How to Get Rid of a Botfly in a Dog?

How to Get Rid of a Botfly in a Dog

Adopting a dog is like having a second child, so you must ensure that you can take good care of the furry companion.

How to Get Rid of a Botfly in a Dog?- You have often seen that your dog loves to scratch his head or any part of the skin. That time if you deeply look, you will discover botflies in and around if you understand how to get rid of a botfly in a dog.

Dealing with Botfly Infestations in Dogs

Botflies are unpleasant parasites that can cause discomfort and irritation for your dog. Here’s what you need to know about identifying and safely removing botflies:

What are Botflies?

  • Botflies are the larvae of certain fly species.
  • They burrow under a host animal’s skin, causing bumps or lumps.
  • Common in dogs who spend time outdoors, especially near rodent or rabbit burrows.

Signs of Botfly Infestation

  • Lump or bump on the skin, often on the face or neck.
  • A small hole in the center of the lump.
  • Swelling, abscess, or discharge at the site.
  • Excessive licking or scratching of the affected area.

How to Remove Botflies

  • Home Remedies (Use with Caution):
    • Petroleum Jelly: Can suffocate the botfly, causing it to emerge.
    • Bacon Grease: Works similarly to petroleum jelly.
    • Duct Tape: Covers the hole, suffocating the botfly.
    • Tweezers: For direct extraction, BUT requires care to avoid rupturing the larva.
  • Veterinary Care: Safest and most reliable option. Your vet will:
    • Surgically remove the botfly, ensuring complete extraction.
    • Clean and treat the wound.
    • Possibly prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.

Important Considerations

  • Ruptured Larvae: Squeezing or improper removal can leave parts of the botfly under the skin, leading to infection or allergic reactions.
  • Prevention: Limit your dog’s exposure to rodent and rabbit burrows.

Key Takeaways

  • Botfly infestations require careful treatment to avoid complications.
  • While some home remedies exist, they can be risky and should be used with caution.
  • Consulting a veterinarian is always the safest option for ensuring proper botfly removal and preventing secondary infections.

What Do You Mean By Botflies?

Botflies are a type of larvae that occurs on the tissue of the host animals. Once hatched, the larva makes its way to the body of the animal by means of an opening like the ear, nose, mouth, or wound.

After entering, it settles down on the tissue and accomplishes the life span. The botflies are called warbles during the larvae phase.

Botflies are common in rabbits, so if you have a dog, make sure that it does not chase the rabbit; otherwise, there is a huge chance of the larva getting into the dog’s body.

Now, if by chance it enters, it will breed on the tissue of the dog and will complete the whole life cycle stages there.

Signs Indicating Botflies in Dogs

Suppose if your dog gas got some botfly, then you need to make sure that you examine the same on his body, but before doing so, you need to look for certain signs.

  1. Bump or lump on the skin
  2. Licking or scratching any particular area multiple times
  3. A minute hole in the center portion of the lump.
  4. Abscess found on the skin.
  5. Swelling of the skin
  6. Now, if you see the symptoms mentioned above, look for the larva deeply before it successfully hits the tissue.

Types of Botflies Found in Dogs

Talking about the different kinds of botflies, the Cuterebra is one of its kind and is quite common. But apart from that, other kinds of pests that can infect the pooch easily are as follows.

  • The rabbit flies belong to the species group of Cuterebra.
  • Warble flies belong to the specific category of hypoderma.

Why are Dogs More Prone to Botflies?

Cuterebra is mostly seen in North America, and it attracts rodents, rabbits and Mammals found outdoors. Therefore some important causes enumerated below are as follows.

  • Staying outdoor in the months of summer.
  • Hovering in and around the burrows of rabbits.
  • Chasing rabbit.
  • Staying in touch with rodents.

Things to Look for on a dog to Detect Botfly Attack

In this portion, we will shed light on the things that you need to consider to understand the presence

Check out the Swelling Underneath the Skin of the Dog

To check whether any botfly is breeding on the dog’s skin or not, just pet him or her. While petting checks out, is there any lump found or not. Now, these bumps are easily visible, and you can only feel them with a bare hand.

Majorly you will find this lump on the facial area or in the neck only. Now you might wonder why because botflies generally only get through the nose. But yes, they might enter through the mouse as well.

