Recently a friend told me a story of a near doggie catastrophe. It is her dog, a dog that is a member of her family. This doggie is a 12-year-old St Bernard named Lucy and here is her story in her own words. My friend’s words that is, not Lucy’s.
“This is mostly been seen in older breeds with heavy fur. The ones that tend to get arthritis in their hips and become less active as they age. Our St. Bernard is going on 12 years now…still acts like a pup sometimes, but after this, she is now an indoor dog now! I refuse to allow this to happen to her again!
In the hip area, where the arthritis inflames the joints, I guess makes the area warm. Then when the animal grooms themselves, they make they area moist…drawing flies. Then the flies lay eggs deep in the fur.
I began to notice large clumps of matted fur and a horrible foul odor. Then Lucy began to rip fur out her skin. My husband brought her in and bathed her, thinking that maybe she was having a reaction to a chemical a neighbor sprayed on their yard. Once she was wet, he began to cut the matted fur off, only to cut into several nests of maggots! The next morning, Lucy was kind of lethargic, had a hard time moving and wouldn’t eat…the maggots secrete poison if they embed into the skin. Fortunately, when the vet shaved her, the maggots had not embedded and we caught in early enough that Lucy is going to be okay! She is taking a steroid and an antibiotic for 10 days now and although she looks like a lion (according to our neighbor…I think she looks like an over grown poodle), she’s back to her normal self…living the life of an indoor dog! Our Chihuahua/Dachshund mix doesn’t like it much, but she’ll just have to get used to it!”
Lucy is a lucky dog. I have heard of animal wounds becoming infected and drawing flies, thus maggots; but up until now I had never heard of this happening in the wet fur of an animal. Please take this as a learning experience and share with your furry friend’s owners. This has been an extremely hot summer. Here in Massachusetts we have had numerous humid sticky days. Prime weather for bug breeding. Keep a close eye on pets that go outside and check daily for any kind of hitchhiker that can cause harm.