View Full Version : problem with flies

08-18-2006, 02:00 PM
I have a weird question here... we have two dogs one is a puppy and the other is a young adult labrador, the problem is that no matter how clean we keep the yard or our dogs the older one always have flies over his ears or when he is laying down they get on top of his legs and paws. Not so many, just like a couple of flies but enough to bother him... and now we started noticing that he has like "scabs" (not sure if that is the right word) in his ears, he didnt have them before but we are guessing that it is because of the flies. :(

The puppy can be right next to our older dog and she wont get flies over her... our older dog can be barely inside the house and flies will come in but only fly or lay around him... we have also noticed that even though we just give him a bath, the flies will come back inmediatelly. :?

We keep the backyard very clean, since this is were they both do their "poty business" and not on their walks, but our neighbourhood is full of dogs so I guess the flies must come from some of these houses.

Our dog doesn't seem to be sick or anything like that, so we just don't now what is wrong with him. Is there a way to keep flies away from him???

08-18-2006, 02:12 PM
Try Garlic pills. Most likely puppy is getting scrapes during play fights and the flies are attracted too the smell of the blood.

08-18-2006, 02:34 PM
I don't know if it's true or not, but I've been told that certain insects are attracted to scented "stuff" (like shampoos, colognes/perfumes, etc). Maybe change his shampoo to a no-scent one or get some kind of dog-safe bug spray to apply after you bathe him.

I agree that the flies may be returning because of the smell of an open wound so try to take care of that problem with his skin first. Apply some kind of cream regularly--I've found neosporin works good for these kinds of things but others would argue it's not safe to use on dogs. You may also look at www.jefferspet.com Run a search for something called NuStock for dogs. It's a "multi-purpose" cream that I've found works excellent on healing fly-bites. There is only one size, and it is rather large, but like I said it's a multi-purpose cream so you can probably find future uses for it.

Other than that I don't know what to suggest. I wish I could help!!

08-18-2006, 03:52 PM
There is a fly spray for dogs you can get. And the person above is right. Flys can be attracted to scents so it's a good idea to switch to a non-scented dog shampoo.

08-18-2006, 06:48 PM
We had good luck with citronella oil. Just a few drops rubbed onto the top of the fur. Head (high up away from eyes), ears (outside top of fur), paws, tail.
I had to order it from a pharmacy in town, but it does help. Agree with the other folks regarding scents and blood as attractants. I also like the citronella for mosquitoes. The dog insect repellent is a good idea, too. Sometimes it depends on which product is the easiest for you to find.

08-18-2006, 07:15 PM
Citronella Oil is a great product. My company makes it for horses. :D Make sure you do not use too much though. I would be afraid using it full strength may irritate the skin. Try cutting it back with water for dogs. :)

08-18-2006, 08:08 PM
Or dilute with baby oil--added moisture and will still "stick" to the fur for maximum effect.

08-18-2006, 08:34 PM
There seems to be no rhyme or reason why flies bother some dogs and not others. I have noticed that the dogs with 'stand up' ears (like shepherds and shepherd mixes) have the most problem.

My vet says that flies are attracted to 'heat' so some dogs may have higher metabolisms than others.

No matter what the reason though what works the BEST is 'Swat' a horse fly repellent ointment Idon't use the spray!). It not only keeps flies away but 'coats' the ears and has an antibiotic in it (topical) which will heal the 'scabs' from the previous fly bites (you are right - the scabs ARE from bites and some dogs will never regrow their hair there). Of course his ears will be pink from the lotion but it works 100 per cent. Do not put it on his paws since he will lick them but the repellent on his ears should control that problem too. If it doesn't you can use bag balm or vaseline on his feet - they are both 'thick' enough to keep the flies from biting.

I would not use citronella oil on a dog.

08-18-2006, 09:57 PM

I will try SWAT first since people from another forum also recomended it, and if that doesn't work or I do not find it I will try the other stuff mentioned.

Thank god our dog is a chocolate lab, otherwise he would look funny with pink spots on him :D

I also dont think I should change the shampoo since both of our dogs use it, and he is a very hyper dog so probably it has something to do with that, you now, his metabolism and body heat or something like that.

