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Black Fly Bites

It’s that time of year again “Spring” the bugs are out and the black flies are no exception, we have a bumper crop this year.
Many pet owners will see black fly bites on there dog’s abdomen and worry that it is a bull’s eye from a tick bite. Black fly bites normally start appearing in mid-May and end somewhere around mid-June depending on the weather. Marks from the bites can last anywhere from 48 to 72 hours. These bites are most often noticed on the abdomen of your furry friend. The marks associated with black fly bites are normally red dots and sometimes red circular rings, they are not normally crusty and not usually itchy.

The bites from black flies are not normally itchy and subside on their own. In some cases, if your furry friend is licking at them or scratching it can cause the skin to become irritated. If this happens, you will need to take your pet in to see their favourite veterinarian right away.

Black flies feed on all Livestock, wildlife, birds and people. Black flies are typically found in heavily wooded areas with running streams, and water present or nearby.

If your pet has black fly bites monitor for itching and licking, as mentioned above, this can cause skin irritation. If your furry friend is bothered by the bites, you should take him/her into your veterinarian. They will be able to asses and treat based on the severity of the bites.

If the bites do not resolve in five days, or the dog is itchy, off food or lethargic, please see your veterinarian right away.

Some pet owners have reported seeing black fly bites on there pets face, in their armpits and generally anywhere that there is an area where the skin is exposed with very minimal hair. Pet owners often have mistaken black fly bites for a bullseye from a tick bite. Most canines do not get the stereotypical bullseye marks from a tick bite.

Before applying any replant to try and deter black fly bites when you go on walks or hiking through the woods you will want to contact your veterinarian to make sure that the repellant you have chosen is safe to use on your furry friend. Keep in mind that there are a lot of products out there that are not safe for your pet.

We hope that you and your furry friends enjoy the spring weather and avoid the black fly bites.

Written by: Shannon Knox, Clinic Manager

Resources
Global News
Merck Veterinary Manual

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