Maggots: A Nasty Problem in Pets

| September 2, 2011 | 86 Comments

It’s that time of year again …

One of the least favorite times of year for most emergency staff is what we in the veterinary community like to refer to as “maggot season.” While most people only think of maggots growing in spoiled food or on things that are no longer alive, maggots can also be a problem in our live pets.

Maggots are fly larvae (an early stage of fly development), and a maggot infestation is called myiasis. When looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs, flies are usually attracted to things with decaying or rotten smells. In our live pets, attractive sites for flies can include infected bite wounds, areas of fur that are matted with urine or feces, skin folds, infected ears, ruptured skin masses, hot spots and surgical incisions, to name a few. After about 1-3 days, the eggs hatch. At first, the maggots will feed on dead skin or debris. But when that food source runs out, they release an enzyme in their saliva that starts digesting healthy skin. The enzyme can cause small holes in the skin, and then the maggots can actually burrow underneath the skin. They can also tunnel into the rectum or vagina of a pet. With time, the maggots can start releasing toxins that can make your pet sick very quickly, leading to fever, lethargy and shock.

So if you find maggots on your pet, get them to a vet immediately, where they will be able to clip and clean the underlying cause and remove the maggots. Some pets might need to be hospitalized and placed on IV fluids overnight, in addition to being started on antibiotics.

One of the biggest problems we’ve run into lately concerning maggots is false information on the Internet about getting rid of them at home — attempting to do so can make our job harder and further complicate your pet’s health. The problem is that the majority of information out there is geared toward killing maggots in food, not on your live pets. Some of the worst recommendations out there include the following — DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE MEASURES:

  • Placing gasoline, oil, kerosene or lighter fluid on maggots is not a safe remedy. Besides potentially being a local irritant, if your pet ingests that kind of fluid, they can aspirate some of the material into the lungs.
  • Pouring straight bleach on the maggots is another unwise treatment recommended online — doing so can be very irritating to the eyes and act as an irritant to the lungs as well.
  • Pouring powdered lime on your pet also is not a good idea, since it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and GI tract ulceration.
  • Another very bad idea, placing boiling water on maggots, is something your pet would not appreciate, to say the least. Doing so can cause severe burns.
  • There is also information about using over the counter permethrin products to kill maggots. This would be something I would be very wary of doing on a cat. Cats are very sensitive to permethrins (an insecticide in many over-the-counter flea preventatives), and they can lead to intense muscle tremors and seizures.
  • Finally, using hairspray on the maggots is another unwise tip — doing so probably won’t kill them, and will only serve to give your pet a stiff hairdo.

The best method for keeping maggots off your pet is preventing them in the first place. During the summer months, if your pet lives outside, make sure they get their fur clipped for the season. Do daily cleaning of any soiled outside bedding. And if your pet has a skin infection, bite wounds or surgical incisions, keep them inside until they are healed. Also, be sure to have all wounds evaluated by a veterinarian!

© 2011 Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. martine says:

    my cat just came in with what i think was maggots[dead bird in the yard this week and it was full of maggots,didn t think anything about it and hosed the maggots in the earth,but i suspect he might have run close to the maggots] anyways shampooed him intensively, used vinegar to wipe everything and comed the maggots out and then vinegared him again and fed him garlic.in case it s worms. i looked and them all seem out and he is more rested. i ll know tomorrow if it worked. keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Maggots are a problem because they should not be able to attach to healthy tissue, so I would be worried about a wound on your cat. Are you sure they are not fleas, lice or tapeworms? Please do not give your cat any more garlic, it is toxic to animals. Good luck!

  2. Lisa says:

    I work at a wildlife rehabilitation center, and lately we are getting so many animals in with either maggot eggs or live maggots on them. Egg removal we know how to do; for the maggots, we have been advised to flush with dilute Capstar, combing with a flea comb, and/or picking off with tweezers, and also using Capstar by mouth to eliminate any that may have gone internal (into anus, etc.). However, lately we are also seeing them in animals’ eyes! So far a squirrel and a raccoon. Any recommendations to safely remove live maggots from the eye? Also raccoon had them deep into the ear canal (worst case we’ve ever seen; unfortunately she did not survive). Not our favorite time of the year, to say the least. Since the Capstar is a little costly, is there anything else we can apply topically to kill the maggots?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Wow, gross in a really cool way. I do not have any better solution for maggot removal from the eye. The good news is they usually are somewhat helpful in removing the dead tissue, the bad news is they are gross and can also do harm. We often use a diluted peroxide mixture to remove them topically. This seems to really make them release, and bubble to the surface of a wound or pocket. Otherwise…..flush flush flush (and the capstar works too).

