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I remember when as a young boy learning to play whiffle ball with the neighborhood characters, everyone would yell, ”Don’t hit a fly, strike, or window!” These words would haunt everyone all during the game. Years later the words fly strike would return to haunt me at the farm.  If you have not experienced fly strike you need to know what to look for and what to do. ( Remember to always inform your vet and work with her/him).

In central Pennsylvania, our general region has experienced rain beyond one’s desire.  Others complain when it rains, I do not because I know that the pastures will continue to grow.  But it also crated a situation that I was not entirely familiar with on the farm.  Yes, I had heard about fly strike but I had never seen it.  It was mid-August when the weather, usually, is hot and dry but it continued to rain and stay cool.  I noticed a young lamb acting peculiar and noticed the large number of flies around her rump.  My inspection led me to discover maggots in the thousands around her anus and vaginal area.  Her wool came out in clumps and I panicked.  Quickly I called the vet and this is what we did:

  1. washed the area with soap and water
  2. sprayed with Kraton 4
  3. gave a shot of penicillin for three  days
  4. isolated her and kept a close eye on her
  5. gave a drench of a Cydectin

She has recovered beautifully but there were two more cases that month. One more sheep and a goat had the same.  The maggots come from a green fly and it can come without warning.  So one must be ever so observant and willing to quickly inspect every animal every day.


October 1,2017

© William Churchill 2014