Cuterebra (Botflies Or Warbles) Infection In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

First instar larva of Cuterebra, a genus of botfly. Fly, parasite. Image courtesy CDC/Dr. George Healy, 1973.

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Cuterebra infection in cats, also sometimes colloquially known as a case of the warbles, involves a parasitic botfly that manages to enter a cat’s body.

These botflies are present in the United States, Canada and Mexico and are often more prevalent during the summer and early fall seasons. Cats most often contract an infection by picking up larvae from infected rodents and rabbits.

If you see signs that your kitty might be suffering from an infection from a botfly, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of cuterebra infection in cats.

Symptoms Of Cuterebra Infection In Cats

Cuterebra infection in cats can result in a number of different symptoms; although, the symptoms can often be hard to detect in long-haired felines. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Causes Of Cuterebra Infection In Cats

Bot Flies On Sunflowers

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The cause of cuterebra infection in cats is botfly larvae entering the body.

Cats often pick up the larvae directly from infected rodents or from areas around a rodent’s burrow. After the cat picks up the larvae, they can enter the body through openings like eyes or even wounds.

Treatments For Cuterebra Infection In Cats

If you suspect that your cat has developed cuterebra infection, your veterinarian will want to search for signs of botfly larvae and surgically remove them. In some cases, a vets can use a CT scan to help identify the presence of larvae.

When providing treatment, vets often use a course of antibiotics as part of the process. As ever, if your vet prescribes your kitty any medicine, it is vital that you stick to the precise dosage and frequency instructions, along with completing the full course of medication.

In general, a smart way to ensure that your cat avoids the risk of contracting warbles is to keep them inside and away from the possibility of coming into contact with any larvae.

Has your cat ever suffered from a cuterebra infection? What sort of symptoms did you see? Tell us all about it in the comments below.