Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maggot Season

There are many things that vets find cool that the average person would think was gross. I admit THIS topic, even *I* do not like.  (remember, I love cat abscesses!).

This is the time of year when we see animals (mostly dogs and some rabbits) with maggot infestation. A normal, healthy dog will NOT get maggots - even if kept outside. Maggots like to feed on dead or decaying tissue. So generally we find maggots on dogs that are old/decrepit and have something else going on. This is usually a wound of some kind or feces stuck to the hind end, etc. 

Maggots can and do burrow into the skin and any openings or orifices on the pet - mouth, anus, vulva, etc. Dogs can become septic from it and die. However, it is very treatable. Generally, we clip up and clean the area. Then we administer an oral product that helps kill the larvae. This drug usually needs to be given a few times in a short span (once a day or every other day for a while). We also treat the typical infections that occur and any pain associated with this process.

This entire process occurs because of general neglect: either the pet needs to be kept indoors or at least checked more regularly. In my opinion and experience, there is NO good reason a pet would even have maggots.  

1 comment:

  1. Good Morning Christine,

    I recall how grossed out high school boys would become as I explained the life cycles of some of the African digestive based "critters" causing horrible diseases.

    Even the guys agreed that hand washing in the bathroom was a great idea after those classes.

    Interrupting that life cycle is all it takes, but the animal needs a suitable environment to live in so new infestations are avoided.
    Take care Christine,