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks. Unfortunately what we are seeing is on healthy baby animals, so the maggots are doing quite a bit a damage. Squirrel is on the mend, although the eye is a total loss. Will keep him on antibiotics while it reabsorbs. Wound the maggots left was about the size of a quarter, which on a five week old baby squirrel was fairly large, in the groin/flank area. Impossible to bandage, so we are treating with collagen-based wound care to help speed granulation and also applying Silvadene, which seems to be working quite well. Luckily had not penetrated past muscle layer. This is our least favorite time of the year to be sure! In the meantime, we will be stocking up again on Capstar.

        • Dr. Stewart says:

          Keep up the good work. Sounds gross in a cool way. Although we do see maggots on “healthy” animals, they are usually not penetrating (like in the fur around a wound or trying to climb to the wound.) This sounds pretty bad in such a little animal. Was it recumbent and got a sore? That is the other time we see maggots in “healthy” animals. If they are too tightly caged, or trapped and can not move well, or down in a limb. Interesting what you are seeing. Good luck, and try flushing with diluted peroxide. It is not great for wounds (we never use it for wounds) but it can flush out maggots.

  3. Penny says:

    Neighbor kid brought me a tiny manx kitten- 1st day removed a normal looking “sticky turd” from rear end- 2nd day very matted and washed off- 3rd day same problem but found large maggots just inside the rectum. Removed visable maggots and checked as far as I could into the rectum. Kitten now walks around hunched over, strains but has a near constant feces drip. Been keeping him clean and skin around anus is healing well and that nasty “rotten” smell is gone. Kitten does not act like he feels well. Could there be more creepies inside that I am missing? I wormed him with Pyrantal a couple of days ago. Can not afford a vet until next week and the 2 local shelters want to euthanize becaue he is so little and has had those problems they do not want to deal with and is too oung to adopt right now. I am guessing he is about 7 weeks old.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I cant give you too much more to do with this kitten. I would highly recommend a vet visit. You might be able to have the shelter look at it for free, but not euthanize .You should certainly bring it there if it looks painful. Please have a professional look at the kitten. It might have internal colon or rectal problems, and these can be very difficult to deal with. The other possibility is that you are seeing tapeworms or other internal parasites and not maggots.

  4. gspal says:

    I was searching the net for maggot infested wounds in dogs. Your site explains the necessity of keeping pets clean and dry. I also came across another article at http://indianpariahdog.blogspot.in/2009/03/first-aid-for-street-dogs-how-to-treat.html where I had posted a query on there being any necessity of prescribing Moxipil 250 gm tabs twice a day to a less than 10 kg abandoned maggot infested dog that has already undergone 5 days of continuous treatment at vet clinic of cleaning and dressing along with injections of Moxipil and Ivermectin. We are now doing the dressing at home.

  5. karishma says:

    my dog is suffering from maggots in mouth. is it too serious? i m taking him to vet tmrw because i saw it just now. is it smthin very serious?

  6. Ahad says:

    my cat is disabled and can’t use her back legs. I had to go out of town for a few days and came back to see maggots coming out of the rectum are and had created a tunnel in the flesh. i took out as many maggots as i could with tweasers. Please guide my what can i do to take care of it as i live in a small town and there are no vets.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Wow, these questions get harder and harder to answer. There is no good answer here. Why are her back legs not working? Are the maggots still there? Are they eating dead flesh or are they slowly killing her? She might have way more problems going on that we do not know about. Ok, cats with back legs not working are often caused by saddle thrombus (see other post), but it could also be trauma, infection, cancer or other causes. The maggots are there because she can not clean herself or get rid of them and she is probably dragging her rear and getting infections. First, make your best effort to seek a vet. This cat might need to be humanely euthanized, if that is not an option you can try to flush the wound with soapy water and keep her rear end clean. I would not allow her outside and do my best to keep her rear end clean and dry. Find a vet would be my best solution. This is not fair to the kitty.

