Feline Cuterebrosis (Warbles)

Picture Of A Coin

Recently, a cat was brought into our clinic with a cyst-like protrusion on its chest. Examination revealed it to be Feline Cuterebrosis, also called “Warbles”, a condition in which fly larvae live in the flesh of cats.

What is Feline Cuterebrosis?

Feline Cuterebrosis is a condition occurring when a cat has become the host of the larval stage of the Cuterebra Fly, commonly known as the Botfly.

There are twenty-six known species of the Botfly (Cuterebra) in the United States and Canada.

This condition is often called “Warbles” because the larvae create a burrow with a breathing hole just under the skin causing a lump on the surface of the skin. These lumps are called “warbles”, hence the name.

Feline Cuterebrosis (Warbles) - Botfly or Cuterebra Fly

 

The Cuterebra Fly, commonly known as Botfly.

Warbles are usually found under the skin in areas around the legs and neck. Cuterebrosis is most commonly found in rodents and rabbits, but have also been reported on cats, dogs, hogs, mink, foxes, deer, cattle, and humans.

 

 

 

 

 

What Causes Feline Cuterebrosis ?

Cuterebrosis is a condition most commonly found in wild rodents and rabbits. This condition is caused by the larvae of the Cuterebra fly, which also known as the botfly.

Feline Cuterebrosis (Warbles) Botfly Larva

 

This is the larva that Dr. Smith removed from the cat’s neck.

The female botfly, genus Cuterebura, lays eggs along the runways and burrow entrances of rabbits and small rodents. The eggs hatch and turn into larvae which enter the unsuspecting host through a natural body opening (usually the nose or mouth) or a small abrasion on the skin.

The larvae will often remain in an animal’s the nose or mouth for several days before burrowing under the skin where they develop into “warbles”. (“Warbles” is the name given to the small lumps produced by growing larvae.) The larvae live and grow just under the skin inside the “warbles”, where they breathe and excrete.

Cats most likely contract Cuterebrosis  by coming in contact with the newly hatched and unsettled larvae from rodents caught hunting, or from  activity around rodent burrows and runways.

Most cats are asymptomatic in the early stages of Feline Cuterebrosis, but sometimes migrating larva can sometimes cause eye problems, nervous system symptoms, and respiratory issues as they move through these systems.

Feline Cuterebrosis (Warbles)

 

This is the hole left in the cat’s neck after Dr. Smith removed the larva.

 

How is Feline Cuterebrosis (Warbles) Treated?

Feline Cuterebrosis is treated by carefully removing the larvae and thorough cleaning of the area involved.

Often the cat will be given antibiotics or an antibiotic injection to treat any possible or already occurring secondary infection.

This particular procedure was done under anesthesia and the cat was given an antibiotic injection to treat and prevent secondary infection.

Sources:

  • Cat Health
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Vet Next

Related Posts

Veterinary Cryosurgery

Veterinary Cryosurgery

    What is Veterinary Cryosurgery? Dr. Smith often uses veterinary cryosurgery in his pet cancer treatment plans. Cryosurgery, also called cryotherapy or cryoablation, is

Read More »

Connect with Us:

More Posts

No. 1 Super Remedy for Dog Restlessness

Endless panting, pacing, and unsettled behavior. It’s easy to spot when your dog is restless. And naturally, as a concerned pet owner, you quickly browse through the internet for a natural remedy for dog restlessness. Then, the anxiety sets in. We are familiar with the feeling. You know your pet’s normal behavior, and you are aware when they’re out of character. But it’s best that you put your anxiety at rest because that will only create panic. And when you panic, it’s difficult to be solution-oriented. There is a natural remedy for dog restlessness and panting. So, you can stop

Read More »

Veterinary Cryosurgery

    What is Veterinary Cryosurgery? Dr. Smith often uses veterinary cryosurgery in his pet cancer treatment plans. Cryosurgery, also called cryotherapy or cryoablation, is a common cancer procedure used in humans. Dr. Smith uses it to skin tumors, and sometimes even certain tumors inside the body. Cryosurgery works by using extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen or argon gas to destroy cancer cells and abnormal tissue. Watch the Video  Transcription Dr. Smith:  Ladies and gentlemen, I’m Doctor Marc Smith, a 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products, and I’m gonna work on this fine

Read More »

Looking for an Herbal Formulation for Diabetes in Cats?

Why Use an Herbal Formulation for Diabetes in Cats? I remember my first experience giving a cat insulin shots. It was years ago, and I was pet sitting for a friend. Giving kitty an insulin shot would be easy, she said. Just give him a little tuna and give him a shot. That’s it! NOPE. To say the least, giving the kitty a shot didn’t happen quite the way she described it. What she didn’t tell me was how much kitty hated the shot. Or, how fast I’d need to inject to avoid getting scratched! Let’s face it, insulin injections

Read More »

What’s the Best Supplement for Joint Health in Dogs?

We all want our dogs to feel good and have an excellent quality of life, no matter what age.Unfortunately, many dogs suffer from weakened or worn out joints Arthritis and Joint Health in Dogs Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. All dogs suffer from arthritis as they age. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 20% of all adult dogs have arthritis. In other words, 1 in 5 adult dogs suffers from arthritis. However,  if your dog is older than 7 years, there is a 65% chance he or she suffers from

Read More »