Above is a photo of a parasitic worm surgically removed from a lump on the side of a dog. It turned out to be a cuterebra fly larvae.
Cuterebra are parasites that usually affect rodents and rabbits. They can "accidentally" infest cats and dogs. The cuterebra fly lays it eggs around a rodent or rabbit's den. The egg then gets on it's host, enters the body through the nostrils, migrates under the skin, and starts to live as a parasitic larva. After full development, lasting around 30 days, it crawls out of skin, falls to the ground and forms a pupa. The pupa is where metamorphosis occurs and it ecloses (emerges) out as the adult cuterebra fly(see photo below).
When the larval worm is under the skin, it can cause infection, pain, irritation, and scarring. In our patients, we will remove the worm. Antibiotics or pain medications will be administered if needed. Some cases require additional surgeries to remove the scar tissue that forms around the larva as it lives in the host. Each case is different, each patient is different and Dr. Greenwell will treat each pet as needed.
Any lumps or bumps that form in pets can be infections, tumors, cancers, irritations, or many other causes. Please call us as soon as you notice any unusual lumps or bumps on your pets. If caught earlier, there is usually less pain and suffering and it increases the likelihood of your pet living a longer and healthier life.
Our mission is to "Help Pets Have More Birthdays". Call Dr. James Greenwell, at 214-547-8387, if you have any questions or concerns about an abnormal lump, bump, or lesion on your pet.
Helping Pets Celebrate More Birthdays Since 1991
For more details on this, click on this link: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/integumentary_system/cuterebra_infestation_in_small_animals/overview_of_cuterebra_infestation_in_small_animals.html