The infestation of maggots in the flesh is called Myiasis. It is common for dogs if they are kept primarily outside and the weather is moist. The common culprit is the Bowfly, who lays eggs in open wounds or inflamed skin. The eggs hatch, and the larvae (maggots) feast on the decaying flesh on the dog. If left untreated, they may start to feast on healthy flesh, which can lead to considerable and potentially harmful health problems. In addition, the wound will not heal while the maggots are in there, which can lead to infection.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Hair trimmer
- Rubber gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Disposable cup
- Strong metal tweezers
- Sterile gauze
- Antibacterial ointment
Shave the area around the infected wound. Maggots like to burrow under the fur so this will allow you to asses the scope of the infestation, as well as give you a clean working area.
Put on the rubber gloves and fill the cup with rubbing alcohol. Sterilise the tweezers by dipping them in the alcohol and shaking them off.
Remove the maggots one at a time by gripping them with the tweezers and depositing them in the cup of alcohol. Every ten removed, pad down the area with sterile gauze and re-sterilise the tweezers. Continue until there are no more visible maggots.
Make maggots under the skin accessible by stroking the skin around the wound towards the opening. When you see a maggot, remove it with tweezers. Continue until there are no more maggots.
Pad the wound dry with sterile gauze. Apply antibacterial ointment, place some gauze on top of the wound and secure with bandages. Change the dressing and reapply the ointment every 8 hours.
Tips and warnings
- As with any animal illness, dog maggot removal should be done by a veterinarian.
- If you have access to a sedative that you can give to your dog, give it to him before this procedure, especially if you don't have a friend to help.
- Talk to your dog in a soothing voice, taking time to rub his head. Because this could take a long time, it will help to keep him calm.
- Do not apply an insecticide to the wound. This could hurt your dog, especially in his damaged state.
- Sterilisation is crucial. Do not let the wound get infected by sterilising your instruments and by taking care of the wound afterward.
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