How to kill maggots in pets

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to kill maggots in pets
Hundreds of maggots can infest dead or dying tissue on a dog. (dogs look image by muro from

The mere sight of a maggot can turn the stomach and induce blood-curdling screams in most anyone--especially if you see a maggot on your dog. Myiasis, or a maggot infestation, typically occurs when a fly lays eggs in a wound or dying or dead tissue of a dog. Fortunately, about five to seven days after the maggots are born, they will leave and enter into the ground. However, there are ways to eliminate these filthy pests without waiting until they decide it's time to leave.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Hair clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Boiling water
  • Mild insecticide
  • Antibiotics

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  1. 1

    Shave the area where the maggots are seen, directs the veterinary website Pet Place. Once the hair is removed, you can get a better idea of how many maggots are on your dog and just how far the infestation reaches.

  2. 2

    Remove the maggots with tweezers, your fingers or whatever works. Physically removing the fly larva is basically the only way to eliminate them and, unfortunately, you may need to remove them one at a time. Total elimination of the maggots can take up to a few hours, depending upon the severity of the infestation. Expect to see hundreds of tiny maggots burrowing their way under your poor dog's skin.

  3. 3

    Place the maggots in boiling water. Maggots are quite hardy and can be rather difficult to kill. However, boiling water seems to do the trick.

  4. 4

    Apply a mild insecticide to your dog's skin, if your veterinarian gives consent to do so. Only leave the insecticide on for a brief amount of time, then thoroughly wash it off.

Tips and warnings

  • Once the maggots are removed, the skin needs to heal. Veterinarian-prescribed antibiotics and creams may be needed to heal the skin. In severe cases, the dead tissue must be removed to allow for proper healing. Some dogs even need skin grafts to make full recoveries.
  • If you notice a wound on your dog, do not allow it to go outside to try to prevent a fly from laying eggs in the sore.
  • It is always best to allow a veterinarian to examine your dog's maggot infestation. Not only can the doctor prescribe the appropriate medications, but she can also estimate the damage that is caused. Sometimes, maggots go beyond eating just dead skin and will start to invade a dog's healthy skin.
  • Do not use insecticides on weak, ageing, debilitated or otherwise impaired dogs, as it may worsen their condition.

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