It’s Cuterebra Time!

It’s that time of year:  Cuterebra time!  We’ve written about Cuterebra larvae and flies before.  Alert reader John Wycoff found a squirrel infested with multiple larvae and took some great pictures.

WARNING!  These photos are too much for my son/MyPetsDoctor.com business partner, Jeremy.  They may be too much for you, too!

This is a mature larval stage of the Cuterebra fly, which has exited its self-made wound.

This is a mature larval stage of the Cuterebra fly, which has exited its self-made wound.

Yet another mature larva that has exited the squirrel's wound.

Yet another mature larva that has exited the squirrel's wound.

Yes, this squirrel is quite alive, and will survive even wounds this gross.  Two larvae are departing their wound cavities.

Yes, this squirrel is quite alive, and will survive even wounds this gross. Two larvae are departing their wound cavities.

4 comments

  1. Pmccall says:

    Arrived home to So. California last week from Boulder, CO. Noticed a welt on our Yorkshire Terriors left side. Upon closer exam saw the appearance of a a small hole oozing a small amount of discharge. Also saw what appeared to be a small worm exiting the hole by about 1mm – almost a breathing action. After a 2nd trip to vet (long story on 1st exam) a cuterebra was extracted. About 5-6mm. 1st time vet had actually seen one in So. Cal. Must have picked up in CO.

  2. ticus says:

    Hello my name Vincent Castro. I live in Baja,California. I recently was grooming one of my dogs and I found something that I thought was a flea. I instantly crushed ir between my thumb nails so it would not get away. There was a small popping sound (like when you kill a flea) but no flea body. Instead I see a small cocoon like those sea shells or a gasoline funnel. I have found 5 in My dogs since…… I would really like to know what it is. Maybe I have found a new species. If that is the case I would like you to assist me or vice versa to identify and name it. I have a few samples.Thank you. H

    • Sorry, Vincent, but I can’t identify the mystery creature from your description. I think your best bet would be to contact the nearest university, ask for their entomology department, and show or send them some photos. We’d love to know what they tell you! Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

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