Fly Bite dermatitis

Flies are a real problem in summer. These annoying insects can really bother you and your pet.

Some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears (as well as other parts of the body) and cause painful and infected sores.

Flies tend to cause most damage to the tips of ears in breeds that have erect ears (e.g. German shepherd,Collies, Malamutes) and the crease of ears in breeds with flop ears (e.g. Labrador).

Initially you will find mild hair loss and tiny black dots of “sand like” material which is actually dried blood. With time and repeated bites it progresses to scabs, hair loss and ulcers and the ear edges literally get eaten away.

Here are some things you can do at home to help your pet:

Every day you need to remove any dried blood from the skin of the ears as the blood will simply attract more flies. The dried blood is often most easily removed by combing it out with a fine toothed comb or in cases where the ears are too sore to comb you can wash it off with warm water.

Once the dried blood is removed then apply an effective topical fly repellent at least twice a day (morning and again late afternoon) -ask your vet for an effective one as some last longer than others e.g. Permoxin, Muscaban, Repel-X, Fly Repella cream etc.

In severe cases antibiotics and anti-inflammatories maybe required to treat the secondary infection and reduce the itching.

Prevention involves reducing the number of flies that hang around by getting rid of their breeding ground i.e.

Clean up your backyard -remove dog faeces, rubbish, compost heaps, and grass clippings to prevent flies being attracted to the smells.

Don’t leave pet food or dog bones out – they will attract flies

Make sure your pet has a place to escape the flies such as a kennel or a cool room-placing “ribbons” on doors to kennels/sheds/laundry can allow dogs to brush off the flies when entering

Start preventing the problem before it starts – In breeds or dogs prone to the problem start applying fly repellents early in the fly season before the problem gets advanced.

Phone us for more information on protecting your pet from all pesky parasites this summer.