How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms? (Explained)

How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms? Photo of a dog and a mango worm.

Mango worms aren’t the most popular parasite out there for dogs, but they can cause quite an infestation without you knowing it! Here’s how do dogs get mango worms and everything else you should know.

Mango worms are a kind of blowfly, technically. They are found in Africa and Uganda mostly. They are often in soil, but they can be transmitted through feces and directly from other infected dogs. Most dogs get mango worms by playing in the soil, walking through a puddle of newly hatched eggs, or smelling/eating infected feces from another dog.

Are mango worms dangerous for dogs?

While thankfully rare in North America, mango worms are dangerous for dogs. They are quick to cause an infestation, and they can be dangerous if left untreated. They are not common, either, so many don’t realize what’s going on at first.

Where do mango worms in dogs come from?

Technically, mango worms come from Africa and Uganda. If you live in these areas, mango worms and flies are common. If you don’t, most contamination comes from suitcases and other gear that you brought with you and then brought home.

These are a new type of worm for many pet parents, so most don’t realize the risk that traveling can pose when it comes to their dogs.

This is why mango worms and flies aren’t as popular as other worms for dog owners because they aren’t native to North America. However, they can spread easily from humans traveling to an infected area and bringing a hitchhiker home.

Can mango worms kill dogs?

Mango worms can cause an infestation so bad that the infestation can kill a dog. However, the same could be said for any kind of parasite infestation!

The key with mango worms is to get them diagnosed at a vet and start treatment to recover fully. It’s rare for a mango worm infestation to kill a dog, but the situations where it does are due to not having the problem diagnosed.

Can dogs survive mango worms?

Yes, your dog can survive a mango worm infestation with no problem at all. It’s just like any other kind of parasite infestationWith diagnosis and treatment, your dog will be back to their adorable and boil-free self very quickly!

Symptoms of mango worms in dogs

The symptoms of mango worms are different from other worms, and the truth is that they’re actually pretty gross. However, the more you know, the more you can help.

  • Small bumps
  • Boils and pimples
  • Bumps with white worms combining out
  • Pain or scratching at the area
  • Fur thinning

Most people describe this as a rah of boils or pimples with white tops. If you squeeze them, worms will pop out. Full warning, this will be a disgusting experience for even the most experienced and loving pet parent! It will look like no other kind of worm infestation you will have ever seen.

How to get rid of mango worms in dogs?

If you’re ready to get rid of these gross worms as soon as possible, you do have a few options available to you. These are:

  • Worm suffocation
  • Pimple popping
  • Antibiotics

Worm suffocation

To suffocate worms and force them out, you need to take the top off the pimp/boil and then cover it with an oil or vaseline. This will force them to find another way out because they won’t breathe. When they pop out of another hole, grab them and destroy them. Since the boils and pimples are concentrated in one area, this is a good option if you want to take it on.

Pimple popping

This is similar to the technique above, except you take the top off the pimple and then use tweezers to grab the worm and pull it out. This can be a little grosser, but it is faster. Make sure you get the whole worm out since it doesn’t accomplish anything if there are still remnants behind. It actually can worsen the infestation or complicate it with a bacterial infection!!


To be clear, antibiotics from your vet are required, not optional! Even if you decide to go forward with one of those two options, you will still need a prescription product from your vet to make sure that you destroy the worms. You can also choose to have your vet remove the worms or suggest at-home treatments. 

How to prevent mango worms in dogs

If you’re feeling very repulsed, which is expected, then you will want to focus on preventing mango worms in dogs. The thing is, most worm infestations are impossible to see until the pimples start to pop. So, preventative care is recommended! 

Firstly, keep your dogs away from infected areas. If you are going somewhere with tainted soil or puddles that could be teeming with eggs and larvae, keep your dog away from them! It takes as short as 20 seconds for larvae to wiggle into your dog’s skin! 

Secondly, thoroughly clean your traveling gear if you are returning from anywhere — especially those places that could be laden with mango worms. This is often skipped, but it really is worth your time to consider for those obvious reasons. 

When should I take my dog to the vet?

Essentially, as soon as you notice raised bumps on your dog’s skin. If you’ve been traveling, you can let your vet know ahead of time so that they will be aware of the possibility that it could be mango worms. It doesn’t matter if your dog wasn’t on the journey with you; it’s much easier than you’d think to bring them home!

The infestation will be set in by the time you take them to the vet. At this point, it’ll just be about removing them and killing any eggs and other larvae on your dog’s skin so that you can help them back to normal sooner rather than later.

Can humans get mango worms?

Yes, humans can get mango worms. They will happily make a home for themselves in whatever host is available. Even more of a reason to carefully clean your luggage and other traveling gear, right?

Interestingly, these worms don’t jump from host to host. Once they find one they like, they stay there. You won’t catch these worms from your dog but instead have your own “matching” infestation from the original source of contamination.

All in all

Mango worms come from infested soil and puddle, mainly from Africa and Uganda. While not as possible as other kinds of worms and parasites, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with so that you can be ready to handle whatever you need to get your dog back to normal and prevent yourself from getting infected, too!

It turns out that mango worms can cause quite the gross problem, should your dog ever get them. Know someone who travels to and from those areas that should know this for their dog’s sake and their own? Feel free to share this with them!

Photo of author
Dog Advisory Council

A team whose main goal is to serve knowledge about the canine world. Together since 2012, we thrive to transform and inform, so each dog can live a happy and fulfilling life. Read more about us.