Showing posts with label lifecyle of botfly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifecyle of botfly. Show all posts

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Warble extracted from kitten's nose. Horrible but fascinating.

Unpleasant but interesting if you are in the mood. I can't watch it.

'Gigantic pulsating parasite extracted from 8-week-old kitten'. That is the title to this mega-successful video from Newsflare. Why are people so fascinated with the grizzly and horrible? Answer: the same reason people are attracted to horror flicks and violence and voyeuristic peep shows (of the past). It is human nature and not a great part of human nature. The warble is a Cuterebra botfly larva. 

It seems to me that the larvae has backward pointing spines to help it burrow through the tissue of a living animal.

Larval stage of Gasterophilus intestinalis
Larval stage of Gasterophilus intestinalis. This is the horse botfy.

They are a.k.a warble flies, heel flies, and gadflies. They deposit eggs on a host, in this case a kitten, and the larvae burrow under the skin into the animal where they develop. They hatch and become adults. It is part of their parasitic lifecycle. Would the world be a better place without parasites? They are everywhere. God couldn't have made the earth. It is too messed up.

Here is another picture of a warble. This time in a dog's leg. Horror:

Warble in dog's leg
Warble in dog's leg. Image in public domain.

Sunday 21 February 2021

Vet pulls bug from kitten's nose with tweezers

There has to be a warning about this video which you can also see on Twitter. It's a short video of a warble (the lava of a botfly) being extracted from the nose of a young kitten. It looks gruesome and it is pretty gruesome. You don't want to watch it if you've not got a strong stomach. 

Botfly larva being removed from a young kitten's nose
Botfly larva being removed from a young kitten's nose. Screenshot.

It is a curiosity because it's quite rare but in the US and Canada (also in Mexico and the neo-tropical regions) there is a species of fly, Cuterebra, which lays eggs near or in the opening of rodent and rabbit burrows. These eggs develop into larvae and the larvae can burrow into the skin of cats, kittens and dogs. They might enter the cat through the nose, mouth or a skin wound.

The lava develops in the skin as part of their life-cycle. It's at this stage that a lava has been pulled out of this kitten's nose in the most gruesome video on this page. If the lava is left to develop inside the cat the botfly larvae migrate to the tissues beneath the skin where they encyst to continue their development.

Some species of botfly larva migrate to different parts of the body. Once they have developed inside the cyst, which may take from 19 to 38 days inside small rodents and from 55 to 60 days in Jackrabbits, they leave the host and the lava develops into a pupa in soil or plant litter on the forest floor according to VCA hospitals. The cyst left behind can cause an infection and be more of a health problem than the parastic larva.

If a botfly is developing inside a kitten's nose as we see in the video then it is a misfortune that the kitten has become a host for a fly. Botfly larvae are called warbles. They look, as mentioned, horrible and the thought of them is horrible but they are a fact of life.

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