Every year, from mid-spring to early summer, we receive an increase in calls about a red circular rash found on your pet’s underbelly or inner leg. Most often this rash is caused by the bite of a tiny annoying insect known as a Black Fly. Black Flies, otherwise known as “May Flies” or Buffalo Gnats will often be active between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. When your dog is an unsuspecting victim of a swarm of gnats, they can cause an itchy (non-life threatening) rash that ultimately makes you fear your dog is having a reaction to something.
What to do when you see this rash?
If you are not confident the rash your dog has is from a black fly bite email us a photo and give us a call. We do not mind the phone call and can help determine if it is a fly bite or a serious allergic reaction. Our email is [email protected]
You can give your dog a bath with a soothing shampoo. This will not clear up the rash, but it may help to cut down on the itchiness.
On a walk being chased by the swarm?
This insect is unable to fly very fast. If you keep moving, you will be fine. Alternatively, you can spray yourself with a natural insect repellent such as Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent which is safe for children and dogs.
Want to cut down on the population in your yard?
Get a bird feeder. Some birds or insects will treat black flies as a delicacy. With many birds always around your house it won’t eliminate them, but the black fly population will be decreased.
If you put a suit feeder in your yard, be careful not to have it in an area your dog can get to. Suit contains too much fat and is sure to cause an upset stomach or pancreatitis.
Please feel free to contact us, your local animal clinic in West Greenwich, RI!