What Can I Use To Kill Maggots On An Animal?

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Maggot infestations cause a shocking number of animals to die untimely and painful deaths. You might wonder what can I use to kill maggots on an animal. The term “maggot” refers to a larva. Larvae develop into flies after a pupal stage.

It may look as tho the maggots arrived out of nowhere. But it’s only because you didn’t detect the fly or its eggs. At any given time, the flies may lay hundreds of eggs! Within a day, they will begin to hatch.

“Maggot season,” as it is called in the veterinary community, is one of the least favored times of year for most emergency personnel. While most people associate maggots with rotting food or objects that have died, larvae may also be an issue for our lovely pets. As a result, larvae on dogs, cats, cattle, or other “pets” must be treated using one of the alternatives listed below. 

The Life Cycle Of A Maggot On An Animal 

Female flies may come to feed or deposit eggs in wounds. They usually lay 50–300 eggs at a time, which hatch in 8–12 hours at skin temperature. The eggs are around 1.7 mm long, while the developing larvae are approximately the same length but less visible.


They develop quickly as they emerge, reaching 7–8.5 mm in length in 24 hours at human skin temperature and reaching maximum size in 50–60 hours. 

They subsequently cease eating and travel away from the tissue, looking for a dry fissure or dirt to pupate in (the life stage in which it attains maturation).

It is self-linking in every case, determined exclusively by temperature and food supply. Insects usually eat necrotic tissue and slough, and debriding live tissue is uncommon.

What Is The Reason For Maggots On Animals?

Flies will quickly target animals for eating and lay eggs since maggots adore flesh. Pets that are well-cared for will not develop difficulties. However, if your pet is kept outside or has a minor cut, it may become a fly maggot host.

Maggots appearing unexpectedly on otherwise healthy dogs or cats are relatively common. It is more likely to happen during the hot summer months, and it appears to be more common in pets who are kept outside. Maggots can be hidden by animals with long hair, making it easier to notice their existence.

But don’t take any chances. Maggots on dogs and cats can be deadly to their healthy skin if left untreated. It can happen as a result of the infected pet absorbing lethal poisons. These poisons will eventually send the animal into shock, necessitating emergency medical assistance. 

However, maggot wounds can be easily prevented and treated on the spot (if detected before it’s too late).

These tragic deaths can be avoided if animal welfare volunteers read thru this article below and combine their newfound knowledge with animal handling skills, as well as patience, determination, and dedication, all of which are necessary qualities to help a voiceless animal heal.

What Can I Use To Kill Maggots On An Animal?

what can i use to kill maggots on an animal

Use the following methods to kill maggots on an animal:


Pour around 10–15 drops of chloroform straight into the hole in wounds other than those on the head. Allow some time to pass. The maggots will be killed as a result of this. If desired, smother the maggots by plugging the incision with cotton wool.

Triple Pyrethrin Shampoo 

The triple pyrethrin shampoo is the most direct technique. This pyrethrin-based shampoo, commonly used for fleas and ticks, can kill active maggots and eliminate their food. They should be free of the condition after a decent wash. 

After the pet has been shampooed, plan to give them regular showers and treat their fur in between washes throughout the rest of the season.


If it’s bleeding, fly larvae may be turning into maggots, and you should consult a veterinarian. Vaseline will not help maggots. When you need to kill maggots, you might be tempted to use things like insect spray or bleach. Apply a thick coating of Vaseline to the area if grubs are present.

Water-based Permethrin 

Permethrin is a fantastic product to use in conjunction with Pyrethrin shampoo. This ready-to-use formulation is mild and ideal for dogs with sensitive skin. This formulation is still effective in repelling biting pests, but because it’s water-based, it won’t harm or disturb your pet’s skin.

Plan to use it as required; once a week is typically sufficient, but if you live in a high-pest-pressure area, treat it more frequently throughout the week.

Surgical Debridement

The larva is generally surgically incised and extracted under local anesthetic. Any component of the larva left in the tissue cavity will cause an unpleasant inflammatory reaction, a bacterial infection, or the creation of a granuloma, so take care not to lacerate it.

Except when the larva has perished inside the lesion, surgery may not be necessary. Systemically, antimicrobials are given in addition to surgical therapy to prevent subsequent infection.

Oxy Med

Treat your pet’s skin with Oxy Med in between washes. It is simple to use, and a little goes a long way. Oxy Med is a topical itch reliever that aids in the healing process by preventing your pet from scratching and injuring itself. Scratching is typically ineffective and might obstruct the natural healing process.

Innovative Treatment Strategies

The lidocaine injection at the base of the tissue cavity where the larva is inhibited is an alternative to both surgical and suffocating procedures. The larva is forced to the surface by the swelling, which may be readily gripped and removed.

This approach may be limited in situations involving many larvae since the required dosages of lidocaine, turpentine, or other anesthesia medicine might be hazardous. You can also iodine, Neosporin or betadine on the wound site. 

How to Treat Your Pets in a Maggot Infestation? 

chockchafer, white grub, Melolontha vulgaris, close up of may beetle larvas on soil.

A maggot infestation can be messy and complicated if not treated correctly. So, to treat your pets with a maggot infestation in the proper way, follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Examine the area for maggots. As previously said, you must first confirm that your pets are infested with maggots before beginning any treatment. Look for anything moving or hard under the skin in recent wounds and between toe joints.

Step 2: Visit the veterinarian. The most helpful thing for your pet’s safety is to take them to the veterinarian. Veterinarians will eradicate the larvae and get rid of the infestation without harming your pet.

Step 3: Make sure they’re clean. During the peak season for egg-laying flies, bathe your dogs with pet shampoo to keep them clean and prevent new infestations.

When not to self-treat a maggot wound?

Do not attempt to self-treat a deeper wound than an inch, near or on the head, rectum, vagina/penis, or inside the mouth without visiting a veterinarian. While committing to caring for a dog is a great cause, not knowing enough can be dangerous and life-threatening at times.

The may bug (cockchafer) in garden pest in Turkey.

If you’re trying to self-treat a dog, get advice from a veterinarian or a shelter. Begin with the given or suggested medication after the vet approves therapy on the spot based on the severity of the wound.

Tethering the dog while beginning therapy is always preferable since it may flee. You can use a muzzle to avoid accidents if the dog is hostile or resistant. 

Since the blood level may fluctuate and the therapy pills are strong antibiotics, the dog will require a proper diet to treat maggots. Please take your pet animal to the vet if it doesn’t seem to be recovering.

The Bottom Line

Starting with prevention is the best approach to keeping maggots out of your animal. If you have an infestation in your house, use a chemical insecticide spray to get rid of it.

Pest control might be the quickest way to get rid of it. If you’d rather utilize a homemade treatment, lime or lemon juice, salt, and boiling water are also very effective ways to get rid of the condition.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.