How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms?

Any person dedicated to owning dogs is conversant with the dangers that parasites can cause to the canines. Of the many parasites, mango worms are one of them. They are also known as skin maggot flies or mango flies and are pesky larvae. If left untreated, the parasites can open the pet up to a lot of problems. A dog can get mango worms if they walk or lie in the soil which has the larva. When the larvae come into contact with the dog, they start feeding on the tissues of the dog until they mature. Then, they leave the body through eruption from unsightly and painful boils.

That shouldn’t intimidate you at all. If you know the parasite’s life cycle and the symptoms that may manifest in your dog, you can keep yourself and the dog safe and unharmed. Keep reading so that you wrap your head around the mango worm.

Questions, Dogs, And Mango Worms

Can A Mango Worm Infestation In The Body Of A Dog Lead To The Pet’s Death?

Experts on parasites do not see the mango worm as one that could lead to a dog fatality. However, they are the last organisms you want your dog to have on its body. Once you notice that your dog has a mango worm infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If it is left untreated, the dog may experience serious consequences.

The Places That Mango Worms Live

To enter the host (in this case, a dog), the parasite uses the feet. However, this depends on the specific point of contact between the dog and the infected piece of soil. Other extremely-dangerous entry points include a dog’s nose and ear. If the larvae are allowed to move freely in the dog’s system, they may cause brain damage.

The worms are common in Central and East Africa. In the USA, there have only been a few cases of mango worms having infected dogs.

How Do The Mango Worms In Dogs Manifests – What Are The Symptoms?

Like other microorganisms, it is difficult and challenging to detect them. Also, when the larvae enter the dog, it will not feel any pain. Before the larvae continue their ways, they lie undetected. When they start feeding off the dog from the inside, the following signs are likely to be shown:

1. Incessant biting and scratching

2. Boils (that look like pimples) will start forming on the skin of your dog

3. The puppy will start engaging in odd behavior

It is essential to know and note that the signs and symptoms can point to another disease that is not the mango worm infestation. To know whatever is going on with your dog, you need to get to the vet and present them with the problem.

How To Remove Mango Worms

Before anything else, it is crucial to mention that removing mango worms may be unsettling for some people – even for you. The recommendation is that you leave the distasteful tasks to the vet. After that, the dog will need antibiotics once the maggots have been removed.

A vet will remove the maggots by popping and squeezing the boils formed on the dog’s skin by the matured mango worms. This will push the maggots out of the place they have been staying. The expert will then follow up the popping by cleaning the wound. The length of this process is dependent on the number of bumps formed by the maggots – each bump has a live maggot.

The vet will inspect each wound with care and precision to make certain that all the maggots have been removed – even parts of the little, unsettling creatures.

Prevention Of Mango Worms

The best and most convenient way of preventing dogs from getting the worms is by limiting their contact with already-contaminated soil. You must know that humans, too, can contract mango worms. As much as you try to keep your dog safe, you should ensure that you’re safe too. Here are some easy ways you can employ to keep the mango worms away from the skin of your dog:

1. Keeping A Keen Eye In The Pet

As mentioned, it is challenging to notice a mango worm infestation in dogs. This is because the worms do not manifest themselves vigorously. More often than not, pet parents do not know about the infestation until the dog’s skin explodes and maggots start moving.

If you’re operating in an area with high urine and fecal matter amounts, always observe the dog’s mannerisms.

2. Avoid Suspect Areas

To avoid an infestation by mango worms, avoid walking your dog through a place you suspect has fecal matter. The larvae may be waiting to pounce on the feed of your dog. Your dog’s feces should always be clean so that breeding grounds for the mango flies are not created.

3. Get A Repellent

This step asks that you get a fly repellent to keep adult flies from contacting your dog or home. You can get an excellent spray online or at pet stores. If you choose to go with this step, ensure that the repellent product you bring in is not harmful to the dog.

If you plan on walking your dog, spritz your furry little friend to create a bubble of protection.

4. Hot Water Laundry

If you expose larvae and mango worms to heat, they will die. To avoid a mango worm infestation, wash the beddings and towels of your dogs in hot water. That should be followed by proper ironing and pressing to make certain that you remove all parasites.

Depending on how frequently your dog goes outside, you can do the hot water laundry once or twice a week.

5. Remove Any Rotting Food Or Fruits

If you have lots of fruits in your garden or yard, some of them may start rotting. This may invite flies of every kind – including mango worms. Also, some food could be rotting in the trash can.

To ensure that you or your dog does not get infected, remove the food and fruits. This will make the place smell and feel better, and mango flies don’t like cleanliness.

6. Get Your Dog Bathed Often

This should be an obvious one to process. When the dog is bathed regularly, its clean body will not be bearable to mango worms. By bathing the pup often, you will get a chance to inspect its skin for any mango worm-related infections.

