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Botflies (Maggots) in Cats




If the maggot is at the end of its migratory stage and has settled into a spot on the body, such as under the skin, eyes, or nose, your veterinarian will be able to remove it safely. Manifestations of lung migration may be alleviated by corticosteroids. If the parasite has led to irreversible neurological damage the prognosis will be poor and euthanasia may be the only option.


Your veterinarian will probably prescribe a broad-spectrum anti-parasite medication, which should kill maggots still in the migrating stage. A corticosteroid treatment will be given before administering the medication. The anti-parasite medication can be administered either to alleviate the signs caused by maggots suspected of migrating in the lungs, or to kill larvae in other tissues, including the central nervous system.




There does not seem to be any prolonged immunity to infestation; an animal can develop skin lesions due to botfly infestation for several years in a row. Application of monthly heartworm preventives, flea development control products, or topical flea and tick treatments may either prevent the maggots from developing in the dog or cat, or may kill the maggots before they have time to gain access to an orifice for entry.


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