YUCK!!! found a big worm in my rabbit - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 07/08/09, 08:41 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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YUCK!!! found a big worm in my rabbit

Okay, this is gross. Heard about it but it's not in my rabbit book.

My 8 week old bun had a hole in it's side, under the skin was a big, yucky, fat, grey worm like thing. EWWWWWW! I pulled it out and it left a hole that I treated with antibacterial.

What the heck was it and how should I continue treating the buns AND are my other buns going to get it? And yes, they were on pasture for a few weeks.

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  #2  
Old 07/08/09, 09:13 AM
 
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Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
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Don't panic! It sounds like a bot fly larva. They lay the egg under the animal's skin and the larva develops and eventually exits. Totally gross, I agree, but not usually serious, although there is the chance of secondary infection of the site.

I don't think it is particularly from being on pasture, since the adult flies are winged. I know there was a case here in Ontario a few years back where a child had one in his cheek. The parents didn't know what the problem was but became alarmed when they saw it moving under the skin. They took the kid to a medical centre, where it was removed.

I don't know a lot about these critters, but I remember a couple of threads in past years about rabbits afflicted with them. I believe alternate names are warbles and screw worms if you want to use the search feature to find older threads.

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  #3  
Old 07/08/09, 09:18 AM
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I agree, it was probably a bot fly larvae. They are called warbles. One of my rabbit books says to enlarge the hole if you need to, and CAREFULLY remove the larvae. It cautions not to kill the worm inside the rabbit or it can cause illness/death in the rabbit.

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  #4  
Old 07/08/09, 09:19 AM
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Sounds like a warble. Nasty little devils, aren't they? I had a cat that had one and I've shot squirrels that have had them.

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  #5  
Old 07/08/09, 09:20 AM
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Cuterebra or rabbit botfly. I had a couple of kittens get these, three years ago. Definitely gross, but not life-threatening. You just have to make sure you get all of the larva out, or the wound can fester.

I've heard that if you cover the hole, they will pop out, because that's how they breathe, and you're blocking it. Can't say if that works, because I took the kittens to the vet.

The adult flies hang around in the grass and lay eggs on the host - usually rabbits, but other animals too. The Merck vet manual doesn't say anything other than how to remove the larvae, so keep an eye on the rest of your bunnies.
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  #6  
Old 07/08/09, 09:34 AM
 
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I've helped remove these from feral kittens. They're nasty, but seem to heal quickly. Good insect control should help keep this from happening again.

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  #7  
Old 07/08/09, 10:25 AM
 
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You should see the squirrels down here in Florida..they get them every year and boy do they look horrible. Once the magot matures and leaves the squirrel they recover from it no problem. They do look nasty though. We use to get them on the cattle.....

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  #8  
Old 07/08/09, 10:35 AM
 
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Oh how disgusting!!! Thanks though, that's definately what it is.

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  #9  
Old 07/08/09, 04:31 PM
 
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Around here they seem to afflict box turtles of all things. I have found several with them in the soft skin where the turtle's neck meets the front leg. I just pull it out with tweezers and pack the hole with antibiotic ointment. They are horrible things.

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  #10  
Old 07/08/09, 04:34 PM
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Yup, when I was a vet tech, we used to pull those out all summer long. Saved the biggest ones in jars of formalin to impress people (i.e. skeeve them out).

Sure are nasty little blighters. Ugh!

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  #11  
Old 07/08/09, 05:32 PM
 
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So people were afraid to pull them out themselves? I guess I just saved myself a pretty penny by not taking Mr. Bunny to the vet.....

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  #12  
Old 07/08/09, 05:52 PM
 
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Well...they do put up some resistance to being pulled and you get the feeling you might hurt the host critter, especially with such a large maggot in a small animal so people give up and seek vet help.

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Old 07/08/09, 06:05 PM
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My rabbit I had as a kid got these, two I think. We just pulled the worm out with tweezers and dowsed it with some hydrogen peroxide and it was fine.

However, in more recent years, I did have a rabbit become topically infested with a different kind of worm. These were smaller and numerous and the vet advised putting the rabbit to sleep which I did. I don't know what they were called.

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  #14  
Old 07/08/09, 06:33 PM
 
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One of my cats once had a bot fly - had no idea what it was. The vet took one look at the "blister" & grinned. HE knew! Took out the larvae & showed it to the office girls. They were suitably grossed out!

That was years ago. Never seen one since & don't want to!

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  #15  
Old 07/08/09, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorian View Post
So people were afraid to pull them out themselves? I guess I just saved myself a pretty penny by not taking Mr. Bunny to the vet.....
Sometimes, folks didn't even know that it was there, let alone what it was.

There were, of course, people who were so skeeved out that they didn't want to touch them, and others who'd heard that you could kill your pet if you didn't get the whole thing out.

Not everyone is as daring as we!

Quote:
Originally Posted by babalubird
However, in more recent years, I did have a rabbit become topically infested with a different kind of worm. These were smaller and numerous and the vet advised putting the rabbit to sleep which I did. I don't know what they were called.
Sounds like maggots to me. Was it in the summer?
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  #16  
Old 07/08/09, 09:45 PM
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You must be VERY careful when pulling them out, however, as they have little protrusions, or barbs, that keep them in place. When you grab 'em, their squishy bodies swell elsewhere and also make them harder to remove. It's hard to remove them without breaking them. If left alone they fall out quite quick, and the hole literally seems to heal overnight. You can gently lance the opening to make it wider and easier to remove the worm, and I've also heard that putting a gob of vaseline will make it crawl out looking for air. If you put a big enough gob, it'll crawl most of the way if not fully out, so you can easily grab and remove. Then rinse with povidone (sp?) iodine, weak iodine, nolvasan, or even saline solution and you should be fine.

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  #17  
Old 07/09/09, 08:54 PM
 
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The ones I pulled out slipped out quite easily. And grossness of grossness I found two more rabbits with them. Double Yuck! Is this going to happen every summer?
Might I have a high concentration of bots or what? How common is this?

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  #18  
Old 07/09/09, 09:09 PM
 
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It could just be an especially bad year for them in your area. Populations of most critters seem to run on about a seven year cycle.

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  #19  
Old 07/10/09, 09:37 PM
 
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Okay did some research, this is a VERY interesting and well done short video on HOW the bot fly gets onto the critters........

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  #20  
Old 07/12/09, 01:55 PM
 
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Wow, that was interesting. And creepy!

Kat

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