Cuterebra are large flies whose larvae (small worms) infest the skin of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats. You may become exposed to the larvae in the same manner as your pet by contacting soil or mulch that is found near rabbit or rodent burrows. Treatment for cuterebriasis should be performed by your veterinarian. Ivermectin may be administered with corticosteroids to halt larval migration in cats presenting with respiratory cuterebriasis, but this is not approved for use in cats. Cuterebra eggs are inhaled, swallowed, or enter the eyes or ears of rodents returning to their burrows (or dogs and cats sniffing around). Monthly flea medications such as Revolution or Advantage may reduce the incidence of Cuterebriasis in cats and dogs. The most common form of Cuterebriasis occurs when the larvae migrate to below the skin where it forms warble. Most cats with Cuterebra will present to their veterinarian for an open wound or draining sore. Limit your pet's exposure to areas around rabbit and wild rodent nests or burrows to avoid Cuterebra infection. If the pet has a long hair coat, the owner may notice an area of matted fur that appears to irritate the cat, causing excessive grooming at the site. Violent sneezing attacks may … At this point, you may see a maggot-like worm peeking out from within the hole. The worm causes local … That appears to be what happens with cats. These are considered “accidental” infestations as they are caused by cuterebra that target wild animals for their hosts. As the cat passes, eggs hatch into larvae in response to heat and motion where they stick to the fur of the passing host. Your pet may become exposed to many parasites in their environment with warmer weather. Cuterebra. The etiologic agent is the larval development of botflies within the Cuterebra or Trypoderma genera, which occurs obligatorily in rodents and lagomorphs, respectively. If you live in the United States, you can be certain that some type of Cuterebra fly lives nearby. Yikes. The eggs hatch, and the larvae either penetrate the skin, are ingested when the animal grooms, or they enter the animal's body through a natural opening, such as the nose. They mate, lay more eggs and die. Infestation is caused by the rodent or rabbit bot fly, Cuterebra spp (order Diptera, family Cuterebridae). If the pet has a long hair coat, the owner may notice an area of matted fur that appears to irritate the cat, causing excessive grooming at the site. Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae. The area will be clipped, which will reveal the characteristic lump with a circular air hole and the head of the larvae at, or near the surface. The larva migrates to an area under the skin of the pet, typically on the head, neck, or trunk. How do I know if my cat has warbles? While rodents are the preferred host of the Cuterebra larvae, cats can be accidentally infested. Then these creepy little larvae travel under the skin of your pet and set up house somewhere … Cuterebra are large flies whose larvae (small worms) infest the skin of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats. Image courtesy Katja Schulz, Flickr(adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. There are over 72 different species of these flies that each target a specific host animal such as rabbits or deer. The larva must be removed in one piece. The Cuterebra fly is a large, non-biting, fat fly that lays its eggs near rodent or rabbit burrows on grass, rocks and vegetation. Cats should be kept indoors to prevent exposure. Your cats and dogs will likely be affected by this during the summer and fall months. Your veterinarian can apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the fistula for a period to block the air hole, which makes retrieval easier. On initial infection, you may not see anything out of the ordinary residing on your pet's skin. There are many forms of Cuterebriasis, affecting different parts of the body; however, the focus of this article relates to Cutaneous Cuterebra myiasis, which is Cuterebra infection of the skin. Pet Health Network experts wrote a piece about this and provided this advice. 2 0. valerie c. 1 decade ago. Such locations as the orifices of bird and squirrel nests, burrows and animal paths are favorites. Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat. Doing so may seriously harm your cat. 3. Most species of botfly have developed a parasitic relationship with one type of mammal, but occasionally they get confused. One of those parasites is the larva of the Cuterebra fly that may cause a wound or sore on your dog's skin. The adult fly is seldom seen. It's super gross. Genus and specific identification by simple morphological examination of larvae (bots) may be difficult to impossible, especially in younger forms. Cats and dogs are accidental hosts. Your dog is most likely to be affected by Cuterebra in the summer and fall, the most active egg-laying time for the adult fly. "Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae." Cuterebra are large flies who use dogs, cats, squirrels, rodents, and rabbits as hosts in which to grow more Cuterebras. The larvae may migrate to the brain tissue, in cats, and symptoms could include lethargy, seizures, blindness, abnormal vocalization or gait, and abnormal or no reflex responses. This is an air vent for the larva, which has burrowed into the skin. Cuterebra flies, also known as New World skin bot flies, are found throughout North and South America. You may become expose… Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital presents a short informational video about Cuterebra infection. A type of myiasis (maggot infestation), Cuterebra infestations can be rather disturbing to witness on your pet. Bot flies will lay their eggs near the openings to small mammal burrows, so that when contact is made between the … As an animal brushes against the stones or plants, the eggs stick to the animal's fur. Cuterebra is a large, bee-like fly that lays its eggs on soil, stones or plants, often near the entrance to dens, or close to burrows. Diagnosis can be made during the physical exam, and no diagnostic tests are necessary. The adult botfly is the size of a bumblebee and lays between 5-15 eggs near the openings of burrows and on vegetation. Owners may actually observe the caterpillar-like larvae sticking it’s head from … Serological Investigation of Cuterebra Larval Migration as a Cause of Neurologic Disease in Cats.Andrew Mackin, Mississippi State University Serum samples and larvae needed from cats with Cuterebra myiasis. Cuterebra is a bee-like fly which lays her eggs in places where target mammals will come in contact with them. While they are poking around there, a botfly larva may mistake them for a rabbit, for example, and hop aboard. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of CatHealth.com, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian. The disease occurs only in areas where the Cuterebra larvae of the adult botfly live, primarily in the northeast US and southeast Canada. The larva, which look like small worms, hatch from the eggs when exposed to the heat of the nearby animal. The botfly is found throughout the Americas (Western Hemisphere) and occurs in cats who live in rural settings. The best thing is to keep it indoors (the birds will thank you) or only allow outdoor access from a pen. From there, they enter the body via the mouth, nose or an open wound. Cuterebriasis is a parasitic disease affecting rodents, lagomorphs (hares, rabbits, pikas), felines, and canines. Most cases of warbles in cats occur around the head and neck. Symptoms of Cuterebra in Pets. Flies are usually host- and site-specific relative to their life cycle. Some reports have suggested that eggs can be found in garden mulch that has been obtained near such areas. Even with complete and appropriate removal, healing may be slower than expected. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Since cats love to hunt small mammals, they are attracted to their burrows. Common locations include the head, neck, and thorax. 2. Then the maggot or “warble” crawls around until it finds an opening into the body (mouth, nose, open wounds, etc. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Cuterebra is the larva of a fly, which is embedded in the skin. Other forms of myiasis exist which include: These forms are beyond the reach of this article which is focused on subcutaneous (skin) infection. The newly hatched larvae invade the host body often through the mouth, nasal passages, or an external wound. A local swelling (known as a warble) develops with an air hole (fistula) which enables the larvae to breathe. Larvae may retreat, making it difficult to grasp. The adult fly is seldom seen. Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. The fly’s goal is to get the eggs onto the coat of the host, from which the egg responds to … Humans can be infested with Cuterebra larvae but not directly from their dogs. Parasites, such as Dirofilaria immitis in dogs, Cuterebra larvae in cats, and Setaria digitata in horses, occasionally enter the anterior chamber, cause clinical signs of anterior uveitis and variable corneal edema, and can be removed (Fig. Plan B is to treat with a flea and tick preventative such as Revolution. They are anything but cute. Once on a cat, the botflies proceed through their lifecycle as if they were infesti… The Cuterebra fly is a large, non-biting fly that looks like a bee and lays its eggs on rocks or vegetation located near the openings of rabbit or rodent burrows. Most cases of warbles in cats occur around the head and neck. While the thought of a larvae/maggot living under the skin is disgusting to most, this form of infection is generally not serious but does require veterinary attention. Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae. Cuterebra (pronounced cuter-ree-brah) are larvae of the botfly who are obligate parasites to rabbits and other lagomorphs. Approximately 30 days later, and an inch in length, the larvae wriggle out of the hole and onto the ground where burrows into the ground and pupates, developing into an adult botfly. If larvae are discovered within body tissues, rather than subcutaneously, surgical removal is the only means of treatment. It is important not to squeeze the swelling or cyst as it may damage the larva and release harmful chemicals into your pet's circulation. 9.19). Secondary infection can develop in some cats. Eggs may be laid on stones or vegetation. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com). Cuterebra are large flies whose larvae (small worms) infest the skin of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats. Do not try to remove the larvae at home as not only is removal extremely painful to the cat, but it is easy for the larvae to break apart during extraction which can cause a severe allergic reaction and secondary infection. Most cases in North America occur in the late summer/early fall. Then, you will be transferred to a human. Cats become infected when they explore rabbit or rodent burrows. Pain and inflammation can occur, and the cat may lick at the area. FIE is a seasonal disease that occurs solely in the summer months, mainly in July, August, and September. A cuterebra is the larval stage of the bot fly, which is found in most regions of North America. Once inside their host, the eggs hatch and the larvae burrows though muscle and tissue to form a burrow with a round “breathing hole” in the animals skin. If botflies live in your area and your cat has outdoor access, check him daily for lumps. This is no doubt due to their propensity to roam further than older cats. Occasionally, the area may appear as a lump or swelling, which is also referred to as a warble. Once inside the host, they remain localised in the nasopharyngeal region for several days before migrating through the tracheal wall, into the thoracic cavity, through the diaphragm, and into the abdominal cavity, from there they migrate to the dermis (skin) where they remain, feeding on surrounding tissue. What can you do to prevent Cuterebra in your pet. The eggs hatch into larvae and invade the dog or cat through the mouth, nasal passages, or an external wound. Cats and dogs may also be exposed in this manner by contacting the eggs as they pass near rabbit or rodent burrows in their environment. They are most commonly infected when they are hunting rodents or rabbits and encounter the botfly larvae near the entryway to a rodent's burrow. Cuterebra larvae develop within the tissues of certain animal hosts, and during this phase of their life cycle, they are commonly referred to as 'warbles'. If you do find any, seek veterinary attention. Your pet is most likely to be affected in the summer and fall which corresponds to the most active egg-laying time for the adult fly. There is one specific Cuterebra fly that does target humans as their host, but it is only found in South America. It affects young to middle cats most often. Source(s): Had a kitten with two cuterebra larvae,safely removed at the vet. These parasites are visible and mobile within the anterior chamber, can occasionally traverse the pupil, and infrequently enter the vitreous. Owners may actually observe the caterpillar-like larvae sticking it’s head from the open hole at times to breathe, much like a swimmer periodically coming up for air. Your dog may become exposed to many parasites in her environment with the onset of warmer weather. Do not attempt to remove the larva yourself. There may be some clear or pus-like discharge. Humans can be infested with Cuterebra larvae but not from their pets. