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Cat coughed up "worm" (looks more like a grub) WARNING: Pic included!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello, Everyone! My cat coughed up a worm/grub Friday evening. We called our vet tech who just saw our cat on Wednesday for URI (the cat was prescribed antibiotics) and informed her what happened and she believed (based on description over the phone) that it was a tape worm segment and recommended that we administer praziquantel, which we did. The next morning our cat's breathing was still fast, however, she was spunky enough to come upstairs and explore the house (not typically in the house) so we were happy with the results. Since that day, our cat (a year old) has had inspiratory and expiratory wheezing (of varying degrees) on and off (mostly at night). She is now on prednisone and only had one episode last night. Could this worm/grub be some kind of lung worm/bot fly infection (the ONLY pictures I can find that resembles this larvae--is this even a larvae)? Should we try a different dewormer? Our vet tech seems doubtful that it is anything more than a tape worm segment and that it has nothing to do with her difficulty breathing. Thank you to anyone that can provide us some guidance.


post #2 of 7

Take it to an entomologist at a museum of natural history or a university. Have a professional classify it. Then you can start treatment for the specific type of creepy crawlie.

post #3 of 7
I'm 99% sure that isn't tapeworm. Tapeworm is flat, not round. But maybe it's a life-stage I don't know, that's definitely possible.

I'd take it to the vet and have them figure out what it is.
post #4 of 7

I showed it to my boyfriend, who's a parasite guy (he collects them! ha!) He says he's fairly sure it's a bot fly larva, and you need to get her checked out. He says that those types of parasites need to breath though, so he's not sure how it could live in the cats lungs. He suspects it might have gotten into the cats throat and planted itself there. If that's the case, there may be more then one still in the cats throat (hence the weezing.)


Please, get your cat to the vet. The wound that bot fly leaves can get infected very easily. I hope everything goes well!





So I had my boyfriend sit down and look at it a little closer, and he noticed the larva was missing barbs - which bot fly larva has. He now thinsk the vet tech is right about it being a tape worm - just in it's first larva stage. He got this picture


Let me know if this seems to look more like it. Compared to a bot fly larva ->

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 


Ares, thank you so very much for your reply! We greatly appreciate it! I have been Googling parasites for a week trying to figure this out and nothing seemed to fit...until, I found a site (and YouTube video) yesterday referencing Botflies living in the sinus cavities of deer. The larva shown are way fatter than the one my cat coughed up, but if they grow in comparison to the size of their host, it would make sense that it is smaller, maybe? It could be simply a different kind of fly larva. Honestly, the closest picture I can find is below (picture A, not B). And I did not find this one until today by searching for "second instar Cuterebra larva". What do you think?


Handmade Software, Inc. Image Alchemy v1.13


EDIT: The more and more I research this small animal botfly, the more I think that is what is going on. EXCEPT, instead of burrowing in the skin, they "nested" somewhere in the respiratory tract.

Edited by CBSmom - 7/23/13 at 7:09am
post #6 of 7

Either way CBSmom, you should bring the cat to the vet. Especially if you think the larva is a bot fly! The hole they make when attaching to the animal can become infected once the parasite is removed (or coughed out in this case.) You really need to have the cat checked asap. My boyfriend and I were recently at a shelter where a bot fly had found it's way into a cats throat and nestled in there. The wound, and infection that came from it, were less then pretty.


This is like what happened to the kitten when the botfly went untreated. (Graphic image) -

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ares, she saw the vet yesterday. She had all kinds of tests and x-rays done. The vet does not believe it is a botfly infection because there are no visible wounds. He treated for lungworm (which he himself has never had to treat for before because he has never seen a case). She is home after having a high dose injectable dewormer and steroids for inflammation of the respiratory tract. She is continuing her antibiotic from last week. She also has air surrounding her lungs that is causing cardiac tamponade. My Husband mentioned that the vet suggested a needle decompression but then never performed it? By the time I called the vet for clarification, he had left for the day. I will call around Noon (when the vet comes in today). He may think she is too far gone for such a procedure. Thank you to everyone for your help.

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