On-site First Aid Treatment for Prevention and Cure of Maggot wounds in Street Animals:
It is the onset of warm weather and humid conditions that trigger an onset of maggot wound related queries on our helpline and the below treatment protocol has been shared aplenty by us through our website www.jaagruti.org, e-mail queries and blog based queries.
A horrifying number of street animals die tragic and slow painful deaths owing to maggot infestations. But, maggot wounds can be prevented and treated on site very easily (if noticed before it is too late) and these unfortunate deaths can be prevented if animal welfare volunteers read through this article below and back the knowledge so acquired with animal handling skills and some amount of patience, determination and dedication; all of which are essential qualities that are required to help heal a voiceless animal.
What are Maggots and how do they infest an animal? :
Flies get attracted to garbage, carcasses, rotting food, open wounds and faeces and use them as substrate to lay their eggs. A particular type of fly, called screwworm flies has a special fondness to lay its eggs on fresh, untreated open wounds on any animal’s body and that is what can trigger maggot infestation. These wounds could be there on an animal’s body due to a fight they might have gotten into, itching, licking, accidental injuries etc. A wound of the size of a pinhole may be enough for a fly to get attracted and lay eggs on. In areas the animal can reach with his tongue, these fly eggs are usually licked off. Danger areas for an animal where maggot infestations are common are the ears, anywhere on the head and neck, back of the body, anus.
These eggs, once laid on the wound site of an animal can hatch within a few hours into larvae or “maggots”, which start out very small just like a thin rice grain but then start feeding into the flesh and organs of any animal (be it a calf, a cat, a tiger or a dog) and then they (maggots) grow fat and up to an inch long. Alongside, they penetrate into the animal’s body and the wound increases in surface area and deepens in no time, resulting in more flies getting attracted to that side and laying even more eggs, thereby infesting it even further with maggots.
Left untreated, maggot wounds are fatal as the animal may die due to the maggots tunnelling into their brain or vital organs (depending on the site of the wound), blood loss or secondary infections.
Where and how will you see maggots or understand that the animal is infested with maggots and requires treatment?
You won’t see maggots crawling like ticks or lice on the skin surface or hair, instead what you will see is a ‘hole’ in the body of the animal and maggots crawling their way on the wound surface or inside it eating away the flesh and the most potent indicator that an animal has a maggot wound would be that you will smell rotting flesh. This stinking smell will only get worse as the maggots multiply and penetrate through the body of the unfortunate animal.
How to prevent Maggot infestation?
Prevention is surely better than cure, when it comes to Maggot wounds. Please try to understand that maggot wounds can be fatal/life threatening if not treated on time. Also, note that maggot infestations occur when any small wound on an animal’s body is left untreated and in most cases, that is where it all starts from and especially so in warm, hot and humid weather!
So, if you notice that your neighbourhood street dog/cat/cow/donkey has an open wound, follow the steps below to prevent that wound from becoming infested with maggots:
How to treat a maggot infested wound?
Once you spot a wound-hole on the body and smell of rotting flesh in an animal, be rest assured that the smell is of maggots chewing away on the animal’s flesh. Any time wasted hereafter will only increase the maggot wound/infestation in size and prolong the animal’s suffering and pain, please ACT FAST and follow the steps below:
We believe following the above steps does help and over July 2014 to November 2014, as part of the On-site First Aid Service for Street Animals that we at JAAGRUTI™ run in North West Delhi, we have followed the steps detailed in this article to treat on-site (i.e. on the very streets these animals live) 24 animals with maggot infested wounds. This included 2 donkeys and 22 dogs and depending on the severity of wounds, it has taken us 2 weeks to 4 weeks to treat all animals. We have been able to do this only because people from the community, where this maggot infested animal was being treated came forward to handle the animal while our team, was administering treatment; and also ensured that the wounded animal was being fed well to help speed up their recovery. From our end, after doing topical treatment to clean and dress the maggot wound, we were also using assistance from trained veterinary professionals to inject the required dosage of antibiotics, Inj. Ivermectin and multivitamins to kill deep seated maggots, minimise infections and promote wound healing. Please consult your local veterinarian and use tablets and syrups mixed in feed to substitute for injectables.
Do let us know if the above works for you too.
Please refer to this Slideshow on Treatment of Maggot Wounds in Dogs
By Vasudha Mehta, Co-founder & Trustee, JAAGRUTI™:
Holi, the “Festival of Colours” is around the corner. As you play around and enjoy getting drenched in colours, please be mindful that the same may be very torturous and harassing for street animals.
A few things to remember and teach kids and adults, alike:
1. Be sensitive, empathetic and understanding, these colours are toxic and harmful for all.
The coloured powders that are used during the festival are made with synthetic chemicals, which contain toxic metals or dyes that can cause skin allergies, rashes or even blindness in people and animals.
Animals can easily inhale the powder, which can cause nasal irritation and respiratory allergies or infections.
If an animal gets the powder in his or her eyes, quickly flush them out with clean water.
2. Teach children not to throw colours or water balloons at animals: Kids may or may not realise that this frightens and hurts animals and if animals react in self-defence then it’s you as a parent who has failed, but to shove yourself of that blame, you will blame the that animal. Why do this? Better would be to teach your child to be compassionate and kind towards these voiceless animals.
After all, kindness to animals will make this world a better place to live in.
Have a Heart that cares💓🐶
Its chilly and cold today in North of India. Its raining too…open the gates of your verandah, hearts and home to give temporary shelter to these voiceless animals. Place a piece of rug, jute sack, old blanket for a bedding.
The gesture will warm them up as well as your heart & soul.
Be human. Be kind. The world will become a better place this way!
Snake Charmers know very well how to make money by exploiting belief. It’s upto us to rid ourselves of superstitions and pity!
Cobras are caught several weeks before the festival of Nagpanchami or generally for street entertainment or by Sages/Sadhus who roam around in saffron robes, conning pilgrims and innocent people!
The mouths of these Cobras are stitched, fangs and teeth are broken, they are locked up in dark, unhygenic baskets for several days, they are offered no food or water, haldi, kumkum and other irritants are sprinkled on them, forced to drink fluids (milk) that they can not digest (they vomit it out!), they are roughed up and tortured to show their hoods at each and every devotee’s house.
How much more can these reptiles handle? They really can’t and suffer a slow, agonizing death.
Take action – if you spot a snake charmer, firstly never pay & encourage them, inform the local Forest Department, NGOs working for snakes/wildlife conservation and even the nearest Police Station.
Spread this message to as many as possible and let’s save these reptiles together.
Photos used in this Article are kind courtesy of “Friends of Snakes Society“
A Zoo is nothing but a prison, where innocent animals are held captive for life, for no fault of theirs.
Be the Change. Say NO to ZOOS.
Who says, animals don’t have emotions? They too can feel, emote, be happy, be sad…just that we need to *be human* enough understand their language 🙏
Water is crucial to every living being’s survival on this Planet, be it plants, animals, birds, insects, fishes….every ‘living’ being needs it.
The Animal Water Bowl Project is thus worth including In Your ‘Yearly’ Resolution List.
You can pledge or encourage your kids to pledge that, “Everyday I will provide safe drinking water to all the animals at my place”.
Not only will it inculcate a feeling of responsibility and compassion, but also give great satisfaction when you/your kids actually see thirsty birds, animals and insects quenching their thirst, thanks to the clean water you put out for them daily.
These voiceless innocent beings need safe drinking water too, just like Humans. And, as we humans are responsible for destroying the habitats and rivers, that they relied on, all in the name of development, it is now our responsibility to save their lives by providing the things which are possible rather than ignoring them.
Love has no colour, race or species and Kindness to Animals, birds and all lesser beings will only make this world a compassionate and a better place to live in…
Dogs are not as efficient at releasing heat as we are; they are built to conserve rather than release heat and tend to heat up faster than we do. Dogs do not sweat in the same way humans do and can easily become overheated, which can lead to heat stroke and severe medical complications.
Watch for the above-described signs of heat stroke in dogs and contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog is in distress.
Your dog’s saliva may be sticky due to dehydration and if shock sets in, they may experience seizures and collapse — which can be fatal. Petsshowing signs of heat stroke should be cooled down as soon as possible and should always be checked by a veterinarian.
Summers are here. Animals and Birds face as much difficulties with soaring temperatures as we do. Place a water bowl for birds and animals near your home/office places. Remember, however to clean the bowl and place fresh water in there daily.
You are more likely to spot Large birds like Kites in dehydrated condition having fallen flat on the ground in this weather.
Share this awareness poster made by the good folks at Jivdaya Charitable Trust Ahmedabad that educates us on what we need to do if we spot a dehydrated bird.