Black Fly Bites on Dogs – Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Pets are a lot like humans, in that they are susceptible to different insect bites and stings. Just ask anyone who has to deal with black fly bites on dogs. For those who don’t know, black flies are small, blood-sucking insects that can be found in many locations, but they are especially prevalent in areas with slow-moving water. And black flies’ bites on dogs can be as unpleasant for pets as they can be for humans.

black fly bites


What are Fly Bites?

Fly bites are caused by a fly landing on the skin and injecting its saliva. The most common type of fly that causes bites is the horsefly. These bites can cause a lot of pain and swelling.

Symptoms of Fly Bites In Dogs

Black fly bites are easy to identify because they cause a very itchy, red bump on the skin. The bump may be slightly swollen and may have a small amount of pus in the center.

If you think your dog may have been bitten by a black fly, take a look at the bite and see if there is any swelling or redness around it. If your dog is scratching or licking the bite, it’s likely that he’s uncomfortable and needs relief.

The following are the signs of a black fly bite on a dog:

1. Swelling and redness on the skin where the fly bit the dog.

2. The bitten area might itch or hurt.

3. The bitten area might develop a rash.

4. Fever.

5. General malaise.

Causes of Fly Bites In Dogs

Flies are attracted to a variety of smells and tastes on a dog’s skin, including sweat, blood, and food. When a fly lands on a dog, it may bite to get a taste or to extract blood.

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Some types of flies are known to transmit diseases to dogs, including the housefly, stable fly, and black fly. These flies may bite dogs around the eyes, ears, muzzle, and legs, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and infection.

How to Soothe and Treat Fly Bites on Your Dog’s Skin at Home

If your dog is bitten by a fly, the first thing you should do is clean the wound with soap and water. You may also need to apply a topical antibiotic to help prevent infection. After the wound is clean, you can apply a cold compress to help reduce swelling. If your dog is experiencing a lot of pain, you can give him a pain reliever such as acetaminophen.

Follow these steps to treat black fly bites on dogs:

1. Rinse the area with cool water to help remove any irritants.

2. Apply a cold compress to the area to help reduce swelling.

3. Apply a topical cream or ointment to the area to help soothe the skin.

4. Give your dog a dose of Benadryl if he is itchy or swollen.

When to Call Your Vet


If your dog has a bad reaction to a black fly bite, such as swelling, redness, or itching, call your veterinarian.

Signs and Symptoms of a Life-threatening Allergic Reaction

If someone has a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, they may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction)

How to Prevent Black Fly Bites on Dogs

There is no foolproof way to prevent black fly bites on dogs, but there are some things that can be done to help.

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One of the most important things is to keep dogs away from areas where black flies are known to thrive. This includes wooded areas, near water, and in tall grass.

If possible, dogs should also be kept indoors during the peak black fly season, which is typically from May to early July.

Use a good quality dog repellent to help keep black flies from biting. Repellents that contain DEET are the most effective.

Finally, keep dogs well groomed. Black flies are attracted to dirty hair, so keeping dogs clean and brushed will help reduce the chances of being bitten.

How Long Do Black Fly Bites Last on Dogs?

Most black fly bites will heal within a week or two. However, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to the bite, which can cause swelling and redness that lasts for several weeks.

Black Fly Bites Vs Ringworm on Dogs

There are a few key differences between black fly bites and ringworm on dogs. Black fly bites are typically more painful and can lead to swelling, while ringworm lesions are typically itchy and scaly. Additionally, black fly bites typically occur on the head and neck, while ringworm lesions can occur anywhere on the body.

If you are not sure which condition your dog is experiencing, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.


Though black fly bites on dogs are not as common as mosquito bites, they can still be quite irritating and painful for your pet. If your dog is bitten by a black fly, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain and inflammation.

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