Residents of the quiet suburb of Gezina in East Moot, Pretoria, this week discovered a nasty infestation of mango fruit flies, also known as mango flies, Pretoria North Rekord reports.
Charmaine Jacobsz asked for help on the ‘Moot se Mense’ Facebook page, after discovering 26 mango flies on her Maltese Poodle.
READ MORE: Don’t feed your dog raw meat, study says
“My husband saw mango flies in our garden a while back, but didn’t think much of it at the time. Shortly after this my Maltese Poodle began to look uncomfortable, and I could see she was in pain. A friend of mine who is a pharmacist assisted me in removing all 26 worms from her body,” she explained.
According to Dr Jaco de Jongh from the Wilgers Animal Hospital, this is not the first case of mango flies.
“We have seen an increase in dogs that have come into contact with mango flies recently. The flies lay their eggs under the animal’s skin, a larvae grows under the skin, and after a while it appears as a big white spot. The bump on the skin can and be felt, and looks like a pimple,” explains De Jongh.
“Most of the time, I squeeze the bump until the head of the worm is visible, then pull it out with a tweezer.”
Petro Odendaal explained to Pretoria North Rekord that mango flies are not only presenting problems with her pets, but have also bitten her 10-year-old daughter 16 times.
“I washed my daughter’s bedding and hung it outside. After sleeping in her clean bedding that night, she awoke the next morning covered in red bites. I immediately took her to the doctor, who put her on antibiotics and prescribed her Allergex,” Odendaal explains.
“The problem only worsened from there. I took her back to the doctor, who discovered the mango fly larvae under her skin. He slowly began to squeeze until all five came out. We have to go to the doctor every day until all the flies have been removed from her skin.”
Dr De Jongh has appealed to residents that if they do find a pimple-like mark on their pets, they must seek medical attention immediately.
“With animals, we prescribe Advantex, but pet owners must be prepared to shave their pets’ fur and keep them clean. It is very difficult to identify the bumps, especially if the animal has long hair. People must also make sure to dry their washing in the tumble dryer, or to iron it, if it is hung outside.”
“The increase in rainfall in Pretoria over the past few weeks has definitely contributed to mango flies breeding in gardens.”
In most cases, a doctor will prescribe both the pet and its owner antibiotics, to rid the body of infection.
For more information, contact Dr Jaco De Jongh at the Wilgers Animal Hospital, on 012 807 5043.
This article was translated from Afrikaans