The word seems uncommon isn’t it? What is the buzz about Cuterebra? It is a parasite that is found under the skin of mammals. The parasites are in the form of larva that uses the host (i.e. the animals) to complete its life-cycle. They are known as botflies too that are found in cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits and other species.
The adult flies do not feed on the animals or bite them. Instead they deposit the eggs on rocks, plants or any other objects where the animals would generally pass by. When the animals brush through these objects, the eggs stick on their body. With the help of the body heat, the egg succeeds in hatching. So, how do they enter the body? There are many ways through which they can enter. They can enter through the nose, mouth or through an open wound.
Slowly they find a place inside the body of the host. How do they breathe? Well, they are clever enough to pierce a hole on the body of the host to get “fresh” air. This is the time when you actually discover a lump with a hole on your pet’s body. They would reside in the body of the host for about a month. After consuming all the nutrients and vitamins from the host, they would exit their body. Finally they become an adult fly!
Things you should avoid
Many people get horrified when they see such things on their pet’s body (it is a common instinct). But, this is not all. They try to squeeze the affected skin to take out the larvae. This is absolutely a wrong way to treat your dog. You should never try to do this. Squeezing can break the larva apart and cause serious infection in your pet’s internal systems.
There is only one treatment for such cases, i.e. rush to the vet. There are no such home remedies for this condition. The earlier your pet gets treated, the longer he will survive.
Preventing the “not so cute” Cuterebra!
- You would often notice these types of flies during the summers. Try not to go outdoors with your pet. They might come in contact with plants that already bore the eggs.
- Even if you take your pet for a walk, make sure you groom your pet after coming back home. This is important. Don’t let your pet loiter around the house until you have cleaned your pet’s body. You use a brush or a damp cloth to clean your loving pet.
- If you have a rabbit as your pet, you need to take extra care. They love hopping all around the lawn and the garden. Offer a big cage so that the rabbit can move freely instead of getting introduced by Cuterebra.
- Do not try and pluck the larva on your own. Even if you are confident about it, don’t pluck it out. I have seen people using tweezers to get rid of these irksome flies (some of them were successful too!). But, if you are not sure then do not try this “stunt”. Instead, visit the vet immediately.
The common victims and their treatments
The most common victims are squirrels, rabbits, cats and dogs.
When you visit the veterinarian, expect to get baffled. This is because you will be able to see moving Cuterebra right in front of your eyes. This is not all; you will be able to see the larva exactly at the wounded area.
Usually the vet will start by giving anesthesia (a little amount) to your pet. Hair is then removed from the infected area and it is disinfected before the surgery takes place. The hole created is enlarged in order to take out the larva without breaking it off. The vet will then prescribe antibiotics and some other medicines.
Cuterebra look horrific that might trigger goose bumps on your body. Always keep a check on your pet. Do not let them loiter around plants or rocks especially during summers.
Did your pet ever suffer from Cuterebra? If yes, how did you encounter the larva? What steps did you take to cure your pet? Let us know in the comments below: