Thursday 8 December 2016

'One of the worst cases I have seen in 40 years of practice' - dog dies after being eaten alive by maggots

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 08/07/2016 | 11:08

Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook
Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook
Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook
Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook

WARNING: This story contains graphic images.

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An adorable pom-mix terrier has died after being eaten alive by maggots.

The dog, named Arthur by the veterinary staff who cared for him, had been infested with maggots when local vet John O’Dwyer first treated him earlier this week.

After a concerned passer-by spotted him on the side of the road in Meelick, Co Clare, he was brought to O’Dwyer’s small animal hospital in Henry Street, Limerick.

Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook
Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook

“He was in an awful state when handed in to us. His back has been nearly eaten away by maggots and he is in a very poor state,” Mr O’Dwyer wrote on Facebook.

“This is one of the worst cases I have seen in my nearly 40 years of practice. In another few hours he would have been literally eaten alive.”

Arthur had no microchip or ID, which makes it difficult to track down his owners.

Throughout the week he had been treated with a number of powerful antibiotics and painkillers, but he remained in a critical condition.

“The skin on his back has basically been destroyed by the secretions of the maggots, basically a severe chemical burn,” Mr O’Dwyer explained.

“The probable cause was probably a dog bite under a matted coat that attracted the blowfly. In this weather maggots can multiply on a raw area at a phenomenal rate.

“Just be careful anyone out there with animals with raw areas, and it can be a tiny area, on their skin, in this warm weather. This can happen quicker than you would think. A bite wound or a bit of wet eczema can end up like this in a couple of days.”

A source at the animal hospital told Independent.ie that Arthur died at around 7pm on Thursday.

Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook
Arthur died on Thursday after his back was infested with maggots. Photo: John O'Dwyer Small Animal Hospital/Facebook

“We were optimistic up until last night. We assumed he was actually older than we thought he was, and that his heart had given in,” she said.

“He was a gorgeous little thing, even with the amount of prodding we had to do giving him injections and fluid therapy, he was good as gold.”

Mr O'Dwyer wrote in a Facebook post that Arthur "had been in good form all day" and had started eating a small amount of food when it was hand fed to him.

"He was up and walking around has cage and seemed to be in good form," he said.

"He suddenly collapsed and had passed away before we could revive him. Myself and all the staff here are devastated. He was a lovely sweet dog and had won all our hearts here."

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