Cuterebra

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Parasites

Has your dog or cat suddenly developed a nickel to quarter sized lump along the trunk (side)? Is your pet irritating the site further or excessively grooming the site? If the cyst contains a circular hole in it, you may be dealing with a parasite called Cuterebra or the warble worm.

A Cuterebra adult is actually a non-biting fly that resembles a bee. This fly is a prolific egg layer that deposits its eggs typically near rabbit or rodent burrows or trails frequented by these critters. Although Cuterebra typically infect rodents, pets may become exposed by brushing against eggs while outside near the burrow of a rodent. These eggs will hatch once they are exposed to the warm body temperatures of the host. The newly hatched larva then penetrate the mucus membranes of the mouth, nasal passages or an external wound.

The larva migrates under the skin typically on the head, neck or trunk finding a comfortable location where it continues to grow, developing a thick capsule or cyst around it. The smaller circular area is actually a breathing hole were the tip of the larva may occasionally be seen. There is often a discharge dispensed from the hole due to the severe inflammatory reaction caused by the larva. These lesions are most commonly seen in the summer and early fall. After a month on the pet host, the larva will emerge from the breathing hole and drop to the ground where it undergoes further development (pupate) before becoming an adult fly.

Treatment for cuterebriasis involves removal of the larva, flushing of the wound with antiseptics and the administration of systemic antibiotics. Removal of the larva is best conducted by a veterinarian. If the larva is not removed; intact serious allergic reactions, anaphylaxis and infection my result. With large Cuterebra cysts, the larva may remain elusive within the cyst and occasionally may be multiple in number.

References:

http://www.doghealth.com/parasites/cuterebra-infestations-in-dogs

Kahn, Cynthia Editor. The Merck Veterinary Manual. 9th Edition. Merck and Co. Inc. 2005. P. 710.

Topics: parasites

Symptoms: sores

Similar entries

  • Heartworms can be a problem anywhere mosquitoes inhabit. This disease syndrome is especially prevalent in Florida and the other Gulf Coast States. Due to their mild climate, these states are pestered by mosquitoes year round.

  • Does your dog have bloody diarrhea? Make sure your veterinarian does multiple fecal samples to check for whipworms or Trichuris vulpis. The eggs of Trichuris are not as buoyant as the eggs of many other parasite species, often necessitating special procedures to confirm a diagnosis. These thread-like inhabitants of the cecum have a bad habit of causing anemia, dehydration, and even death in addition to bloody diarrhea. A recent study determined that 14.3% of the canine population may be infected.

  • The feline roundworm or Toxocara cati is the most common parasite seen throughout the U.S. in cats. Roundworms are a spaghetti-type worm typically found in the intestines of infected felines. Roundworms are especially common in young kittens and their nursing mothers.

  • Adult fleas are wingless, blood-sucking, external parasites of warm-blooded animals. The cat flea is the most common in the Southeast. It has more than fifty hosts, including domestic cats, dogs, opossums, cattle, skunks, squirrels, and the house mouse. From egg to adult, the cat flea can live up to twenty months indoors.

    Distribution in the home

    Habits of pets affect the distribution of fleas inside the house. Flea larvae are found primarily in carpeting near an area where a pet spends time sleeping or resting.
    Suitable infestation sites:

  • Two types of tapeworm affect dogs, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia species. Dipylidium caninum is the more common type of tapeworm found in dogs and cats. Adult tapeworms are found in the small intestine of their host. These worms shed small segments, called proglottids (packets of 20 to 40 eggs) in the stool. Once in the environment, proglottids of the Dipylidium tapeworm are consumed by flea larvae. As the flea larva matures, the egg of the tapeworm eventually develops into its infective form called a cysticercoid. The dog or cat ingests the flea while grooming itself.