General information on Myiasis
Myiasis is a maggot infestation. This is a seasonal disease that occurs in seasons of warm weather. Outdoor cats are the most prone to getting this disease. It happens when a fly lays eggs in an open wound, bacterial infected skin, or soiled, damp, and matted fur. Within three days the eggs have hatched and then within a few weeks the larvae turn into maggots. Maggots typically only eat dead and decaying tissue, but some do not know the difference and donít know when to stop and begin to eat the healthy skin tissue. The maggots have an enzyme in their saliva that allows them to penetrate the skin allowing for a bacterial infection. Should the maggot infestation be severe enough, the cat may go into a state of shock caused by the toxins and enzymes from the maggots.
Symptoms of Myiasis
Some of the symptoms of myiasis may merely be visual one. Maggots, which look like small thin tubular worms, may be found in wounds on the cat. Fly eggs, which appear to be small white and sticky, may also be found in wounds.
Treatments for Myiasis
The treatment for myiasis is to manually remove the maggots with tweezers. Clipping the hair from the affected are allows for better access to the maggots and is highly recommended due to the fact that frequently the maggot infestation spreads much further under the hair. The infected area should be washed with Betadine, providone-iodine, and then dried thoroughly. A no-alcohol spray or a shampoo that contains a mild insecticide may also be used and thoroughly rinsed and dried. Due to the fact that the insecticide can be quite harmful, especially to a weak and wounded cat, they should be used skeptically. Due to the original wounds and the maggots, the cat will most likely have a remaining issue and should be taken to a veterinarian where the wounds and infections may be treated with antibiotics.
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