Worm In Cat's Neck?
Today I saw my cats neck was all bloody. I looked and saw there was a bump and a hole in his neck! It looked like a tunnel so I think it might be a worm eating away. I'm going to get medical attention but I would really like to know what this might be and if it might be fatal! Help!
A female Cuterebra fly lays her eggs near the nest of rodents. The larva, or maggot, senses body heat and hatches when a mammal---such as your pet---is nearby. The larva is light tan and has a brown spot at one end. It forms a hole in the cat's skin through which it breathes. In rare instances, the worm will migrate to the cat's brain, creating a fatal infection.
You will see the cyst, formed by the wolf worm creating its breathing hole. Most often the cyst is visible on the cat's head or neck. Your cat may aggressively groom the area where the worm is located. The veterinarian will diagnose a wolf worm infection based upon the appearance of the lesion.
It is best to take your pet to a veterinarian to have the wolf worm removed. If you attempt to remove it at home and the worm's body bursts, it can cause a severe allergic reaction in some cats. There may also be additional wolf worms in the cat's body that you do not see. A veterinarian will be able to inspect the cat for additional infection.
A cat suffering from screw worms might display lethargic behavior, dizziness and labored breathing, but the cyst that forms is a tell-all sign that something unhealthy is going on. Because of the hole on top of the cyst, it might be possible to see the screw worm inside its host.
Screw worms are typically about 1/2 inch long and primarily tan in color. They do have one distinguishing mark: a brown spot on one end of their body.
Applying a warm compress to the cyst and gently squeezing it can draw a screw worm out. Once it is visible, the worm can often be plucked out of the cyst with a pair of household tweezers. It is important to treat the wound site for several days with antibacterial cleaners to prevent infection. Redness and heat around the cyst area are signs that an infection has set in and needs prompt medical attention. It is always wise to take the cat to the veterinarian to confirm diagnosis, make sure all screw worms are removed and to ensure that no other cysts are forming.