The other morning Danny the gardener came calling, madame, madame! (They call me madame and Thom boss. That’s the standard name that guards, gardeners, housecleaners, etc., call their employers in Zambia.)
He said, I need to show you something on Buddy. Being a big know-it-all I knew exactly what he was talking about. Buddy has a wart-like thing on his back that he’s had for years. It’s a harmless skin tag or something that the vet has already checked out. I told Danny this and he looked at me skeptically and said, okay.
That night Buddy was licking his front left forearm furiously and there it was, a big swollen red bump. Not the wart that I thought it was. Oh dear, I thought, this is what Danny wanted to show me. (Note to self: Instead of jumping to conclusions when someone says they want to show you something, listen and observe! Repeat ten times.)
I thought it was a tick that had burrowed under Buddy’s skin or maybe a spider bite. It was night time so I had to wait until the next morning to take him to the vet.
The next morning I saw Danny and said you were right, I hadn’t seen that. What do you think it is? He said he thought it was a maggot. I thought it was just differences in language and that Zambians called ticks maggots so I still suspected it was a tick.
Dr. Liza saw us at 11 am sharp and said it was a putzi fly. What! A putzi fly? I had lulled myself into complacency that there really weren’t any putzie flies in Lusaka, that they must be in the rural areas only. Plus, it was the dry season! How could there be putzi flies? (See earlier post here.)
Liza, in her characteristic forthright manner said, where did he get this? I shrugged, I don’t know. How are you going to prevent him from getting one again? Another shrug, I don’t know. She said that putzi flies hang around fruit trees and puddles of water so I said okay, I’ll keep him away from the fruit trees out back.
Then, she just squeezed the bump like it was a big whitehead pimple and pop! Out came a little white maggot.
She swabbed the area with disinfectant and gave Buddy a shot of antibiotics and he was good to go.
Now that I saw what a putzi fly infected area looks like (basically like a really gross infected whitehead pimple)…
…and, I saw how easy it was to squeeze and pop the little sucker out (like in this photo below)…
…I’m well equipped to be a putzi fly eradicator. Spread the word!
p.s. These last three photos are not mine but look exactly how Buddy’s looked, but with a lot more dog fur around.