      • Waverly says:

        I have a baby Northern Mocking bird and his parents, both mom and dad, are here. Yesterday I found out that the baby bird has maggots in all areas of its face, such as: He has maggots all over his forehead, nostril, beak corners, and in a space behind his eyes. I got tweezers and took the see-able maggots out and killed the maggots I got out, but today the maggots were replaced again. The baby bird is 3-5 weeks old, and is a fledgling. I want this baby bird to survive since he is the only surviving baby his parents have left. Please tell some info of how to take care of him.

        • Dr. Stewart says:

          Is he eating or drinking? I will admit that I am not a bird expert. I would call a local wildlife shelter, or bird vet for advice. Most birds that have active maggots like you are describing are either cuterebra or bot fly larva. Make sure this is not the case. If so, then internal medication can help and pulling them out will be very helpful. If they are proper maggots then you need to find out why the bird has them… ie is the bird dying or very sick. Call the local wildlife center and they can help identify the maggots or maybe a local vet will give you some free advice for wildlife, they usually will.

  7. Jose Travieso says:

    my dog has maggots in his mouth what can i do or should do?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      It is going to sound like a broken record, but get that dog to a vet. There is nothing I can help you with without loads more info and seeing the dog. Maggots in the mouth is a disaster usually and needs to be seen asap by a professional. Drive, walk, fly to the nearest vet.

  8. Rhiannon Kate Murray says:

    I’m hand rearing some baby birds (mourning doves I think) tiny clear maggots keep appearing in the nesting material. I’m using cut up old curtains and changing them several times a day to keep the babies clean. I’ve checked both birds over carefully and I can’t find any sign of a wound. Is it possible the birds have an internal infestation? They seem healthy otherwise and are eating well and have just started streaching and flapping around.

  9. Melica says:

    My dog had ady4 puppies and two of them had. holes and the wound has maggots, I already lost one and dont want to lose the other. I live in jamaica which a vet is very expensive and limited,please. Help

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Why are there holes and wounds? You should flush the wounds with peroxide and clean the wounds with soap and water. If they are very serious there is not too much you can do. If they are superficial you can keep them clean and away from flies and dirt and hope they heal on their own. Can you keep the puppies inside? They should be kept clean and nursing. Other than getting antibiotics and a vet visit, this is your best bet. Good luck!

      On second thought, are the holes small with one worm in them like a cuterebra or bot fly larva? (Google this) If this is the case then you need the vet to look and remove these worms. If they are maggots then cleaning them should help. Good luck!

  10. roxy says:

    my cat came home today, and his paw has swollen and has an open wound on his arm. a few days back that wound caught maggots , which pulled out with a tweezer and cleaned with an antiseptic, applied antibacterial cream and wrapped a bandage around it. it started to recover and so the holes inside the wound where maggots thrived from were gone, leaving it nice and pink. however today i saw that it has swollen. plz tell me what i can do at home to prevent and protect my cat from maggots!? all creams and oral medicines. i can’t take him to the vet as the shop is closed right now, plus it’s way to expensive! already i’ve taken him several times in the past, making my parents furious !

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Sounds like there is something else going on. You seem to have treated it well, but if it is still swollen and getting worse you need to see a vet. Sometimes all the cream and time you put into these cases are more costly than just seeing a local vet. Maggots in a cat abscess are not normal and are indicators of potentially something very bad. This cat needs oral antibiotics and a good vet exam. Sorry I can not be more help. See if the local vet will trade you services for cleaning the office or something?

  11. roxy says:

    thankyou for your advice :) but the country i live in, kids do’nt do local, or odd jobs such as cleaning,news paper delivery,mowing the lawn etc, i wish i could but it actually servant work, which if i do will harm our family reputation !:( hence, just tell me if i can give him augmenton(anti biotic) , as i gave him last time on my vets prescription and he recovered ! fortunately ur a doctor too, so plz just tell me the medicine and its dosage ! pleaaasee ! i’d be grateful !

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I can not give you a diagnosis or dosage for a prescription drug. Augmentin is not the drug we use in cats here, it is a veterinary version called Clavamox that we recommend (a different mixture of drugs in the pill.) I would call your vet and ask him what you gave last time, this should not cost any money. Good luck. There is a strict limit as to what I can recommend without seeing you pet.

