If you're the owner of a ferret, you may have recently learned about a medical condition known as myiasis. Myiasis is a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment, so to learn more about the condition and how to recognize it, carefully go over the information offered below.
What are Bot Flies and What's Myiasis?
Bot flies are a species of flies that lay their eggs on or near mammals. When the eggs hatch, it creates an infection known as myiasis.
Myiasis is a parasitic infection which occurs when newly-hatched bot fly larvae burrow their way into the skin of a mammal. Bot fly larvae, also known as maggots, will usually burrow in warmer, more obscure areas of your ferret's skin, such as under the neck or in the pits of your ferret's legs and arms.
What are the Symptoms of Myiasis?
The first sign of myiasis is a growing lump found in your ferret's skin.
Other symptoms associated with myiasis include lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever. As the maggots continues to burrow, your ferret's condition may worsen quickly. It's important to know your ferret's usual temperament and bring them into the vet if you notice a sudden change in temperament or activity level. If the infection caused by the maggots spreads to the brain, it can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and death.
How is Myiasis Treated and Prevented?
If you notice symptoms of myiasis in your ferret, it's important to bring them to the animal hospital as soon as possible.
After your ferret's vet has determined that myiasis is the cause of your ferret's symptoms, the veterinarian will perform a procedure to safely remove the maggots. Your ferret will be treated with antibiotics to ensure that the wound doesn't become infected while it heals, and if the infection has spread to the brain, an anti-parasitic will also be prescribed.
If you live in an area where bot flies are common, it's best to keep your ferrets inside as much as possible as well as check them every few days for any mysterious lumps. While bot flies usually lay their eggs outdoors, bot flies are attracted to the waste of mammals, so it's important to keep your ferret's cage clean and as free of feces and urine as possible.
If you suspect that your ferret has myiasis, it's important to bring them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. For more information, contact Howard County Animal Hospital or a similar location.