Anyway ... thanks for all of the replies, wish him luck in getting better soon


08-19-2006, 06:29 AM
If your looking for something to help heal the wounds that is a non irritant you might also want to consider hibitane, it works awsome, cleans up injuries in no time and prevents as well as heals infections.

08-20-2006, 02:04 PM
I have another question, this fly issue started recently, probably because of the summer season, if I use one of the fly repelents mentioned, does that means that I will "have" to apply it to our dog every single summer of his life??? or does it stop as the dog gets older.... you know, older dogs are usually more calm that young ones hence their metabolism changes. :shock:

I'm ovbiously asking this to anyone who has experienced this with their own dog :roll:

08-20-2006, 02:29 PM
Well I think I'm gonna still have to go with the flies are being attracted because of the scent of the shampoo you're using or the scent of the "wounds" from the previous bites (or a combination of the two).

As a dog owner and someone who's gone through something similar, these things MUST be taken care of or yes, the flies will continue to come back. I'd say, again from experience, if you change to a no-scent shampoo and get his fly-bitten ears healed 100%, you probably won't need any kind of fly spray at all anymore. But once the flies are attracted to him again for the same or a different reason, they will continue to return.

Flea bitten ears can also resemble fly bitten ears. You may think your dog does not have fleas but 99.9% of the dogs I've seen this summer who's owners were absolutely positive, no doubt in their minds the dog did not have fleas the dogs DID in fact have fleas. My carpet and yard gets cleaned/flea sprayed monthly and my dogs are on Capstar, Frontline Plus and garlic pills REGULARLY and get flea-baths every 2 weeks and they STILL have fleas!!!

But regardless whether the bites are flea or fly caused, the "wound" is the same and both will attract flies because of the scent. You need to figure out exactly what's causing his ears to be bitten so much and then take care of that main problem. You can heal his ears now but if you don't get rid of what's causing the problem, you're just gonna end up healing his ears again and again and again.

So yes, you're going to have to continue with the bug spray unless you change whatever's causing the bugs to be attracted to his ears.

08-20-2006, 04:08 PM
Our dogs are bathed rarely and when they are they are bathed in unscented shampoos. This has nothing to do with it as if you 'google' things that attract flies (they are not like mosquitoes) you will see that it is only heat that attracts them AND open wounds.

Fleas do not bite the tip of the ears - they are not the problem.

You are NOT supposed to flea bathe dogs that are wearing Frontline - in addition to adding more chemicals which can be dangerous and is specifically warned against on Frontline's information sheet - the baths will wash off the Frontline. Frontline should NOT be applied within three days EITHER WAY of a bath.

You should use EITHER Frontline (which I recommend) OR do flea baths but NOT BOTH.

Perhaps the best thing to do is keep your dogs inside during fly season and only put them out at night when the flies are not active. You don't have to worry about the same flies bothering them next years. The average life cycle of a fly is ONE DAY.

08-20-2006, 04:46 PM
Here's a website that might help.

It says to try Vick Vapo Rub on the ears. Never thought of that but it's worth a shot, I guess. hehe


08-20-2006, 07:01 PM
Vicks sounds like a good one. Also, Vaseline was recommended to us for Brutus (RIP) who had "stick-tight" fleas infesting the edges and tips of his poor ears. The vet called them "stick-tight" fleas and recommended Vaseline to spread over the infestation to suffocate to fleas and protect the sore skin. It did work. In a few days the fleas were all gone and Brutus was much happier.
Of course this would need to be used in conjunction with a flea prevention program of your choice.

08-20-2006, 07:38 PM
Yeah and it seems like the vasoline would help prevent flies from biting too (because they couldn't get through to the skin).

Jack William
03-29-2014, 01:23 AM
Hi, nice to be here and a part of this discussion;

Flies generally are outside problem and they get attracted to certain things like stagnant water and animal droppings and garbage could be the most possible reasons so you should keep a check on these to get rid of these unwanted flies.

09-22-2014, 07:51 AM
Why not start with the shampoo switch first? Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution - almost too easy. Good luck!

04-07-2015, 03:38 PM
I second Garlic pills!