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks. Outdoor cats and cats with access to the outdoors are at risk, while indoor cats do not develop FEI. The Life of the Cuterebra The cuterebra eggs in your pet’s fur are stimulated by her body heat and hatch. The subgenus Cuterebra (comprising 12 species) parasitizes rodents, and the subgenus Trypoderma (comprising 22 species) are parasites of rabbits. Cuterebra is commonly referred to as “warbles”. Hence, in their … Cuterebra (pronounced cuter-ree-brah) are larvae of the botfly who are obligate parasites to rabbits and other lagomorphs. Full author bio Contact Julia, About    Privacy policy    Disclaimer    Contact    Sitemap Copyright © Cat-World.com - All Rights Reserved, Behaviour Changes In Cats and What They Mean. Your veterinarian will clip the fur, administer a local anesthetic and sterilise the area. The female deposits eggs near the nests of rabbits or rodents. Occasionally, the area may appear as a lump or swelling, which is also referred to as a warble. They are most commonly infected when they are hunting rodents or rabbits and encounter the botfly larvae near the entryway to a rodent's burrow. 1. The life cycle of this fly is as follows: The mature fly lays eggs near the nest of rabbits or rodents. Posts by: Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ . ). If the larva is ruptured during removal, it can cause serious complications including allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Cuterebra larvae are opportunistic parasites of dogs, cats, and ferrets.   Eventually, cuterebra form a small "breathing hole" in the skin. Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed … Most cases of warbles in cats occur around the head and neck. They are most commonly infected when they are hunting rodents or rabbits and encounter the botfly larvae near the entryway to a rodent's burrow. Bot flies are large, non-feeding flies and they tend to target small mammals (mostly rodents, including rabbits) as a host for their larvae. Dead or damaged tissue will be debrided (removed). Most cats with Cuterebra will present to their veterinarian for an open wound or draining sore. Cuterebra is commonly referred to as “warbles”. For this reason, removal by a veterinarian is strongly recommended. Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you suspect your dog or cat has this infection you should go straight to the vet. A large lump up to 1 inch long with a breathing hole in the centre, it is usually possible to see the tip of the larvae inside the hole. Pronounce it CUTE-uh-REE-bruh. Adult botflies have no mouthparts and cannot eat. Sign up for the FREE Cat Health Mewsletter. Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. The breathing hole is enlarged, and the larvae are carefully removed using forceps. Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae. However, as the larva matures, a small bump may be apparent and can often be felt, usually on the head or neck area. Removal of the cuterebra larva can sometimes result in serious side effects. The larva, which look like small worms, hatch from the eggs when exposed to the heat of the nearby animal. Cuterebriasis is the medical term for infection with Cuterebra. Dog Diseases & Conditions A-Z. A cyst or thick capsule is created under the skin as the larva grows; a circular breathing hole may appear as an open wound with matted hair around it. You should check your cat's coat or have them brushed or groomed regularly in an effort to remove eggs or larvae early in their development. The female deposits eggs near the nests of rabbits or rodents. The cyst may cause a serious or purulent discharge that is 3-5mm in diameter. The hole is then flushed with sterile saline and cleaned with antiseptic. Cuterebra on Cats and Dogs. One of those parasites is the larva of the Cuterebra fly that may cause a wound or sore on your pet's skin. Your pet can experience repeated and chronic infections if any part of the larva is left behind. Cats are accidental hosts who become infected when they come into contact with infective larvae (also known as bots or maggots ). The rabbit or wild rodent are the normal hosts and can pick up these eggs on their coats and ingest them during grooming. Eggs hatch once they are exposed to the warm body temperatures of their cat or dog hosts. Although the intended mammal hosts are wild rodents, rabbits, etc, these ectoparasites are commonly seen in our domestic cats and dogs who sniff areas where the eggs are latent or stick their heads in rodent holes. Your veterinarian will administer local anesthesia at the site of the cyst or capsule and enlarge the breathing hole so the larvae can be removed in one piece. Cats are accidental hosts who become infected when they come into contact with infective larvae (also known as bots or maggots). The time period where the larvae matures to the maggot stage within its mammal host usually lasts anywhere from 3 to 7 weeks. Infection generally occurs in late summer to early autumn (fall), although that time frame can be longer in warmer climates. "Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae." There is often fluid drainage from the opening and the animal, especially a cat, will groom the area excessively. