Maggots are larvae of flies (early developmental stage) and its infestation is called Myiasis. It is caused when flies lay their eggs around your dog’s environment or on your pet. Flies get attracted to wounds on your dog’s body, dirty fur matted with urine and faeces, hot spots, ruptured skin masses, or skin folds.
When the eggs are laid, they hatch in about 1-3 days and the larvae start feeding on the debris of dead skin. After a while, the larvae will produce some enzymes that allow it to penetrate the dog’s skin where they feed on healthy skin and grow into a big maggot. In infestation, you will notice a bulge when rubbing your fingers on your dog’s body. Sometimes you might visibly see the maggot or notice a foul smell.
Contrary to popular opinion on self-management of skin maggots, it is advisable to take your pet to the Vet for treatment. The hole created by the maggot can get infected causing a more extensive infection on the skin. In some cases, the maggots can migrate to visceral organs like the lungs where they cause severe disease.
Infestation rates increase with wet-rainy seasons because of an increase in the number of flies although the disease can occur all year round. Myiasis can be mild to severe, and the best way to keep it off your pet is to prevent it in the first place. This can be achieved by daily cleaning of your dog’s bedding and kennel, maintaining fur and hair coat hygiene, and keeping your dog in a dry place, especially if they have a wound or skin infection.