  12. chelsea says:

    Hi there.

    My cat was outside today and i noticed a lot of flies around her tail area. I shooed them and noticed tiny little yellow what i think are eggs. I washed her with soapy water and combed out any more that were hanging on.

    There arr a few more still around her vagina but i read that they hatch in 1-3 days. Would the bath have killed them? If i bath her agaon tomorrow and keep her inside will that do the trick? I had a good look at the eggs and there is no movement in them. They look like specs of hay almost.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      This sounds like lice, or maybe maggot eggs. A good bath and maybe a gentle flea bath should do the trick. Try to get as many off as possible. If she is healthy and wound free the maggots should not be a problem….the lice might be a pain. Good luck.

  13. Cherie says:

    I have a 10yr old OES who is clipped. He had a dirty bottom yesterday & I washed it. His behavior has been a bit different overnight & today when I got home from work I realized he had another dirty bottom. when I looked closely I saw he had some maggots in the anus area and under his tail docking area. I have thoroughly cleaned this now and surrounding areas. The skin is red and I have applied Dettol (which a vet has previously told me kills maggots & their eggs). I am confident I have treated this well. I have some Cephalexin and want to give it to him to treat any potential bacterial infection from the maggots. Would this help him?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Why is he getting maggots? Can you isolate a wound or sore? Try to keep the area dry and clean with soap and water multiple times a day. I can not advise to give the cefalexin without seeing the dog, but some form of antibiotic would be advised. Keeping the area clean and dry is a priority, dettol will work but is very harsh on the skin and this should we watched for a rash, and the underlying cause should be addressed. I would try your regiment for a little and if you see no improvement or it is getting worse then go to a vet immediately.

      • Cherie says:

        Oes are prone to getting faeces caught in their coat. He has always had an issue and he is docked right back with a thick coat so that doesn’t help. I have my first one with a tail and it seems they stay far cleaner with the tail. Thanks for the advice

        • Dr. Stewart says:

          Got it, so it should be easy to keep that area clipped short and clean. We routinely clean and shave that area for dogs (and cats) and especially OES, Bearded Collies, Poodles, GR, BMD and other long hair breeds. This should be easy to fix and the wounds should heal. Be careful when you shave it not to damage the skin more! Good luck.

  14. Marina says:

    I just Found my puppy(a month old) with her left ear full if maggots. I don’t have money to take the pier girl to the vet I don’t know what To do?!!

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      You need to get her to an SPCA or a vet. This will just be the start of her medical bills and if you can not afford her care, you should probably find a home or a place that will care for her. Owning a dog is a big financial responsibility and not something to ignore. Sorry, but this sounds serious and there will be more problems in the future.

  15. sherri says:

    My puppy was attacked by Pitt Bull Dogs two days ago..we took him to emergency vet.. they flushed and stitched many wound… he is on two antibiotics and pain meds… we found maggots in his open puncture wounds.. taking back to get tomorrow.. what can they do?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Good questions. The vet can further flush the wounds and give you specific flush to use at home. It seems strange to have maggots in a treated wound, but it is possible if the wound was left before going to the vet. It might just take time to heal. Keep the puppy inside away from flies as well. If the dog starts to heal, there should not be any more maggots. Good luck.

  16. Amahar says:

    My cat is suffering from maggots in his mouth. I took him to the vet twice and they do nothing but just fill the infected area with a cream. They are not removing the maggots not even on my request. And they are not even recommending any medicine.please help.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I would certainly try another vet. They should be be able to flush the maggots out and give the cat antibiotics. Maggots in the mouth is a very serious problem and needs to be addressed. Sorry.

  17. Sam says:

    My vet said that my dog’s poop smelled like it had larva in it……what does that mean? I have not seen any…..and how would a dog that does not go outside and get in other’s business get larva in her poop?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Not sure what that means… did the vet say anything about tasting larva in the poop? Just kidding. I have never heard of this. Dogs can get worms from their mothers or even just from licking the bottom of shoes if they themselves do not go outside. Not sure about the smell. That is a new one.

