Have you ever heard about the Cuterebra Parasite?
Don’t confuse it with El Chupacabra – the creature from the urban legends.
It is not a monster, but it is very much real.
So, what do we know about it?
The Cuterebra parasite lives under the tissue of the skin of dogs, cats, rodents, ferrets, etc.
Most pet owners have dealt with them and know what they are.
Most of the time, these parasites are transmitted to animals in larval form.
If your pet is (unfortunately) infested by the Cuterebra, you will see a bump on their skin.
The parasite lives inside this bump.
Read ahead to know more!
How The Cuterebra Parasite Spreads?
It is a rare type of Bot Fly – a parasite known for infecting rodents, rabbits, dogs, and cats.
It usually becomes active between summer’s end and before fall.
The process starts with the Cuterebra fly laying eggs.
They lay either on rocks close to a rabbit’s nest or in vegetation where animals may come to eat.
When an animal (say your pet) gets close to these infested areas, the eggs stick to its skin.
The eggs develop into larvae after some time.
The larvae enter your pet’s body through a wound, mouth, or nose.
After this, the larvae travel under their host’s skin and make their nest.
These nests, also known as warbles, appear in the form of swellings.
The warbles are usually formed around the neck or head of an animal.
At the centre of the swelling, the larvae create a hole to breathe.
This swelling act as an opening, from which they might stick out their heads, after some growth.
It is at this moment when you can spot them. No doubt, they are disgusting beings.
What Things to Avoid?
The first thing to do is to keep a calm head and not panic.
While it is hurtful for your pet to get a Cuterebra warble, it is not an emergency.
One piece of advice is not to try to force out the worm.
It may hurt your pet, and they may act out.
You can also break the larvae while pulling it out.
It may form an infection or an allergic or an inflammatory reaction in your pet.
I am pretty sure you don’t want that.
How to Get Rid of The Parasite?
I would recommend you to seek professional help if you think that your pet might be infected.
Vets can remove the parasite without splitting it apart.
They will also treat the wound to stop the spread of any infections.
You cannot do much to prevent your pet from being infected by the Cuterebra parasite.
However, this parasite primarily affects rabbits.
So, try to keep your pets away from caves and rabbit holes.
Keep in mind that this is a rare parasite.
So, the chances of it infecting your pet are low.
It means that you should become paranoid and not let your pet have any fun.
While it can hurt your pet, a vet can easily remove it.