Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Myiasis, Pets Being Eaten Alive

In the summer there is a risk to your pets that you may not even be aware of.

If your pets are indoors this is not a common problem, but is a huge risk to outdoor pets, particularly rabbits.

Myiasis is a condition in which fly larvae eat an animal alive, and can kill it.  There are many flies that can cause this problem, the most common being the blowfly.

Myiasis is also called Fly Strike, or Blowfly Strike.

The problem often starts at an open wound, the flies lay their eggs on the flesh, and the larvae hatch out and start eating into the rotting flesh, sometimes feeding on live flesh.  The maggots spread bacteria infection to the bloodstream of the animal and effectively kill it.

In many cases the problem happens around the animals anus (bottom), which when dirty attracts flies even when their is no wound.  The flies lay their eggs on and around the anus of the animal.  The maggots then hatch and start eating the animal while it is still alive.  This is very common in pet rabbits who are kept in outdoor hutches, and in sheep, particularly those in Australia where blowflies are very active in the summer.

You can protect your pet from fly strike by keeping an eye on it, making sure that there are no open sores, and that its rump is always kept clean, and dry.  Cage areas should also be kept clean to prevent flies from being attracted.  People who own pets in areas where blowflies are common can help their pet by keeping it indoors, rabbits in hutches face huge risks.


If you suspect your pet has fly strike veterinarian attention is required immediately to control the bacterial infection from killing the pet.  Maggots can be removed if possible, but this alone is not enough.  In many cases by the time the owner discovers that the pet is infected with Myiasis it is too late.

Further Reading

Fly Strike, a Deadly Killer of Pets
Mulesing, Australias Cruel Way of Dealing with Fly Strike

6 comments:

  1. thanks for information, my pet is always in outside and i didn't know about this. this is helpful

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  2. Very informative post. I like to read your blog. Do all animals can be affected by these flies? I just hope you also put the way how to overcome this matter. But anyway thanks for your sharing in this way. Can't wait to read your blog.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. Fly strikes can be so annoying. Myiasis is a headache for most pet owners. Most of the treatment methods available are harmful to our dear pets as well. I came across a very good article on how to treat our pets from this condition the natural way. It is so cheap using only Neem oil, camphor and turmeric, and poses no danger to our pets as well. For those who are interested in reading it, check it out here: Best Natural Remedy for Maggot Infestation for Pets

    This online website has started a new column on 'holistic veterinary' which I believe will be good for all pet owners.

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