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Critical: dog requires urgent treatment for a mysteriously swollen head and neck

Pauline the dog with a swollen head dog-happy
© Animal Aid Unlimited, India – YouTube

Read on to discover the incredible journey of Pauline, a stray dog from India that required life-saving treatment for a condition which gave vets the shock of their life.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 14/11/2019, 20:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22

Pauline was wandering the streets of a small town in India when she was found. In January 2018 a dog warden noticed the mongrel scouring the streets of Badi for scraps of food. She did not look well, and her head and neck looked painfully swollen.

The dog was brought to the nearby Animal Aid Unlimited sanctuary where, thankfully, she was able to receive medical treatment. 

Cautiously at first the vets examined the dog’s head and neck. Clearly her throat was infected, which had caused her neck to swell, the swelling then spreading to her scalp. The infection was serious, and it was no doubt causing the dog a lot of pain.


However, it was the vet’s examination of the inside of the dog’s throat which brought shock and awe. Inside Pauline’s throat the infection had attracted maggots; hundreds of them feeding from Pauline’s flesh.

If the dog had not been brought into care she would no doubt have died due in part to the infection but also to the loss of blood caused by the marauding maggots.

The bad kind of maggot

Our association with maggots in medical circles is long-documented. Some types of maggots are used to good effect in today’s modern medicine. We have learned that the larvae of the blow fly crawl away from living skin and instead eat dead and decaying skin. It is this kind of maggot that is used in the treatment of burns and infections.

However, other maggots such as those that infested Pauline will eat living and dead tissue.

Fortunately Pauline was in the right hands. She is now fully healed and ready to be rehomed. You can watch a short video of her journey here: