What to Do if Your Dog Has a Hole in his Skin
A hole in the dog’s skin, no matter how small, can lead to a serious infection if it isn’t treated quickly. Here are the reasons why your dog may have a hole in his skin and steps you should take to not put your dog’s health in danger.
Presence of Cuterebra (Botflies)
One of the most common reasons for the development of hole(s) in a dog’s skin is due to botflies, also referred to as cuterebra. The adult botflies deposit their eggs near the burrows of wild rodents. At some point, some of these eggs may have latched onto your dog’s body and hatch into larvae.
The larvae (also referred to as warbles) will eventually make their way to the tissues underneath the skin where they go through the process of encysting. This is typically the point when you may notice the hole in the dog’s skin. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to identify these parasitic infections until the holes appear. Common symptoms include: lumps and bumps on the dog’s skin, excessive scratching of the infested area, and skin abscess.
What to Do if Your Dog’s Skin Has a Hole
First off, don’t do anything on your own. Don’t try to extract the botfly maggot yourself as that can seriously harm your pet if it isn’t done correctly. Instead, take your dog to the vet where the appropriate diagnosis and treatment will be followed.
Depending on what stage the botfly infection is in, the vet may try to extract the warble if it’s still burrowed under the dog’s skin or the vet may treat and clean the infected area if the warble has already left.
To prevent this from happening in the future, it’s important to keep your dog away from long grassy areas where the botflies are likely to lay their eggs, especially during the warmer months.