Case of the Month
Curiosity and the Cat
The section highlights interesting cases we encounter here at the Animal Clinic. Not all cases documented have a happy outcome.
Sparkles is a 9 week old, domestic short hair was presented to Dr. Price for an open, draining wound on her neck. During further inspection, a small white “head” poked to the top of the hole. It was at that moment that Sparkles was diagnosed with a Cuterebra larval infection.
Cuterebra or “warbles” are a type of botfly. The larvae of these flies normally infect rabbits or rodents through either their mouth, nose, or open wound. These larvae then migrate to an area underneath the skin where they encyst and grow. Our fellow companions can become infected after investigating a rabbit or rodent’s den.
Early stages of infection are rarely evident. Most cases do not become noticeable until the larva enlarges and a noticeable swelling is seen or felt beneath the skin. A small "breathing" hole is often visible in the skin over the warble. Sometimes, nothing abnormal is noticed until after the larva has left the host and it becomes infected in the cat's skin.
As with Sparkles case, treatment includes removing the warble, debriding and cleansing the wound, and a course of antibiotics.