Puppy Hero

Blog archive

How Do Dogs Get Botflies?

If you’ve noticed a hole in your dog’s skin and are wondering what it is, it could be botfly, also called Cuterebra or warbles. Please continue reading to learn more about this condition, including what causes it, how your dog can get it, and what you should do if your dog has a botfly.

Where do dog botflies come from?

Botflies are a type of parasite. They are also called heel flies, warble flies, or gadflies. Botfly larvae can enter an animal’s body and act as an internal parasite. Some species of botflies grow in the skin while others are gut parasites.

How do dogs get botfly?

Botflies lay their eggs on blades of grass, often near rodent holes or rabbit burrows. If your dog comes in contact with a blade of grass that has a botfly (Cuterebra larvae or maggot) on it, the maggot can crawl onto your dog’s skin. Your dog thus becomes an accidental host for the botfly. Dogs that hunt rodents in the wild are most commonly infected with warbles. The hole where the maggot enters your dog’s skin is typically located in the head and neck region or the front legs.

How can I tell if my dog has a botfly?

Botflies leave a small “breathing hole” on the host’s skin. If you notice a small lump under your dog’s skin with an opening, it could be a botfly. Other signs and symptoms of botflies in dogs include nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing.

How do you get rid of bot flies on a dog?

It is best to take your dog to the veterinarian to have a botfly diagnosis confirmed and safely removed.

Can I remove a botfly from my dog at home?

Do not attempt to remove a botfly from your dog at home. You can cause serious harm to your pet.

Do botfly holes heal?

Yes, once your vet has removed the botfly, the warble hole should heal in about a week.

What happens if a bot fly is not removed?

Left untreated, the botfly larva will eventually leave your dog’s body on its own. But botflies can be very painful for your pooch. The larvae have spines that can pinch your dog’s skin. Even after the parasite has left your dog’s body, it can leave behind an empty cyst. This cyst can become infected and cause a skin abscess. That’s why it’s important to see prompt treatment from the vet if you suspect botflies in your dog.

Can humans get bot flies from dogs?

It is rare for humans to get infected by botfly from a dog, but it is not impossible. More commonly, humans get infected by botflies when the female flies lay their eggs on blood-sucking ticks or mosquitoes. When these infected arthropods bite a human, the botfly larvae are transferred to the host’s skin and enter through the bite wound or a hair follicle.

Stay tuned to the Puppy Hero blog for more information on your dog’s health. In the meantime, read about home treatments for anemia in dogs. Or check out possible reasons your dog’s eye is swollen.

14 January, 2023