Cuterebra Migrates In The Brain

Catherine writes: “I am a veterinarian’s assistant. We recently lost a cat who had Cuterebra (also called “wolf worm”). It went up the nasal passage to the brain. I’ve never seen a cat howl and act like that. It was horrible. The cat died before we actually knew what the diagnosis was. Since it/they went up the nasal passage there was no hole to give us a clue. We thought it was some neurological problem and referred to a specialist in a 24-hour hospital. They were the ones who diagnosed it. Evidently they see more of this than we do. This is another reason pets should be kept indoors!

“When Cuterebra Attack!” Extreme cases such as this are common in wildlife, but not so common in domesticated animals. Cuterebra can sometimes migrate in unusual areas of the body.

Thanks for the story, Catherine. A nearby colleague of mine referred a pet with a central nervous system (CNS) problem. The specialists in that case made a similar diagnosis, and, as in your case, the prognosis was poor.

Sadly, some things are just difficult, impossible or unaffordable to fix.

On another note, our son, Jeremy, who is also my business partner and technical advisor in, forwarded Catherine’s comment to me. When he was a little boy, he couldn’t quite say, “That makes me sick,” so he would say, “That tries to make me spit.” The latter phrase was in the subject line of the email!

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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