No one likes to think about maggots. Just a warning—this article may contain information that makes some people uncomfortable. We’ll try to not get too gross but do want to share the details to help pet parents who have this question.
What are Maggots?
Simply put, maggots are fly larvae, which develop from eggs that are laid by a fly. Flies lay their eggs where they feel their offspring will be safe and have food nearby. This means they commonly lay their eggs in old or rotten food, animals that have died, and more.
Maggots are just one of the stages that flies go through as develop from eggs into adults. It’s a natural part of their lifecycle.
Did you know these creepy crawlies are often used for bait fishing? Live maggots are also sometimes used to clean wounds of dead tissue and aid healing. So, these crawly things can have their good uses, too. In fact, maggots have pretty bit appetites, and only live where there’s plenty of food available.
While researching this article, we found information that maggots can also live in water. Some people try to drown maggots, but this is not effective since they can live in water. Yuck!
Maggots can be killed by:
- Pouring boiling water on them
- Squishing them
- Putting them in beer
- Certain chemicals are available that can kill these crawly larvae
If for any reason your dog has maggots on his skin, never use these or any other methods to kill the larvae. Instead, head directly to the vet so these things can be done away with professionally and safely.
What if My Dog Eats a Maggot?
If your dog only eats one maggot, he should be just fine. However, he could get sick if he eats a bunch of maggots. Dogs don’t usually become very sick, but they could develop nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after eating so many maggots.
The main problem for your dog will be if he ate whatever the maggots were living on. This could be something that’s been dead for a while or rotting food. Either way, this could make your dog really sick.
Another issue is that the animal (before it died) may have been infected with parasites. If your dog ate these, he could develop the same type of infection.
So, if your dog has eaten a maggot or two, he will be OK. If he’s eaten more than that, eaten something that’s dead or rotting, then you may want to give the vet a call. Your vet will be able to provide the best guidance on next steps, which may include treating your dog for parasites or other problems.
KyokoKyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!
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