October 2012 Issue

Cuterebra Infestation Can Be Deadly

If the parasite migrates to the brain, it can result in aggression, seizures, spinal paralysis and blindess.

Most owners know the parasites that can bedevil their cats, including fleas, ticks, mites and an abundance of worms. A lesser-known parasite, with far greater impact, is cuterebra (kyüt-ә-`rç-brә). They’re larva from adult botflies that can burrow under a cat’s skin or, more alarmingly, enter through the nose and migrate to the brain. The threat of infestation is not widely known for two reasons, says parasitologist Dwight Bowman, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “It tends to be more rural than urban and suburban.” And the flies are prevalent only in the Western and Northeast U.S., and Southeastern Canada.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to CatWatch Newsletter

Which foods are really safe for your cat? How can you painlessly end furniture scratching---for good? What is your cat telling you when she refuses to eat? Get the answers to these questions- and many more- when you subscribe now to CatWatch!

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.