If you suspect your dog has maggots on his skin, you may be looking for ways to get rid of them. The term for maggot infestations in dogs is "myiasis",a term that basically depicts an infestation with fly larvae. Often, where there are flea larvae there is some sort of wound in the dog that has attracted flies to lie their eggs there. Most dogs that are affected by maggots are outdoor dogs who are exposed to flies for a good part of the day. Most commonly, old, weak and debilitated dogs are predisposed to maggots. It's important to learn how to get rid of maggots so that the dog's skin can be cleared once and for all from these pesky parasites.
An Insight into Maggots
Maggots are known for being present in draining wounds and dying tissues. Dogs prone to developing maggots are therefore dogs who are kept outdoors and who have draining wounds or other skin problems such as bacterial skin infections.
This state of inflammation and infection in dog skin is what attracts flies to deposit their eggs so that they can hatch and the resulting larvae can feed on the infected tissue.
Fly eggs are quick to hatch, and if the weather is warm and moist, they can hatch as early as 24 hours. After feeding on the skin for about a week, the maggots develop and leave the animal to live in the soil until they develop into flies.
What do maggots look like? Maggots are rarely seen alone, they tend to be in good company and as mentioned they are usually found on wounds. Generally, they are small, thin worms ranging from one quarter of an inch to one inch in size. Some depict them as resembling rice. Can dogs have maggots in their poop or in the hair by the anus? Maggots should not be confused for tapeworm segments which are normally mostly found in the dog's hair by the rectum and on freshly deposited stools. Maggots may sometimes though be found by the dog's rectum area and they may be borrowing inside.
Did you know? Maggots are also attracted to dirty, fur, and matted fur with urine/ feces stuck to it. In some cases, they may also be attracted by ear infections that seep fluids.
Getting Rid of Them
The only effective way to remove maggots from a dog, is to remove them manually. A good place to start is shaving the dog's fur so that all maggots can be visualized as many of them hide under the fur or burrow under the skin. Afterward, they should be removed one by one using tweezers until none of them remain.
When maggots are burrowing inside a dog's rectum, dog owners must wait for them to come out and remove them as they surface, explains veterinarian Dr Diane.
It's best if maggots are removed by a vet so that the vet can then take steps in treating the wound. The vet may want to do a culture of the skin so to determine the wound's underlying cause.
Affected dogs may need a course of antibiotics if there is an infection. It's fundamental to treat the wound that is attracting the flies, so to stop attracting them in the first place. Also, it's important to keep the dog from going outside, at least until the wound heals completely.
Did you know? Maggots have been used in the past to "debride" wounds since they only remove areas of damaged skin rather than healthy tissue.