor is dealt with. During those times, this is the product I use.
This product contains Cyromazine. This is disrupts the ability of flies eggs to form into lava/maggots thus preventing the damage and suffering of a full fly strike. I would not recommend certain cheaper products on the market which contain Ivermectin. Ivermectin is an anti parasitic agent which, while very effective against internal parasites and worms, will not PREVENT flystrike. Ivermectin may help control the maggots once they have entered the anus and actually started to destroy the rabbits flesh but I'm afraid I rather think this is too little too late in terms of prevention of suffering.
This product is money well spent if you have a rabbit at risk of fly strike while the underlying cause is treated or perhaps if you are leaving your rabbits with friends or relations while you are away and need the extra peace of mind this offers.
One tip, I have found the sponge applicator useless. So before you start transfer the liquid to an empty spray bottle. To apply, sit the bunny on your lap on a towel with his/her head facing your body and tuck their head gently under your elbow against your body so they cannot leap off and hurt themselves. Part the fur as you go and spray liberally at the skin, really soaking the fur all round the genitals and the tail and low back area. If you need to tip your bunny upside down and lay them over your arm in a "baby" hold while you apply to their under side please do not do this for very long. Although they will lay still while you do it, this is a 'play dead' response and is very stressful for the rabbit so do right them again as quickly as you can. It is normal for the rabbit to then try and groom themselves afterwards so some will be ingested. Not much you can do about that except apply on a nice warm day so it will dry faster. I have never had a rabbit suffer any adverse effects from grooming themselves with the product on them.
The Rearguard soaks into the skin and lasts for ages so even if you need to wash your rabbits bottom to keep it clean, the product is still effective.
Hope you have found this review helpful.