Gross me out Thursday!

Well, folks, I’m just not sure how to start this blog post.  It’s rather strange.

Maybe I’ll start by asking if you’ve ever seen the show “Monsters Inside Me” or something like that.

Well, have you?

We have a black and white feral kitten here we call Felix.  Last weekend, while LilSis was here, Felix’s right cheek started swelling up.  I feared the worst, and unfortunately, I feared right.

The swelling continued, just below the eye, until the eye closed.  The kitten became lethargic and wobbled when it tried to walk.  It would not eat or drink.

I love animals, so please don’t hate me; but we don’t typically try to capture and take feral animals to the vet.  It’s just too expensive.  When we can, we treat the animals ourselves.

Just so happens, I was able to diagnose Felix because I had seen this same phenomenon in two previous cats that were “dropped off” here.

Last year, after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, LilSis, Dotter, and I treated a feral cat for this same malady.  It was not a pretty sight.

Have you figured out yet what it was?

Three days after the swelling started in Felix’s cheek, a hole appeared.  Inside that hole lived a creature that was literally eating the tissue inside the cheek.  Yes, you heard me.

After trying repeatedly to coax the organism out and failing, Dotter came up with the great idea, which she relayed to LilSis and me by text message, that we try a saline solution injection.

And it worked!  While LilSis held the kitten wrapped in a towel, I flushed the hole with warm saline water, and the critter, drowining, came out of the hole for air.

I grabbed it with the tweezers and carefully removed it.  The creature is equiped with little barbs on its body that helps it hold tight, so I had to be cautious not to pull so hard that I broke it off completely.

And here is the major body part of what was retrieved.

bot fly larva

It was a botfly larva.   The eggs are carried and dropped by mosquitoes.  They burrow into the flesh and begin to eat and grow until time to emerge from the hole.  I know it’s gross.

And I hate to really scare you, but humans can get them, too!  Just watch that TV show sometime, and you’ll see it might be true.  (You can’t believe everything you see on Animal Planet, right?)

I’m glad to say Felix is eating and drinking and walking with more stability.

I leave you with this true but creepy story of the latest in the adventures of LilSis and Bayou Woman.  Right now, we are trying to decide if we can take Felix to the vet while she’s more docile and get her fixed up to become a real Bayou Woman household pet.



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  1. ew. Poor kitty! We have experienced that! I found a calico kitten in the ditch once. It had “bites” around it’s neck… or so we thought! After a few days we took it to the vet and found it had ‘wolf worms.’ ~Maggots – five or six – coming out of the holes in it’s neck!! Everybody thought we were crazy when we told them about it. The vet wanted to put the cat to sleep, but we brought it there to save it not kill it! Millie grew to be a fat, happy house cat and lived another 10 years after that.

  2. At first I thought snake bite. We had a cat years ago that had the same symptoms. His was a snake bite. “Friday” was dumped at my mom’s office on Fri. Oct. 13th. It was his lucky day. His eyes were still closed and of course he had to be bottle fed. That cat truley had 9 lives. Hit by a car, mauled by a Great Dane, snake bit etc…
    Anyway, back to the Botfly. I recently saw a program on TV where a guy had some in his back. His friends extracted them with tweezers. Gross and painful because of the spines.

    . BW, you’re forgiven. There was a medical emergency that needed your immediate attention. BUT… now it’s time for a good recipe!

  3. I’d rather pull a 6 inch rapala fish and fillet knife out of my leg. OK I already did that. Crap that is ugly. I saw worse in parasitology class though.

  4. Dude. I just sat down with a nice granola bar (yes it is my dinner. so what?) and decided to check in and see if you had that next great recipe you promised us. Not funny.

  5. WoW, I didn’t realize that we had Botflys in the states. I thought they were Africa and South America, then I read they are becoming a problem for the equine industry here.