Botflies: How They Affect Your Pet Dog

If your dog goes outside, they will run into flies and other insects. While most of those bugs won't bother your pet, there are some bugs which will see your dog as the perfect place to lay their eggs and house their larvae. Botflies are one of those insects. 


Botflies, or Cuterebra, are found all over the US. There are several different species and they tend to affect rabbits and rodents, although they can, and do, affect just about any other mammal, including human beings. The botfly will lay their eggs in the grass or other vegetation, so when your dog pass through the grass, after the eggs have hatched, the larvae get on your pet and enter through any body orifice they can find. Once the larva is in your pet, they will migrate through any and all tissue until they get to the skin, and there they will stay, just under the skin until it's time for them to turn into flies. 

Signs of Botflies

It's important that you know what the signs of having a botfly larva in your pet. Those signs include a large lump or bump on your pet's skin, which may have a small hole right in the center of the lump. At times, you may be able to see some kind of movement in that lump or bump because the larva is moving around. Other signs are skin abscesses around the area and a place where your dog keeps scratching and licking. 

Getting Rid of Botflies

If your pet does have some botfly larvae under their skin, you want to make sure that you get rid of them as soon as possible. Ideally, you should take your pet to the vet and have them handle it. That's because if the removal isn't handled correctly, they may release some kind of nasty substance that could injure your pet. Your vet will be able to give your pet some kind of anesthesia or sedation so that they are able to stay calm during the removal, otherwise, your pet may be really upset during the removal. It could be upsetting to your pet and they may squirm around, making it hard for the vet to get a good hold of the larva. Once it's gone, your vet may prescribe some antibiotics to make sure that the are doesn't get infected and you will have to watch to make sure it heals correctly.

Dogs that go outside can end up with infestations of botfly larvae, but they can be gotten rid of with the help of your vet. Contact a company like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital for more information.