Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 16, 2009 22:32:55 GMT -5
So, here's what happened to my sweet little girl......
I noticed small sore/lesion/bump in the middle of her lower belly. I seemed to ne oozing a bit, and the fur was slightlt matted from moisture from the "sore". I figure she managed to get an abrasion from one of her siblings - or she may have a possible mast cell tumor that she scratched.
Upon close examination, there was a perfectly round hole in the top of the sore. as a washed the area with a warm moist cloth, the skin pulled back and a whitish core seemed to protrude from the hole. I initially thought it was pus from infection - but it started to wiggle - I just about passed out because this grotesque worm came out of my sweet baby's tummy - just like the alien. I was pretty certain it was a botfly larva. Needless to say, I rushed my baby to the vet.
My poor little girl apparently picked up the larva on a walk. We think she'll be OK and everything will heal by itself, but that's not always the case. I'll post more later when I have some time on my hands.
Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 17, 2009 19:46:40 GMT -5
OK, so I'll try to summarize what I know about these nasty flies
What they are.... Botflies a disgusting bee-like flies that do not bite or sting. They go through a larval stage , which is when they are problematic because they're basically flesh-eating maggots.
Basicially, the flies lay eggs, and the eggs in locations where the appropriate host/species is likely to come in contact with the eggs. In the case of horses/livestock, eggs are commonly on the animals legs. when the animal's warm moist muzzle/or tongue comes in contact with eggs, the larva are released and ingested and/or some varieties of infect the nasal area. Yuck.
I'm my little girl's case, we beleive she was infected by a rodent-specific bot. (we have a lot of mice and rabbits, and she was probably sniffing tracking a prey trail on her walk)The Rodent variety of botfly lays eggs along the pathways and dens used by mice, squirrels, etc. When the animals come in contact with with the eggs, the warmrth releases the larva, which then burrow into very thin skin areas, especially musous membranes, anal or uretheral openings, etc. The larva typically travel under the skin and evenually settle into a "cyst"-like bump under the skin. They mainatin a small breathing hole in the skin. The bump will become red and raised as the maggot grows inside the cyst. the fur around the breathing hole may become matted from fluid oozing from the lesion. As the lava grows, the barbs on the maggot enlarge, and the maggot becomes too large to be removed without surgical assistance. The barbs, which are microscopic help, hold the maggot inside the cyst as well
NEVER try to sqeeze a maggot out of the cyst. If the Maggot is damaged and/or dies inside the cyst, the host may get an infection and/or a severe/allergic reaction. The host can die from a severe allergic reaction/anaphalactic shock. In my girl's case, the maggot was tiny and came right out when I pulled at her skin to wash the area and get a better look at the lesion (yes, you can see the filthy bug inside the cyst through the breathing hole!!!)
I took my girl and the maggot in a plastic bag to the vet to get a positive ID. Even got yo look at the nasty thing under the microscope - saw all the little barbs, digestive tract moving (it contained my baby's flesh!!!!)
If the larva had been large, the vet would have given my girl a little whiff of isoflurane and enlarged the hole to remove the maggot. I got lucky.
There are about 30 different kinds of botflies in North and Central America, and various flies target different species - including people!!! One of the scariest things is that when a larva gets on the wrong species of host, the larva can end u in a very inappropriate place. Larva have been found in brain and esophagal, and other wierd places.
That's all I know - it's a lot more than I ever cared to learn about . But from now on, my brats stay inside!
Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 20, 2009 11:48:01 GMT -5
So far, my ferrets have had no more bit larvae turn up - THANK GOD!!!! The lesion on my rl's tummy is healing up really well. I read that the lesion sites can take a long time to heal. In fact. it's not uncommon for these sites to remain problematic and reactive for the rest of the host's life since some of the bot protein may remain under the skin. GROSS!!!
Antway, I was really lucky to find that bot when it was very tiny (less than 1/8 inch. They can get up to 1 inch x 1/2 inch, and the bigger larvae have that spiny skin, which causes a lot of problems.
All that being said, my brats will not be walked outdoors. I live in a wildlife infested neighborhood, and bot infestation are still uncommon. The problem is that my brat are proably going to be tracking rabbit trails - we hav LOADS of rabbits in our yard.
I don't want to scare people unnecessarily, but it's good to be aware that these nasty things exist. Also, if you get unlucky enough to see one of these things, you should NEVER try to remove the bot larva yourself (which I didn't know at the time!) Go to the vet ASAP - the larvae grow very quickly.
Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 20, 2009 19:35:06 GMT -5
The first link is not working in the forum - if you copy/paste that entire link into a new browser window, the link works. OR you can click on the link above and get sent to the "We're sorry" page for that pet education site. Once you get the to Pet education error page. type "cuterebra" in the search field on that page. When you submit that search, a link called comething like "Cuterebra in dogs, cats, and ferrets". That link will take you to the article.
As you mentioned, the service for the second link is down for maintenance.
I don't blame you for passing on the final link - it is really, really gross
Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 21, 2009 11:43:44 GMT -5
No kidding!!! I'm finally getting over the nightmares - serious, I've been having nightmares about those gross things being on my brats and myself, and my husband....
You can only IMAGINE the horror of seeing a maggot pop out of your baby's skin.....I didn't even know there was a maggot in her, and I had NO CLUE that sqeezing that lesion could have resulted in her death.
Her tummy skin is all healed perfectly now. But there was one article stating that the skin may remain reactive forever since a larvae protein can be left in the lesion (those disguting things molt as they grow EEEEWWWWWW!!!
If you take your babies outside, inspect them daily for any bugs, bumps or sores!!! Like I said, this was probably a pretty rare thing, but it's so gross that keeping a close eye on your ferret's skin is worth the effort!
Post by mustelidmusk on Jun 23, 2009 14:19:14 GMT -5
More gross news....I have a friend who works at a vet hospitial, and they actual get more bot fly cases at that clinic than my vet sees at his - anyway, if the bots have traveled under the skin, there wull be "channels" under that need to be well flushed in addition to the cyst that the bot occupies. The more I learn, the more I realize how lucky I was to find this nasty bug before it "settled in" to make a longer term home inside my baby's skin!!!!!!!!