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Mia Carter
Mia Carter, Animal Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
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My dog has maggots in her rectum now. This morning they ...

Customer Question

My dog has maggots in her rectum now. This morning they were in her vaginal area, but we treated with peroxide as the vet told us to do. What else can we do? Can maggots cause diarrhea? She has watery, dark brown, liquid stool. Help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
Hello there.

I'm sorry to hear your dog is unwell.

I just noticed you're still online, so if you'd like to hang out for five to ten minutes, I can get your answer all typed up, okay?

-Mia Carter
Pet Expert
Mia Carter and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Mia Carter's Post: I'm fine with waiting for your suggestions. Thanks so much. Our dog is 15 & has problems with mobility sometimes & incontinence if she doesn't get let outside every 4 hours or so. These problems we were managing, but now maggots...Help!
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
Hello there.

I think this is a case where I would get emergency care for your dog. Here's why:
An open infection, vaginal discharge, matting, even just feces stuck to the fur can attract flies which lay eggs, and maggots are the result. These maggots then migrate into the rectum in search of food. They eat the fecal matter in the rectum and then they can burrow into the muscle, causing serious damage to the muscle and intestines. So this is a case where your dog needs emergency attention, as this could be a life-threatening situation. This is actually most common in pet rabbits kept outside and other animals that spend lots of time outdoors.

The fact that she has diarrhea is not a good sign. It suggests that these maggots may have traveled up the rectum and into the intestinal tract, causing inflammation and it's inflammation that triggers diarrhea and loose stools.

Aside from removing these one by one, there's not much you can do because I suspect they are already inside her body. And we need to stop them before they cause serious damage. At the very least, I suspect she may suffer permanent muscle damage that may make her incontinence even worse, so for that reason alone I would seek out help tonight. This condition can kill in a matter of hours once the maggots go internally, so immediate action is necessary.

I'm sorry I don't have better news for you.

Here's a site on myiasis (maggot infestations) in dogs:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/myiasis-maggots-in-dogs/page1.aspx

I hope your dog is feeling better soon! Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions! Just reply and we can go from there.

****Please "ACCEPT" if my answer was helpful!****

-Mia Carter
Pet Expert

**As experts, we are not compensated for our time and efforts unless you "accept!"**
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks. We have been debating when it is time to send Neca to heaven...Still don't know, but if maggots are so dangerous & she's already having diarrhea, maybe it's time. I may call the emergency vet in our area & see what they think. Thanks so much for your feedback.
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
I know it can be hard. I think an exam will help determine the extent of the problem. The sooner she's treated, the better. She may still have a good outcome - each case is different.

Just trust your instinct. I always tell people that when it's time to let a pet go, it's not a decision. You just know in your heart.

Here's a few link on flystrike (that's what the problem is called in rabbits). These sites are rabbit-related, but the process is essentially the same:

http://www.galensgarden.co.uk/herbivores/health/flystrike.php
http://www.rabbit.org/journal/2-12/fly-strike.html
http://www.rabbithaven.org/Q&A/flystrike.htm

Also, if she has lots of fur near her rear, I would shave the area or trim it as best you can to help reveal as many of the maggots as possible. This will also help eliminate feces from sticking to her fur, as can occur when they have diarrhea.

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions, okay? And if you get a chance, I'd love an update on your dog - I'll be thinking of her!

-Mia Carter
Pet Expert