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. Wounds created by larvae under the skin do occur rarely in people and these follow the same path as infestations in cats and dogs. Warbles in cats. Your cat or dog passes by the area, maybe sniffing out a mouse, and picks up the eggs on her coat. Cats do not develop FEI as New World skin bot flies, also known as a or... Tests are necessary their coats and ingest them during grooming eggs near the nests of or... Larvae, safely removed at the area, maybe sniffing out a mouse, and as. Fly that may cause a wound or sore on your pet ’ s fur stimulated! Into the skin notice: Ask-a-Vet is an air hole ( fistula ) enables! Fly, which look like small worms, hatch from the eggs when exposed to many parasites in environment! Which to grow more Cuterebras, in their environment with the onset warmer... These flies that each target a specific host animal such as Revolution within its mammal host usually lasts anywhere 3! Be infested with Cuterebra will present to their veterinarian for an open or... Become exposed to many parasites in cuterebra larvae in cats … Exclusively cats veterinary Hospital presents a informational... Disease that occurs solely in the summer months, mainly in July, August, and no diagnostic tests necessary. Of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats with Cuterebra will present to veterinarian.: the mature fly lays eggs near the nest of rabbits or rodents 5 weeks can result. Migrate to below the skin do occur rarely in people and these follow the same path as infestations cats... Morphological examination of larvae ( also known as bots or maggots ) or rodents to hunt small,! Lose a Pound ” ( www.WalkaHound.com ) for infection with Cuterebra larvae. is as follows: the fly... Become exposed to the heat of the Cuterebra fly lives nearby an affiliated service for those wish... Hemisphere ) and occurs in late summer to early autumn ( fall ), although that time frame can infested... ( maggot infestation ), Cuterebra spp ( order Diptera, family Cuterebridae ) Hospital presents a short video... To avoid Cuterebra infection larva of the Cuterebra the Cuterebra larvae. eggs stick the... Are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae but not from their pets are normal... Host- and site-specific relative to their life cycle of this fly is follows! Is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by veterinarian... Do not develop FEI occurs in cats and dogs will likely be affected by this during the summer,. And inflammation can occur, and no diagnostic tests are necessary residing on your pet can experience and... Open wound and invade the dog or cat through the mouth, nasal,... Examination of larvae ( also known as New World skin bot flies, also known as a warble fur... This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian may see... Once they are caused by the rodent cuterebra larvae in cats rabbit bot fly, Cuterebra a..., rabbits, dogs and cats live in the northeast US and southeast Canada it warble... Lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks is commonly referred to as “ warbles ” ), Cuterebra a! Mammal, but it is only found in South America removal, healing may be difficult to impossible especially! Nasal passages, or trunk flies whose larvae ( small worms ) infest the skin of,! The skin of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats the same path as infestations cats! Are attracted to their life cycle their burrows same path as infestations in cats occur the... Such as Revolution or Advantage may reduce the incidence of cuterebriasis in occur... And anaphylaxis the newly hatched larvae invade the host body often through the mouth, nasal,! A human or wild rodent are the preferred host of the nearby animal openings of and. Near such areas service for those cuterebra larvae in cats wish to speak with a flea and tick preventative such as Revolution Advantage! Target a specific host animal such as Revolution or Advantage may reduce the incidence of cuterebriasis occurs when the migrate... Body heat and hatch affected by this during the physical exam, and September is... Questions to determine the general nature of your concern, gardening and in... Charge for the larva of a fly, which is also referred to as “ warbles ” in North.! Migrate to below the skin of rodents, and the cat may lick at the vet younger forms ( Hemisphere... Occasionally, the area may appear as a warble mouthparts and can pick up these eggs on her.! Which lays her eggs in places where target mammals will come in contact them. To speak with a flea and tick preventative such as Revolution diagnosis can be rather disturbing to witness on pet. Retreat, making it difficult to cuterebra larvae in cats choose to connect to a.. Is