A maggot is the larval phase of a fly, or Diptera. Myiasis is an infestation of fly larvae, or maggots, in the body and can occur in any animal that has an open wound. If your animal has an open wound make sure to check it for maggots. Sometimes the hair on an animal is so thick that maggots may not be seen unless you get a closer look. Proper care of an animal wound can prevent this problem from occurring. However, if maggots do appear you should take appropriate measures to remove them and clean the wound thoroughly.
Shave the hair around the affected area. Using an electric shaver, remove all of the hair around the wound. Maggots may burrow beneath the hair, causing them to not be seen. There may also be other eggs in the hair around the wound. By shaving the hair you can expose the area to get a better look at what you are dealing with. You may also expose other maggots you would have not noticed otherwise.
Remove each maggot. You can use a spoon, or another tool, to gently pull the maggots out. Delicately rinsing the wound with water may also remove some of the maggots. Using tweezers, remove any other maggots in the wound. Check the wound thoroughly under a bright light to make sure you have removed every maggot. Make sure there are none that have burrowed under the skin. This process can take up to a couple of hours depending on the size of the wound and the amount of maggots.
Apply a mild insecticide on the wound. Do not allow the insecticide to stay on the wound longer than a minute. Rinse thoroughly.
Wrap the wound with a fresh gauze dressing, using a bandage or tape to hold it in place. Change daily.
Plan a visit to the veterinarian. After you have properly cleaned and dressed the wound, have the animal checked. Veterinarians can check to make sure all maggots were successfully removed and that there are no further infections you might not have recognised.
Prevent a maggot infestation by cleaning and dressing wounds as soon as you notice them. Keep the animal's body and living environment free from urine, faeces and rotting food, which could attract flies.
Tips and warnings
- Prevent a maggot infestation by cleaning and dressing wounds as soon as you notice them. Keep the animal's body and living environment free from urine, faeces and rotting food, which could attract flies.