The adult botfly deposits its eggs near or in the opening of rodent and rabbit burrows. After hatching, the botfly larvae, which typically infect rodents and rabbits, enters the host’s body through an opening such as the nose or mouth or through a skin wound.
After several days, the botfly larvae migrate to the tissues beneath the skin where they encyst and continue their development. Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae.
They are most commonly infected when they are hunting rodents or rabbits and encounter the botfly larvae near the entryway to a rodent’s burrow. Most cases of warbles in cats occur around the head and neck. The early stages of Cuterebra infection or warbles are rarely evident from external inspection of the skin.
Most cases of warbles do not become noticeable until the larva enlarges and becomes a noticeable swelling that is seen or felt beneath the skin. A small ‘breathing’ hole is often visible in the skin over the warble. The hole enlarges when the warble has fully matured and is about to leave the host.
Source: ViacomCBS Inc.
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