Windsor/Essex Humane Society cautions pet owners about parasite in kittens
A Windsor kitten is recovering after getting infested with botfly larvae. (Courtesy Windsor/Essex County Humane Society)
A Windsor kitten is recovering after a parasite was embedded in her neck, a common issue for the tiny animals in summer, according to the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society.
Humane society executive director Melanie Coulter says the kitten was infested with Cuterebra larvae, also known as botfly larvae.
“Unfortunately, we see these parasites every summer,” says Melanie Coulter, humane society executive director. “Kittens seem especially susceptible; they are who comes in with them most often.”
Coulter says they were able to remove the parasite from the Windsor kitten’s neck and with a little TLC she's doing much better now. She expects her to make a full recovery.
Cuterebra flies are large flies who don't bite or sting. Coulter says mammals can become infested when they come into contact with their eggs.
The larvae enter the body through the nose, mouth, or a wound and migrate to the fat layer beneath the skin. They grow, creating a breathing pore through the skin.
After 30 days the larvae exits the skin, falls to the ground, and develops into a fly.
The issue is that they leave large holes in the animal's body, which can easily become infected.