Normally, when dogs and cats catch infections or parasites, their owners are able to quickly spot a problem and bring them to a veterinarian for treatment.
Stray animals, on the other hand, have no one to look out for them or give them care when sick, and typically minor issues can quickly become dangerous, which is exactly what happened when a parasite burrowed into a stray kitten’s nose and latched on.
Cuterebra larva like to find warm placed to grow, which is why they sometimes burrow into the skin of dogs and cats that are outdoors a lot. “The reason we see it in cats in particular especially kittens is that they’re small so they’re compromised, they don’t groom themselves as well so they’re not going to get rid of it, they might ingest it,” said Dr. Elizabeth Farrington, a veterinarian from the Nebraska Humane Society.
This past year, a stray kitten with a swollen head and difficulty breathing was recently brought to the Nebraska Humane Society. At first, the team had no idea what the cause could be, but when they inspected further, they realized a Cuterebra had latched on inside the kitten’s nose. The team removed the giant larva, which was the biggest any had ever seen, and thankfully the kitten had no infections and quickly started to recover.
Eventually, they turn into a common fly, but good pet owners are usually able to spot an issue and get it removed before it becomes an issue. “A good owner is going to start noticing the animal is pawing at themselves, or something is itchy or bothering them and they’ll take them into their veterinarian. So often times we’ll see these guys, these little Cuterebra when they’re much smaller than when they get to this size,” said Dr. Farrington.
Watch the entire video below to see the shocking moment this vet discovers what’s lurking inside a poor kitten’s nose.
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[Featured image: Nebraska Humane]
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