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Fly Strike Dermatitis

Issue Description
Occurs at the tip and folds of the ear in dogs. It is caused by bites of the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans.
Other Names
Blowfly Strike, Myiasis




Causes
The flies' bites result in severe irritation to the skin, producing bloody crusts and scabs.

Increased Risks
Increased risks for developing Fly strike include:

  • Animals who spend the majority of the time outside
  • Animals with diarrhea
  • Animals with vomiting
  • Animals with scratches or sores
  • Animals with matted hair
  • Animals with skin conditions
  • Animals with weakened immune systems


  • Symptoms
    The ears, especially at the margins, will have painful bumps, sometimes with scabs or bleeding. Common clinical signs include head shaking and scratching at the ears.

    Treatment
    Any dog affected by fly strike should be taken to a vet. The vet can shave the hair from around the scabbed areas. This helps to dry it out and keep it clean. An application of antibiotic ointment, which sometimes contains an anti-inflammatory, is smeared on bitten parts of the skin. This helps to clear up any infection and soothes the injured region.

    A number of veterinary solutions are available to help with this. Most flea treatments are simply insufficient for the prevention of fly strike. Some horse fly treatments will work well enough for dogs. Veterinary advice is paramount as to the most suitable medication for your pet. Any treatments advised or supplied by your vet must be carried through as per the package instructions, or at the advice of the vet.


    Prognosis
    Good, unless maggot infestation is severe. The ear may be scarred and remain thickened.