Vets Warn Flies Get Under Pets’ Skin

by Mary Haight on September 16, 2009

Here’s something that you should be aware of. If your cat or dog is scratching, it may not be fleas.  Fall is the season for Cuterebra, a fly larva that invades your pet, burrowing under the skin through the mouth and other openings.  Ugh.

It migrates, causes itching and when they settle in an area, usually around the face and neck, what looks like an abcess appears.  When you look at it, you’ll see a little hole in the middle and this is how the larva breathes.  It will actually poke it’s wormy little head out, which is how Vets extract the little bugger! 

Dr. Kryder of Kryder Veterinary Clinic in Granger, Indiana provided the information for this report to WSBT-TV.  Dr. Kryder said it’s usually not a life threatening condition, but  you do have to take care not to rupture the larva during extraction: Some pets have a severe allergic reaction and die.  Don’t try this at home.

The larva will get as big as a quarter, and if not extracted they hatch and fall out, leaving a gaping hole in your furry friend. 

Ok, just when you think this can’t get any more gross, we have, yes, a video for your viewing pleasure:)  Ah nature, it’s an endlessly fascinating subject!  (If this description made you feel sick, don’t watch!) Kids will love this…

In case this wasn’t enough for ya’, there’s photos and the original news video and story by Kelli Stopczynski at WSBT TV South Bend.

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