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Watch (or don’t!): Vet relieves a stray dog of a serious blow-fly infestation

Dog with maggots is treated by vet dog-serious
© Cordylobia Anthropophaga – YouTube

A veterinarian practice has released a video of the treatment of a dog’s blow-fly infestation. The video has been viewed over 14 million times, but isn’t for the faint-hearted!

By Nick Whittle , 12 Nov 2019

If you're squeamish, look away now...

In what could be one of the grossest veterinarian videos we’ve seen in a while, a vet treats a dog suffering with myiasis: a parasitic infection of a live animal by maggots. The practitioner carefully removes the fly’s larvae, which have hatched beneath the dog’s skin.

We do not recommend your viewing the clip below while you are eating!

In the video the vet explains that the maggots are the larvae of the Cordylobia Anthropophaga; otherwise known as the mango fly. Unlike the maggots of other species of fly, the larvae of the mango fly choose to feed from their host whether they are alive or dead.

Mango fly in humans

The mango fly is more often than not found in the sub-tropics of Africa. Infestation of humans was first recorded in 1862. Since then infestations have been widespread. Mango fly myiasis is, however, rarely seen in other parts of the world.

The fly will deposit its eggs in the ground. When the eggs hatch the larvae search for a host in order to feed. If a larva finds a host it will burrow into the skin and grow beneath the skin of the host for a further 8 to 12 days during which time it eats voraciously.

The maggot will eventually fall off, but in the meantime it can cause the host to suffer serious infections.

The dog in the video was lucky to be treated. In Gambia, stray dogs have little chance of survival.

Other myiatic flies

There are other fly species that cause myiasis. Maggot infestations are commonly seen of the botfly, blowfly, and screwfly. None of these species of fly is native to the UK. Fortunately!