Causes, Prevention & Treatment of Blowfly Strike Across Hampshire
As Blowfly is one of the most common parasites to affect sheep, our farm Veterinary team thought we’d take a few minutes to remind clients what to look out for, give you some tips on how to prevent it occurring and briefly outline a few of the options open to us when treating it.
Symptoms of Blowfly Strike
The struck area is often soiled or damaged. It’s worth knowing that it’s the soiling that tends to attract flies in the first place.
Affected animals will show signs of irritation, often attempting to kick at the infestation. Closer inspection will normally reveal dark, moist stained wool that will probably be foul smelling. On parting the fleece, you may see maggots and if left for too long reddened or broken areas of skin.
Prevention of Fly Strike
Our tips on minimising the chances of an infestation revolve around regular examinations of your flock. These should be increased in warmer/wetter weather or if you identify an increased fly presence. In addition, you should…
- Make sure you regularly Dagg and clip the breaches to remove soiled wool.
- Minimise chances of diarrhoea (and soiling of the wool) in the breech region by controlling intestinal parasites.
- Shearing will help.
- Finally, there are a number of chemical prevention treatments. Please contact us for details of the best ones to suit your circumstances.
Treatment of affected animals
Treatment starts with cleaning the affected area and escalates to clinical interventions. Just remember to ‘Remove, Clean & Apply’, as follows.
- First, Remove any dirty fleece from the infested area.
- Clean the whole area to remove all maggots, then clean open wounds with a skin disinfectant.
- Apply antibiotic spray to the affected area then apply a fly strike treatment. Do ask us for advice on the most relevant treatment for your circumstances.
If the animal remains uncomfortable after a day or two, please call us and we’ll advise on options.
Remember, as with the early prevention measures, if you’ve got Flystrike in your flock you should increase vigilance to minimise the chances of a recurrence. As ever our farm vets are here for help and advice as required.