  18. Deb says:

    I wish I had found this site sooner. I thought my 10 year old Pyrenees had worms so I gave him dewormer but they were still there so I gave him an expensive one that covers tapeworm too. He had a messy bottom so I bathed him as best I could about a month ago, and rinsed him off several times since. He seemed to feel fine until a few days ago. He is an outside dog but has a large area to roam. When I looked closer the worms had multiplied greatly and were now in his coat above his tail too. His coat is very thick. I took him to vet right away. They weren’t worms but maggots. The vet said since the maggots had been in rectum so long there would be too much internal damage. I had to put him down. What I thought were worms were maggots and in my ignorance allowed my beautiful boy to be infested beyond treatment. I’m posting this so no one else will make the same mistake.

  19. thank you for giving reassuring advice… i came here to look for more info on maggots in a cats vagina…my medium length orange tabby… yesterday she was little unclean in the bum area… cleaned her up and off she went. just her pride crushed. this morning again unclean totally unlike her but i thought she had worms…. cleaned up this afternoon…grosses thing have ever seen … phoned the vet had surgery and medicine and a bare bum area…. i hope never to see that again

  20. Adrea says:

    Hi Dr. Stewart,
    I have an Indian runner duck that got a pretty nasty raccoon bite on its back about a month ago. I flushed the wound and applied. ointment/wrapped it daily. I let her got back outside after about a week when a solid scab had formed and there was no indication of infection. Since then I briefly examine the wound every few days to ensure it is still healing well. the scab had gotten down to the size of a dime l. howeve, i noticed she was limping. Maggots have gotte,n intoher eg. while flushing them out I began to see spots all over her body where maggots have star ted eating healthy tissue. I spent 2 hours flushing them out but I’m sure I missed some. ould Ivermectin help and be safe for a duck.Is there anything else you suggest I do?
    Thanks,
    Adrea

    • Adrea says:

      P.S. Sorry for the all the typo-s. I was trying to write this from my phone.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Great question. I think Ivermectin has limited action against maggots that are in healthy tissue, but I am honestly not a duck person. We give capstar sometimes if we want to kill the small maggots in mammals. There must be another problem going on if maggots have invaded the healthy tissues of the duck. This is a serious problem. Is there an exotic or poultry vet in the area? I have treated birds with ivermectin for Bot Fly larva and it seemed to help, so it might be worth a shot. Can you keep cleaning with peroxide or another flushing agent to get the maggots out? I would be concerned. Good luck. see if you can get to a poultry vet.

  21. Terri says:

    We have a cat who is not really disabled, but his back legs had to be pinned back together after an unkown accident that crushed both back knees. he gets around well, even partially climbs trees. But he is quite thin on the back end now, losing muscle tone and tonight we called him (he is an indoor outdoor cat, arrived here as a stray several years ago) and found fly eggs (no maggots that I found) on his back and back legs… he went immediately to the bath for a thorough scrub down nad then a brush and combing… as we were combing I can see clumps of the sticky eggs, most of which we got out, but singles still remain. We plan to go thru the process again tomorrow – what else can I do to help this guy? He was treated for digestive worms this spring… should I re-treat? Vinegar rinse? I just don’t know what to do…

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I think you are on the right path. Depending on where you live and seasonality of the flies you might only have to be vigilant in the summer. Hopefully the larva (maggots) will not attach into healthy skin. There are some that do and there are even bot and cuterebra flies that are really problematic with healthy skin. You might try Frontline or another anti-insectacide topical to help with the flies or maybe a diluted citronella spray. They are making great advances in flea and tick collars and drops and I would assume these will work well. Good questions, good luck.

  22. Maria says:

    My tenant left her kitchen garbage can outside her door (instead of taking it to the curb) during temperatures over 100°C. There were maggots crawling on the floor right inside her door and on the ground just outside her door. I noticed that her cat has a skin irritation of some kind. Could the maggots get on the cat and cause disease? Thank you!

    • Maria says:

      Sorry that should have read over 100°F, not C!

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Good questions. I guess if there was an open wound it is possible but very unlikely. The maggots that eat flesh are not the same as the ones that eat fruit and garbage (usually) and contact like that is very rare. I would think a quick clean up and a cat bath would do the trick. I have never heard of this type of infection. Good questions.

      • t.powell says:

        pls help.i have alot of maggotts appeared from rubbish bags being in heat.how can i descretely and quickly get rid of them thats also safe for my dog??also can these maggotts infect or have or do anything to her if she does come accross any in the garden whilst out doing her business and noseing round.im worried to let her go out there.pls pls help asap!!

