Cuterebra infections in dogs can be mild, or it can be so severe that your dog will suffer from fatal brain or nervous system attacks, generally in the forms of seizures.
If your dog does become infected with this type of a worm, it can be a very frightening experience as it will appear that your dog actually has maggots.
They are very similar to maggots, but even more frightening, as they can be very large and menacing in appearance.
If your dog does become infected, you should under no circumstances, try to remove this worm yourself; it must be left to a professional.
Even the most experienced veterinarian will be extremely careful in removing this parasite because of the very high risk of anaphylaxis.
These infections in dogs can very easily result in anaphylaxis if the worm is damaged in any way during the removal process.
Anaphylaxis is a type of allergic reaction where your dog’s immune system responds to a substance that is otherwise quite harmless.
However, unlike any type of a normal allergic reaction, anaphylaxis can very quickly kill your dog.
This type of reaction will occur within minutes or even seconds after the initial exposure in your pet’s skin, and once your dog’s system reacts, it can block their airways.
It can also alter their heart rhythm and can very easy result in shock and a very rapid death.
Because of this severity, it merits mention again.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove this worm on your own unless you are a fully trained professional.
Cuterebra are very large bee like flies that do absolutely no harm to your dog.
However, these flies lay eggs on soil, by stones or plants, and well as near the entrance to dens or borrows of rabbits, ground squirrels, or other rodents.
The larvae, or small worms, will than hatch and can very easily stick to a rodents or dogs hair.
All dogs are natural hunters as well as very curious, and if they are anywhere near any type of a den or burrow, they will naturally start to dig or search the area.
Once they do this and they come into contact with these larvae, it can enter them in three different ways.
The first method is by penetrating your dog’s skin, the next method occurs when your dog’s groom themselves and the larvae is ingested.
The third is where it enters though a natural opening, most likely your dog’s nose.
Cuterebra infections in dogs do not show a lot of symptoms or signs, but the few that they do show will be very definitive in nature.
Once the larvae are on your dog, they will usually migrate to areas that are under the skin.
They will usually end up near your dog’s head, neck, or their trunk.
However, a dog is not the usual host of this parasite, and as a result, in some cases they may also migrate to your pets brain, eyes, eyelids, or their throat.
Once they start their cycle, your dog will develop a very large nodule or swelling that can easily be mistaken for a tumor or a cyst.
Once this larvae starts to grow, they can grow up to one inch long and one half inch in diameter.
As it grows, there is usually a small opening that develops in your dog’s skin, which is how the worm breathes.
The final sign of cuterebra infections in dogs that you will see is usually a very small amount of discharge or drainage coming from this opening.
In some cases, if you examine it very closely, you may actually be able to see the larvae through the opening.
Very young larvae are grey in color and have very short rows of spine like appearances.
If they are mature, they will be very dark and almost black, and will be covered by spines. As alarming as they look, do not touch them in any way, as they may rupture as result.
Treatment of cuterebra infections in dogs should be done by only one person, your veterinarian.
The larvae, when it is removed, must be removed all in one piece, or it can be catastrophic to your dog.
It may appear that this is a cyst or a pimple that just needs to be squeezed in order to extract the worm, but nothing could be further from the truth in this instance.
When removing the larvae, your veterinarian will very carefully clip the hair around the nodule, and then give your dog a local form of anesthesia.
Once this is done, they will than very carefully enlarge the hole until they are certain that the entire larvae can be removed completely intact.
They will than clean and flush the pocket that has been formed with disinfectants, and give your dog antibiotics for any possible infection that may be left in the pocket.
If these larvae are not surgically removed, it will continue to grow until it breaks through your dog’s skin.
The best form of prevention of cuterebra infections in dogs is naturally to keep your dog away from dens or burrows.
However, as any dog owner understands, that is much easier said than done and as a result it may never be prevented.
But you can very easily check your dog periodically by running your hands very thoroughly through their entire body to check for any type of a lump or growth.
Cuterebra infections in dogs can range from very mild to catastrophic if it is not handled correctly.
As tempting as it may be to touch or squeeze the nodule to force the worm out, this action could very likely end up in the last minutes your dog may be with you.
Leave the treatment of this frightening condition to the professional
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