Mango Worms: A Human, Medical Standpoint

The Cordylobia anthropophaga or the mango fly is part of the blowfly species. These flies are native to particular African countries such as Uganda and South Africa. In those places, the worms go by the names tumbu, putzi, or putsi fly.

As implied throughout the previous section, the mango fly larvae have parasitic tendencies. This means that they get under your skin. There, they live up to their maturity when they become maggots. Experts use cutaneous myiasis to refer to this kind of parasitic infection and infestation.

This section will focus on how mango worms affect humans. It will open you up to the methods of avoiding being a host of the mango fly. Also, it will explain the shape and form of the infestation. Finally, you will get to know the much you can do when you experience cutaneous myiasis courtesy of the mango worm.

How Do The Larvae Penetrate The Skin?

1. The Eggs Are Laid

The female type of mango fly is responsible for the spread of the infestation. It lays its eggs in sand or dirt, which smell like fecal matter or urine. It may also lay its eggs on towels, bedding, and clothing, among other soft materials.

Also, it may lay its eggs on sweaty clothes. There have been reports that female mango flies are attracted to washed clothes. If the washed clothes dropped to the ground or were left outside to dry, the female mango fly may deliver its eggs there.

The naked eye cannot see the eggs laid by mango flies since they are tinier than tiny. Once the female fly lays them, they hatch and move to the next stage of growth – the larvae. This development takes about 72 hours after the eggs are hatched.

2. Larvae Make Its Move

After 72 hours, the larvae can live up to 14 days without having a host. During this time, it lies in waiting to make contact with a prospective host. It often picks a mammalian host such as a person, a dog, or a rodent. Once they are on the skin’s surface, they burrow under it through the pores. The activity is usually painless to the host.

When under the skin’s surface, the larvae feast on the living subcutaneous tissues. This parasitic dependence continues for about three weeks. During this time, the larvae will keep growing. A solidly red boil with a tiny black dot or a hole will form and exponentially grow. When fully mature, each boil will have a maggot worm.

3. The Boils Burst, The Maggots Appear

When the boils start filling with maggots, pus will also come. If you look at the bump, you may see the larvae wriggling and wiggling in the boil. When the larvae achieve full maturity, the boils will erupt, and the maggot will fall off. If the maggot is free, it will grow into a mango fly after a 21-day period elapses.

How Does The Mango Fly Manifest In Humans?

This kind of infestation is common in the African tropics and rarely occurs in places outside the tropics. When human infestations occur, they may escalate with intense rainfall. This implies that lots of people will be affected. Here are some of the symptoms that may manifest days after the larvae enter under the skin:

1. Itching – while other people feel some light discomfort on their skins, others experience a level of itching that cannot be controlled. The intensity of the itching depends on the larvae number under your skin.

2. Pain – when the larvae continue growing, a person could start experiencing pain.

3. Lesions – the lesions, which are blister-like, will come as a result of forming pimples. This happens several days after the larvae infestation. The pimple will first look like mosquito bites or red dots. Within six days, they become hard boils. As the larva in a boil grows, the boil increase in size to about an inch. The dot you see on the boil is the top of the breathing or tracheal tube.

4. Particular Redness – because of the larvae’s activity, the skin area around the boil becomes inflamed and thus reddens.

5. Skin Tingling – the infected person may feel the wiggling of the larvae.

6. Fever – the infestation may or may not run a fever in the victims after days or weeks of the infestation.

7. Tachycardia – some victims may have their hearts beating at a rate higher than the normal one.

8. Trouble With Sleep – because of intense itching and pain, the victims of the larvae’s parasitic infestation may have difficulty concentrating and trouble with rest.

The Prevention Of The Mango Fly Infestation

As a person traveling to a place with mango flies, you can avoid being a host to the mango fly larvae by taking up the following measures:

1. Avoid drying wet clothes in open areas. As already established, the flies lay their eggs in the soft clothing materials. If you can’t avoid the open drying, get all the clothes ironed before anyone wears them. As you do that, pay particular attention to the fabric seams.

2. If a piece of clothing or a backpack has been left on the ground, do not use it.

When Should A Victim See A Medical Practitioner?

To reduce the infection risk, you should book an appointment with the doctor as soon as you can. The expert should help you to deal with the pain and the discomfort. Also, they will conduct an inspection all over your body to see the extent of the infestation. They should give an accurate diagnosis based on their observation. It could be that the boils are just little bites.

As you go to the doctor, know that you could have multiple infestation sites – some that you can’t see on your own. Also, the boils don’t have to be the final stage of the infestation; they can occur in multiple stages of the mango fly infection. The medical practitioner will remove all the boils to eliminate complication risks.