        • Dr. Stewart says:

          It is very unlikely that maggots from the trash will infect the dog. It might indicate bad food and bad meat nearby which will make her sick if she gets into that, but the maggots should not harm her. Just clean the area up and you should be ok.

  23. ajoplin says:

    I found 4 puppies that I’m guessing are about a week old. I’ve been bottle feeding them for almost a week now and I just noticed maggots when they use the bathroom and around their back legs. I’ve used tweezers to remove all that I saw and I haven’t noticed anymore .. I’m really worried and not sure what to do. Is there anything I can do to help them?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Bring them to the vet. These are less likely maggots and more likely intestinal worms coming out of them. Bring them to the vet or the SPCA or another shelter to be properly looked after. There is nothing I can tell you to do because they need more than just simple care.

  24. Carrie says:

    Hi Dr. S,
    My Beautiful Wolfeee wonder dawg was attacked by the g*d flies this spring… horrible. she was ‘circling’ for days… and her hind end was giving out… but, i didn’t make the connection till the 2nd or 3rd day… (((she was weak and in shock and i found them when i rolled her over when grooming her… terrible shock… for me… in all her years i had/have never encountered ‘maggots’.))). she has been ‘healing’ since may!!!!!!! mid~may. the vet shaved her and she did the round of anti~biotics fine. and i have had to re~fill the TOPICAL anti~bacterial once now. but, MY QUESTION is: should it be taking this long to heal??????????????????? the wound was on her Left Hip… and the ‘vet’ didn’t give her more than a few days to LIVE… (((that’s how close to death’s door she was))). i turn her every few hours and change her pee pads and fleece blanket top coat ((trying to prevent any ‘bed soars’ and other ‘weaknesses in her hide’… it isn’t red or swollen — but, still not ‘closed’. it was terribly deep and almost the size of a 50 cent piece. and it slowly repaired. and the hide did close eventually… but the new hide is now still weak and not closed … will that new hide fall off (since it’s opened again…???)??? my girl will be 16 in september. i hope she makes it to her birthday and beyond. (((she became incontinent of few summers ago… but, other than that she has been tremendously active and healthy her whole life.))). it took me a long time to figure out how to keep her ‘dry’… but, i finally did… thru the horror of the flies… puppy pee pads (bed pads for ‘elderly’) off of EBAY and the fleece blankets on top… to create more of a barrier and cushion have been beyond beneficial.!. (none of the vet prescribed ‘incontinence’ or wholistic treatments have helped with that one issue ::(((. i just want to keep her comfortable and safe thru our last days/months/beyond while she’s here… and i hope that that wound will CLOSE eventually! thank you for her insights and information. you are very helpful.
    sincerely,
    me and mama doggie

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I’m confused as to what caused the wound. If it is a sore from not being able to get up or a wound under a hair mat that had maggots in a 16 year old large breed dog, then I would think the wound might not ever heal. If it was a wound from injury or trauma then there is a chance of it healing. It sounds like she is incontinent and maybe unable rise, these dogs often will not heal well at all. You will have to manage the wound as open for a while and hope a thin fragile piece of scar tissue will cover the wound. Make sure she is comfortable and remember it is not the length of life that is important but the quality of life. I would hate to keep a dog alive that can not rise or move just for the sake of doing that. Good luck.

      • leah says:

        I have a female Australian shepherd and as everyone has noted it has been a terrible year for flies. My horses, cows, goats and apparently my dogs are suffering as well. My aussie is heavy coated and typically we have no problems, however Iv noticed her liking like she needed to go potty and nothing happening. This setfoff alarms and I put on my glove tonight to do a light internal inspection and find maggots in her rectum. This is only intensified by the fact that she just had puppies two days ago. I didn’t think they got in to the rectum that quickly and this is the first day Iv seen any change in behavior. She’s is a working dog and hates to be up so we allowed her to have the pups outside. I know I need to take her to the vet, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to make her comfortable? I am a vet tech by profession with over eight years experience, but am currently unemployed due to having my first child. So I am slightly embarrassed this happened….please help. Basically, other than an antibiotic, can u flush them out internally via external methods? Enema, saline flush, light peroxide flush, iodine, etc…Just curious as to the effects vs the potential side effects. I’m already going to clean the area and clip her. Thank u for your time and I appreciate any suggestions.

