Stable flies-Borne Diseases in Dogs and Cats

Common info

Stable flies play an important role in medical and veterinary aspects.  With blood-sucking behavior, they prefer biting and sucking blood from cattle, buffaloes, and horses. In case these animals are not available, they may turn to bite humans and dogs instead. The symptoms commonly found in Stable Flies-Borne Diseases in dogs and cats are wound on the skin, blood draining from the skin, draining from skin pus draining from the skin, etc.


First recorded in Australia in 1881 and Western Australia in 1912, Stable flies are very heat tolerant and are present in large numbers from late spring through to late autumn throughout many areas of south-western Australia. Apart from bloodsucking, they are also carriers of several severe diseases, such as surra (caused by Trypanosoma spp., having flies as carriers of the disease) and anthrax.


Stable flies or Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) are in Muscidae family. They suck blood from mammals, using their cutting-sponging mouths. The area stable flies most prefer for blood-sucking is the tip of pet’s ear, esp. in the long ear breeds like German Shepherds.


  • Wound on the skin
  • Ear inflammation
  • Blood draining from skin
  • Pus draining from skin

The symptoms found instable flies-borne diseases in dogs and cats include wound on the skin, ear inflammation, blood, and pus draining from skin and dermatitis.

Treatment and Prevention

Clean the wound with liquid soap or wipe it with a cotton pad soaked in warm water. After that, apply antiseptics like Betadine on the wound and cover it with a bandage. Apply Neosporin on the wounds found on-ear to relieve ear inflammation.

  1. Entnemdept. | Stomoxys calcitrans
  2. Merckvetmanual | Stable flies
  3. Bishop, F. 1913. "The Stable Fly (Stomoxys caclitrans L.) An Important Live Stock Pest". Journal of Economic Entomology. 6: 112–126.
  4. Jerome A. Hogsette, Joseph P. Ruff and Carl J. Jones. 1987. Stable Fly Biology and Control in Northwest florida. J. Agric. Entomol. 4(1):1-11.
  5. Jimmy B. Pitzer, Phillip E. Kaufman, Saundra H. Tenbroeck and James E. Maruniak. 2011. Host Blood Meal Identification by Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction for Dispersal Evidence of Stable Flies (Diptera: Muscidae) Between Livestock Facilities. J. Med. Entomol. 48(1): 53-60.
  6. L.D. Foil and J.A. Hogsette. 1994. Biology and control of tabanids, stable flies and horn flies. Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz.13(4):1125-1158.
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