Getting an infection is possible even after all the boils are popped and larvae are removed. To avoid the illnesses, the doctor should give you antibiotics – liquids or tablets – to help with that possible problem. For the most part, you will be given antibiotics to apply topically. You should use the medication until the wound is clean, and the skin has no redness.

While applying the ointment, ensure that you change your dressing. If you are given any oral antibiotics, stick to the prescription.

Bonus Section: Dog And Other Worms

At the moment, you know everything about the mango worms. The info given in the previous section should help you, the dog owner, prevent your dog and yourself from hosting the parasite.

This section takes a closely related but different turn. You will be opened up to the different worm types. Also, you will know how your pet can contract each of them. With the information, you can protect your dog from getting infected. Let’s get wormy.

How Dogs Get The Worms

The one thing you must know is that different worms make their way into your dog in other circumstances and methods. Here’s are the explanations for each:


These are often passed through the mother dog (or bitch) to her puppies. The uterus can also cause transmission. When you take a newborn puppy to a vet, they will worm it. This is usually a standard procedure when the puppy is having its first exams.


Insects are responsible for the transmission of tapeworm. When a flea has tapeworm eggs eaten by a dog, the worms start growing inside the dog’s system.


These worms get to dogs via infected mosquitoes. To protect and prevent your dog from a heartworm invasion, your vet will suggest the delivery of a monthly preventative and frequent testing. Some of the fresh products that vets give to take care of heartworms also help in tapeworm prevention.

Whipworms And Hookworms

These worms are found in humid and moist environments. The best and most obvious way of taking care of them is by cleaning the dog’s kennel.

Even if you maintain high levels of cleanliness, the worms may become a problem. Let’s see how you can identify if your dog has a worm infection or not.

Knowing If Your Dog Has A Worm Infection

The best place to start the examination for the wormy investigation is the dog’s fecal matter. It may not have any symptoms from the infection, but its dropping may have some physical evidence of eggs or the worms themselves.

Some worms may be undetectable by the naked eye. In that regard, the only thing that could rule in a worm infestation is a microscopic exam.

If you are dealing with tapeworms, you will likely see them wriggling out near the dog’s anus. They may also appear around the anal area, looking like small rice grains or cream-colored sesame seeds.

The Types Of Worms: An Explainer

1. The Roundworm

These are the most common worms that affect and rest in the dog’s intestine. As mentioned previously, the worms can be transferred from the mother to the pups. The reproduction rate of the female roundworm is high as she delivers up to 200,000 eggs each day that passes. If the roundworm infection is severe and left untreated, it can lead to intestinal blockage will culminate in death.

2. The Whipworm

Because of its miniature size, this parasite is often challenging to diagnose. The vet may examine several samples to rule out whipworm presence. These worms like to live in the cecum, the point of entry to the colon and the large intestine. A whipworm’s eggs can live for a whopping five years outside a host in moist and warm environments. The best method of preventing a whipworm infection is proper sanitation.

3. The Hookworm

The hookworms parasitically feed on the blood of your dog. This means that they trigger anemia, which can be fatal to the dog.

4. The Tapeworm

These are intestinal parasites that come from flea consumption. You can find them in the human gut.

5. The Heartworm

This is probably the deadliest type of worm for our canine friends. The worm’s shape is like that of a thread. It hosts itself on the lungs and heart of the dog, which are vital organs. Death could result if heartworm infections are not addressed.

6. The Lungworm

Like the heartworm, this parasite also feeds on the dog’s lungs. On top of that organ, they also host themselves on the trachea. This results in respiratory complications for the dog. The other animals which are susceptible to lungworm infection are cats and foxes.

Ridding Dogs Of Worms

Of importance is keeping track of the deworming details of your dog. You should know when your canine friend was last dewormed to know how long he’s been out of the medication. If you don’t, you have a reason to give the dog extra attention. The symptoms you should be looking at are the following (they do not point to a particular type of worm):

1. Abdominal pain

2. Coat or skin loss

3. Vomiting

4. Labored breathing

5. Coughing

6. Lethargy

7. Bloody diarrhea

8. Intolerance to exercise

The parasites that host themselves in the intestine may cause gastrointestinal issues. Others like the heartworm affect the dog’s respiratory system. Even with the manifested symptoms, a vet is likely to do some bloodwork and stool sampling.

If you allow a worm infection and infestation to go untreated, the dog is likely to suffer a severe illness. This means that there will be many adult worms in its system. These types of infections are overwhelming and challenging to manage. They can cause death.

Vets will either give the dog oral medication or a shot to eliminate the worms. The drugs used are broad-spectrum, meaning that they can stop most of the parasites. And no – the medication is not harmful to the dogs. Depending on the specific parasitic infection, the vet will give you a preventative to take home.

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