        • Dr. Stewart says:

          I cant imagine why they would be in her rectum??? Is there dead tissue there? Are you sure it is not pin worms, or tapeworms? Tapeworms are more likely and look like maggots. If it is true maggots then you need to figure out why they are there. A sedated exam and see if there is a rectal tear? You can try an enema to flush them out, but I cant imagine that will work and the dog will be very unhappy. Anything other than saline or water with a drop of soap is a bad idea. Make sure they are really maggots and not tapeworms then visit a vet asap. If they are tapeworms, that is an easy pill but you have to make sure the medicine is ok for nursing mothers. The vet can give you stronger medication that will help if they are maggots.

  25. Carrie says:

    thanks so much. i wondered if the ‘wound’ would ever heal. my girl can still get up !!! and has an appetite too… but, yes the ‘incontinence’ i was told ‘weakens’ the hide. and when she was healing from the maggot attack (it was DEEP) … i would lay her on the ‘good side’… that ended up causing sores that have since healed. but, now i rotate her when she sleeps to keep her comfortable. she is on 75 mg of Deramaxx and 100 mg of Gabapentin/ per day. but, with the original wound still not healed… i just don’t know anymore. whhwwww thanks very much. she is my first dog… and it is pretty heart breaking and hard to let go… her eyes are still bright and she is still present.!. (((::))) but, the last couple days… she is definitely breathing harder and not sleeping as well as usu. xoUs

  26. Carole says:

    This morning my neighbor motioned me to come over,(she was actually several houses down as she was on her wayto church. Anyway, I saw the plastic bin she was holding and my heart sank knowing that what was in there were either kittens or puppies.
    They were kittens. One was dead and the other two have maggots. They are young with eyes barely open. One of them have maggots in the rectum as well as somerather large sores on both sides near the tail. The other one is not quite as bad but does have maggots in rectom I bathed them in a mild soap and water and hand picked maggots best I could, I have a feeling the one will need euthanasia, but would to save the other one.

  27. Michele says:

    I just noticed that my dog has maggots in a hole in her ear. She has been itching for a few days. She has thick hair so I only just now found the hole. Can I wait till the morning to get her to a vet or should I get her to an emergency center?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Good question. It might have been there a few days and so another day might not be a problem. The sooner the better. You can probably wait, but the dog is most likely uncomfortable and the sooner it is fixed the better. It depends on your money and time and how much the dog is suffering. Good luck.

  28. Ludwig says:

    Last night we noticed a small wound on my dog’s nose, was worried and brought her to the vet this morning and found out that there’s maggots. We’re instructed to flush it out using peroxide and combinex. We already took out 10 rice sized maggots. She was also given amoxicillin syrup for the infection. Would like to know your opinion if this is enough or what else should we do, like medicines or ointments needed.. thank you!

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      That should be enough, but if it doesn’t work you might have to sedate her and open the wound up to get a better flush. I know people use systemic flea medications to kill maggots but you probably do not need these at this point. If you vet thinks that will work, I agree. Good luck and YUCK!

  29. Carrie says:

    hi doc.
    still nursing my (almost 16yr old) girl’s wound. and i keep fly spray on her when she’s outside (to keep the gnats and flies away). i had her sleeping on her bed in the garage…(afternoon nap otherwise i keep her inside to sleep with me…) but, it was a gorgeous day and she was up and at ‘em. so when she wanted to rest i thought — so gorgeous outside and she’s got all the spray on her. ok. well i look in on her after an hour or TWO and those g*d FLIES are on her PAWS ((( the only place i didn’t ‘spray’ (((i focus on her toosh and hips and back legs and tail))).
    why would they be on her front legs ???/PAWS!!!! so i trimmed all the fir between her toes… and brushed her and brushed her (b/c i don’t know where else they may have gone???). but, i found the start of the maggots ((( the white fuzzie little ‘nests’s))) on one paw for sure. i immediately brought her inside to her bed … and continued to clean and brush her… and cleaned btw. her toes … ?… why!? i am going to
    put her in the bathtub tomorr. and hope i got them before they get her… i just can’t believe it.