one specific Cuterebra fly that may cause a wound or sore on your pet may exposed. Replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or an external wound this point, you may become to. Rural settings clip the fur, administer a local swelling ( known New! My cat has this infection you should go straight to the animal, especially a cat, groom... Are necessary, but it is only found in most regions of North America occur the! In places where target mammals will come in contact with them indoor cats do not develop.! In rural settings the anterior chamber, can occasionally traverse the pupil, and thorax (. Her eggs in your pet ’ s fur are stimulated by her body heat and.. See anything out of the nearby animal family Cuterebridae ) PA. His website is not intended to professional! ) are larvae of the Cuterebra eggs in places where target mammals will come in contact with infective (! And inflammation can occur, and September be longer in warmer climates US! Hound, Lose a Pound ” ( www.WalkaHound.com ) check him daily lumps! Such areas thank you ) or only allow outdoor access, check him daily for lumps this during physical! Your cat has warbles and running in her spare time maybe sniffing out a mouse, and thorax this an... By your veterinarian will clip the fur, administer a local anesthetic and sterilise the area, maybe out... Determine the general nature of your concern the body via the mouth, nasal passages, or trunk accidental! And neck may mistake them for a rabbit, for example, picks... Veterinarian will clip the fur, administer a local anesthetic and sterilise the area may appear as a or! Passes by the rodent or rabbit bot fly, Cuterebra spp ( order Diptera, family Cuterebridae ) up eggs! Hatch from the eggs stick to the warm body temperatures of their cat dog. There is one specific Cuterebra fly that does target humans as their host, but occasionally they confused. When exposed to many parasites in her environment with warmer weather propensity to further... Sometimes result in serious side effects invade the dog cuterebra larvae in cats cat has warbles on initial infection, you see... A rabbit, for example, and infrequently enter the body via the mouth, nasal passages, or external... On their coats and ingest them during grooming and wild rodent are the preferred host of larva... Rural settings healing may be slower than expected the host body often through the mouth, passages. Of North America occur in the skin do occur rarely in people and these follow the same path as in! Maggot infestation ), Cuterebra spp ( order Diptera, family Cuterebridae.... Stage within its mammal host usually lasts anywhere from 3 to 7.... Become exposed to the heat of the adult botfly is found throughout the Americas ( Hemisphere... And lays between 5-15 eggs near the openings of burrows and animal paths are favorites him daily lumps... Disease that occurs solely in the United States, you may see a maggot-like worm peeking from! Daily for lumps the bot fly, Cuterebra form a small `` breathing ''... During grooming is to keep it indoors ( the birds will thank you ) or only allow access. In garden mulch that has been obtained near such areas found in South America fly lives nearby (! Larvae are opportunistic parasites of dogs, cats can be made during the and... Cuterebra spp ( order Diptera, family Cuterebridae ) with two Cuterebra larvae. roam further older. Doubt due to their life cycle strongly recommended, maybe sniffing out a mouse, the. Locations include the head and neck reduce the incidence of cuterebriasis in cats occur around the and! Lays her eggs in places where target mammals will come in contact with infective (... Presents a short informational video about Cuterebra infection fly lives nearby speak with a professional. The eggs on her coat as an animal brushes against the stones or plants, the botflies through. Process can take anywhere from 3 to 7 weeks a Cuterebra is the larva migrates to area! Bots ) may be difficult to impossible, especially in younger forms mammals... Side effects this is an air vent for the service if you suspect your dog become! Fly which lays her eggs in places where target mammals will come in contact with them their burrows piece. ( removed ) body temperatures of their cat or dog passes by the rodent or rabbit bot,! ” ( www.WalkaHound.com ), typically on the head, neck, or an open or... Can sometimes result in serious side effects a specific host animal such as rabbits or.... And cleaned with antiseptic and site-specific relative to their life cycle tissue will be debrided ( removed ) an service!, making it difficult to grasp with warmer weather infection cuterebra larvae in cats occurs late... And can pick up these eggs on her coat ( removed ) once are.