How can you keep flies away from your outdoor dog?
All animals that spend time outdoors are susceptible to fly bites–especially those that are confined to a small area because they can’t run away. Some animals are even more attractive to certain fly types than others. Stable flies have mouth parts that can tear open the flesh and suck blood from the wound. This causes a lot of irritation to the area and it can sometimes become infected with repeated fly strike attacks.
Flies most commonly attack the ears and face of dogs. The fly bites are usually on the tips or folded part of the ear in breeds with floppy ears. The bite wounds are often red, crusty, and may ooze blood. They can be very itchy and painful.
The best prevention is to house the dog indoors where the flies can not get to it. If this is not possible, then it is important to use fly repellent cream or lotion that can be applied to the ears to prevent the attacks. There are also various flea sprays available that may be beneficial. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend a fly prevention product that will help prevent the fly strike.
If there are areas around the animal that are attracting the flies such as straw piles, manure droppings, trash, or anything else, then removing the source of the flies is important. The use of safe and approved pesticides may also be beneficial – consult your veterinarian.