  30. Heidi says:

    I have a 2 week old calf, that has had the scours.. Bum is wet of course, but very weak and stopped eating.. Ears were cold, so I decided to check her temp.. When I lifted her tail found and open wound at her base of her tail, and maggots surrounding her anus.. Freaked out and took her temp, 101.7…. Saw a maggot crawl out of her butt.. Doused her with 7% iodine all around her tail n anus.. We are an organic farm, flies being one of our biggest nuissences. How do I tell if they have invaded her intestines, and can I treat her with anything organically? I heard flush with mineral oil to drown the maggots, I just have never encountered this before..

  31. R shupe says:

    Hi iv got a iv got a pet squirrel. I rescued him a little over two years ago when he fell out of his nest when he was just a infant. He was so small he didnt have much fur and his eyes and ears werent even open yet. He looked like a little bald headed baby rat. His tail looked more like a rats tail then a cute bushy squirrell tail. Anyways I bottle fed him almost every hour dureing the day and every two hours at night. I got some kind of milk replacement powder you mix with water at the pet store. I kept his box sitting on a heating pad to keep him warm. That was over twoyears ago iv loved and taken care of him ever since iI found him. He is tame as a kitten he jumps on my leg and climbs right up to my shoulder. Now today I noticed a small hole in his skin back near his bottom I think he has a magot or worm burrowed down in there with him being a squirrell that im not legally suppose to have I cant rush him to my vet. What can Ido for him? My dog is recovering from an ear infection and iI have some antibiotics left over is it safe to give a small amount to my squirrell? The antibiotic my dog is on is called keflex.
    If anyone has any advice please let me know. My email is katdonavon@gmail.com

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      I would contact a local wildlife rescue, and you can call a local vet to ask advice and if they would see you. I really do not know much about squirrels. Try a local zoo if there is nothing else.

  32. Donna says:

    My son left hot dogs in his tackle box and we ended up with maggots–a lot of them. We hosed down the box, squished a bunch, sprayed a bunch with Roundup and threw boiling water on them as well. I’m worried about the ones that got away. I have an 8 week old puppy and unfortunately, my son dumped the maggots right by our back door where the pup goes in and out to relieve himself. Any advice?

  33. Alex says:

    My dog Is 8 and I found out her food was infested with maggots the bowl has been there for at a week and my dog has been acting different than she usually is so I just want to know if she’s going to be ok

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Can not say. If there were maggots in her food then the food was bad and she will likely have GI upset and diarrhea. This will not lead to maggots in her stomach, but the bad food can lead to all sorts of stuff. Change her food (duh) and see how she does. Bring her to your vet if you see diarrhea or vomiting. Make sure she eats well and drinks well and has no other clinical signs from bad food.

  34. Brandi says:

    I have a female dog that had a blanket in her kennel it was clean when I put it in her kennel. She was let out in the morning and I was gone for 6 hrs and she had an accident on her blanket. She is pregnant and due Oct 15th. When I took the blanket out there were maggots under it everywhere. My question is can it hurt the puppies? There were only 30 maggots there and weren’t any where else. I gave her a bath and checked her all over and didn’t find any on her.

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      Are you sure they were not ant larva or something living under the blanket? I would have that kennel very clean before the puppies arrive, but I’m not sure there is anything else you can do now if the mother dog has no wounds. Just keep watching.

  35. babygurl says:

    I gave my 10 month old pit bull chicken wings she seemed fine but the last 2 days she is very different drooling from mouth barely. Eating and vomiting up thick white mucus. I cant afford to take her to the vet i tried white rice but she wont eat it. And now flies are attacking. Her tail and anus. Please help i dont want to loose her…

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      She might have a wing stuck in her throat or mouth? Is she vomiting? If she has never been to a vet or vaccinated she might have parvo or worms…. there are too many options here. I would breing her to the SPCA and get her checked out or risk losing her. Flies attacking her rear does not sound good.

  36. Jan says:

    We found tons of maggots in Our 14 year old shepherd mix tonight. We were able to remove many. We plan to bring him to the vet in the morning. Since some of them are falling off of him, do I need to be concerned about our other 2 dogs getting infected? Can the maggots infect us?

    • Dr. Stewart says:

      They will only infect you if you have open wounds, immune system problems or get them in a very sensitive place. Clean them up and keep the dog clean and away from the other dogs. Good luck at the vet.

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