Black Fly Bite on Dogs- Is it Harmful to Pets?

May 31, 2022

Buffalo Gnats aka Black Flies (family: Simuliidae) are small, dark insects that often show up with other pesky bugs that surface in spring.

Black Flies can be seen more frequently at sunrise or sunset, & adult females tend to feed on blood. Their larvae develop in running water & attach themselves to submerged objects or rocks- so be on the lookout if you frequent outdoor areas with any form of clean running water.

While doing some outdoor training with Nolo, I noticed a gnat flying close to him, so I decided it was time to wrap things up & head home. Later that night, I noticed a bright red-pink mark on his underbelly. It was a pretty sizeable, bright coloured mark, so naturally, I wanted to pass out!


I had previously seen pictures of black fly bites on dogs & it looked identical to what I saw on Nolo’s underbelly. My initial thought was- that gnat must have indeed been a “black fly.” Obviously this wasn’t enough to make me calm down, so I snapped a few pics to send to the vet.

Thank Dog it was just a black fly bite & over the next few days, Nolo’s skin looked better & better. Fortunately, there was no swelling & Nolo didn’t seem to even notice he got bit. His energy & appetite were also not affected, so the vet was not worried.

Black Fly bites often look like a bullseye & can be faint pink, red/purplish like a bruise, or bright red in colour. Bite marks can also range in size- Nolo’s single bite left a mark larger than a US quarter. And because I have tons on hand, I immediately cleaned the area with a bit of povidone-iodine, which was apparently a good move.

If your pet is ever bitten by something that leaves concerning welts, do not hesitate to contact your vet- especially if you notice signs of an infection, or pain/discomfort! It also never hurts to get professional medical advice if you don’t know what diseases your pet could be at risk of contracting.

As always, I hope this post was helpful.

Follow me on instagram @nolorlin for more pet care related posts and raw feeding content!


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