Therefore, remember that the larva enters the body and will grow inside only. Some other signs that you may probably see are that your dog will have an abscess on the skin, the area with botfly might bleed, or any kind of pus discharge may also take place.

Besides these, pay attention to the behavior, like whether he or she scratches the skin, loses appetite, or feels lethargic.

Presence of Any Tiny Hole

The botfly always makes its way through the skin so it can breathe well and get the refined air to live properly. Now to do so, they make a hole, and with time the hole gets bigger. Remember, it indicates that the botfly is getting bigger as well. If you check deeply, you will see the larva sneaking out of the skin.

Look for Cysts on the Skin

Well, whenever a botfly takes shelter on your dog’s body, there is a high chance that it will leave a cyst behind. Remember, this kind of hollow cysts is more problematic compared to the area infested with live larva.

So you need to look for this because if left untreated, it could lead to an abscess. The cysts with possible infection get irritated or start to itch often. You need to ensure your dog won’t lick on it often.

Otherwise, that could cause the bacteria to breed in that particular area, which would also disturb the orientation of the tissue.

If the cysts get infected by any chance, they can spread the infection to the rest of the dog’s organs or body parts.

How to Get Rid of a Botfly in a Dog?

Here we will discuss some of the important ways you can follow to treat the botflies in a dog.

Use Vaseline

If you want to kill the botfly on the dog’s body, it is better to use the Vaseline. Once you rub the place with petroleum jelly, then it will prevent the entry of fresh air. Thus such a suffocating atmosphere will tend to kill the flies.

As you know, that botfly makes holes, and now if you put the Vaseline in that hole, it will conceal the burrow and prevent a blockage of the oxygen.

Rely on Bacon Grease

Removing botflies from the dog’s skin is quite difficult, but yes, bacon grease can help ease your task to some extent.

Now the concept is quite the same as Vaseline means you need to apply an adequate portion of the bacon grease in the botfly hollow and obstruct the air’s path. Now reduction in the air will suffocate the botflies. As a result, they will start dying.

Use Duct Tape

Duct tape also emerges as one of the most feasible solutions when it comes to removing botflies.

The only thing you need to do is just cover up the body of the dog infested with warbles with duct tape. And leave the tape on the dog’s skin for 5 to 6 days.

Now that you reach the duration, just discard the tape with the botflies sticking. Once done, just shave that particular swelled area so the pain gets reduced.

Once again, the duct tape acts in the same way. It cuts off the fresh air supply, which is the reason behind the death of the parasites.

Apply Glue to the Area

This is one of the finest tricks that you can apply to remove the botfly from the dog’s body. Just apply particularly glue found in the office over the infected area.

Now just allow the glue to settle down on that particular area for a couple of hours, then simply remove the same with the help of the tweezers. Once you are done, make sure that you clean up the area with the help of isopropyl.

Tweeze the Botfly

Now, if you see that your dog is suffering too much due to the botfly attack, then without wasting any more days, just use the tweezers. This is one of the techniques that you should prioritize less.

For this, you need to be trained and smooth with your hands so that you can tear apart the warbles easily. Otherwise, it can hurt your dog a bit. Remember, botflies come with blurbs, so ensure you do the work effectively and slowly.

And use the pointed and sharp tweezers so you can complete the work in one go only.

How to Use the Tweezer?

You might become confused as to how to use the tweezer. Below is the detailed procedure.

  1. First of all, you need to sanitize the tweezers so that it’s get disinfected.
  2. Next, put your dog in a relaxed position to easily avail yourself of the infected area.
  3. Now remove the fur and start to pull out the warble.
  4. As the parasite comes out, clean that area deeply with peroxide and then wrap the area for some days.
  5. After a few days, open the wrapper and let the area get healed.

Go to the Vet

Well, these are some remedies you can apply but in the end, if you see the situation is out of control, then simply go to the vet. He or she will help you get rid of the botfly. Indeed vet is the safe option always.

Like humans, dogs, too, go through different health issues, and getting skin-related problems is common in dogs. In that regard, you have often seen botflies attack dogs. It is a genuine problem for the pup.

Thus, the tips mentioned above are effective, but remember that you don’t let your dog hover in and around rabbits’ burrows. So you get the solution for how to get rid of a botfly in a dog.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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