On October 3, 2016, the Florida Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the New World Screwworm in three Key dear in Big Pine Key. This disease, once eradicated in the 1960’s, is a serious treat to US and Florida livestock industry. New World Screwworm is a reportable disease and all veterinarians are asked to be on the lookout for screwworm infestations, which can look like non-healing wounds with larvae in and around the wound and subcutaneous tissue.
If you encounter a suspicious case, please do the following:
1. Treat as clinically appropriate by removing the maggots and necrotic tissue. Capstar can be given to dogs and cats prior to wound treatment to aid in larval expulsion and death
2. It is critical to recheck the wound every 1-3 days initially, until no further larvae are emerging and the wound is granulating.
3. Take samples of any larvae and place them in a container of 85-95% alcohol.
4. Contact 1-800-HELP-FLA to report case and have samples picked up
5. Treat DOGS with approved permethrin based flea & tick product (Activyl, Vectra 3D, etc) per label directions. Alternatively, Ivermectin may be used at 0.3 mg/kg (PO, SQ) on day 1 and repeated at the 2 week recheck. This is off label use for screwworm, but well within treatment range for other parasites. Make sure to take appropriate precautions with ivermectin sensitive breeds and hearworm status. This dose has ben used as a preventative dose for pets that may have been in a screwworm affected area.
For further questions, contact Nelly Amador-Jehn at 850-251-2398 or email Nelly.Amador-Jehn@FreshFromFlorida.com