What kills maggots on a dog?

Understanding Maggots in Dogs

One of the most common issues that dogs face is the infestation of maggots. Maggots are the larval stage of a fly and are mostly seen in moist regions of the body, especially in and around the ears, anus, and genitals. These larvae breed in contaminated wounds or on fecal matter, which is why dogs that suffer from a wound, particularly if near the anus, are more prone to a maggot infection. These tiny worms that wriggle around on your dog’s skin can cause a lot of discomfort and harm if not treated promptly.

Symptoms of Maggot infestation

General Signs of Maggot Infestation

The symptoms of maggot infestation may vary depending on the severity of the infection. The following are some general signs that you should lookout for:

  • Bleeding
  • A foul odor emanating from your dog’s coat
  • Visible maggots on the skin
  • Scratching, licking, chewing, or rubbing the infected area
  • Redness or swelling of the skin around the wound

Specific Signs in Different Regions

The symptoms of a maggot infection can also vary depending on the affected area of the body. Here are some specific signs to check for:

  • Ears – Discharge, bad smell, redness, inflammation, and head shaking.
  • Genitals – Lesions, discharge, discomfort, inflammation, and pain sores.
  • Wounds – Unusual discharge, redness, inflammation, abnormal swelling, and pain.
  • Anal area – Agitation, redness, unusual discharge, and unusual fecal matter in the area.

Diagnosis of Maggot Infestation

If you spot any of the signs or symptoms in your dog, it is best to seek veterinary help immediately. A vet will conduct a thorough physical examination and may conduct a few tests to establish the extent of the infection. They may scrape the area surrounding the wound to check for maggots or use a magnifying glass to detect movement. Your vet may also perform blood tests or an ultrasound scan to find the position of the maggots in the body.

Treatment for Maggot Infestation

Cleanse the Infected Area

The first step in treating maggots is cleaning up the affected area. You can use diluted antiseptic solutions to clean the skin and remove any maggots that are visible to the naked eye. If the area is painful or seriously infected, then contact a vet to clean it using safe sedation and anesthesia. Also, you must not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean up the infected region as it may hurt the live tissues surrounding the wound and delay healing.


Once the infected area is cleaned, your vet will prescribe medications to treat your dog’s condition. Depending on the type and severity of the infection, they may prescribe antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs to eliminate the maggots and prevent further damage. Some examples of medications that may be used include ivermectin, fenbendazole, pyrantel pamoate or moxidectin.


In certain severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infestation. In extreme circumstances, maggots may burrow deep into the tissues of the body which can aggravate the infection and be fatal for the animal. If medication and home remedies don’t work, the vet will operate and remove the maggots completely.

Prevention Tips

Cleanliness and Hygiene

The best way to avoid a maggot infestation in your dog is to maintain proper hygiene conditions. Cleanliness is critical as it helps prevent bacterial and parasitic infections that may lead to the growth of maggots. Besides, it is important to clean up after your dog and dispose of feces appropriately. If possible, try to prevent your dog from sleeping close to trash cans or piles of waste.

Protective Measures

If your dog has a wound, cover it with a sterile dressing or protective covering which will safeguard it from flies and other insects. Also, keep your dog’s living area clean by regularly vacuuming floors, washing beddings and grooming your pet’s fur.


Maggots can be a painful and frustrating experience for both you and your dog. However, it is essential to address the problem promptly to avoid further harm. By following the tips mentioned above, you can prevent maggot infestations in your dog and keep your pet healthy and happy. In case of symptoms or signs of maggots, take your dog to the vet right away for diagnosis and treatment.

FAQs on What Kills Maggots on a Dog

What Solution Can I Use To Clean The Infected Area?

You can use diluted antiseptic solutions like chlorhexidine, iodine or hydrogen peroxide to clean the infected area.

Are Maggots Dangerous To My Dog?

Yes, maggots are dangerous to a dog since they can cause damage to the surrounding tissues of the body resulting in infection and pain.

Can Maggots Die In The Absence of a Host?

Yes, maggots can die if they don’t have a host to feed on or if the surrounding environmental conditions are too unfavorable.

Can I Do Anything To Prevent Maggot Infestations in Dogs?

To prevent maggot infestations in your dog, keep your pet clean, avoid contaminated environments, and cover wounds with protective coverings. Always seek veterinary help when your pet shows any signs of a maggot infection.


1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/parasites/how-treat-maggots-your-dog

2. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/maggot-infestation-in-dogs

3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/maggots-dogs/