Greenbrier Veterinary Hospital in Southeastern WV

HORRIBLE WARBLE                     

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The Horrible Warble


         This stray kitten was brought into our hospital and was very weak, thin, and pale.  Upon inspecting her, we found she had a wound on her neck and had obviously lost some blood.  We were alarmed to find that her temperature was so low it didn’t even register on the digital thermometer.  Looking closely at the wound on her neck showed something horrifying, she turned out to have a warble protruding from it! 

        “Warble” is the common term for a particular fly larva that burrows into flesh and can grow to a large size, often under the skin.  We removed the warble, flushed out the wound and started the kitten on antibiotics and a iron supplement. After the kitten warmed up and began to eat, she started looking a lot better!  She was quickly adopted and as she continues to put on weight, we think that she will do well.  Although this warble was very easy to identify, a lot of times they are very secretive. 

         In one past case, we had a cat that had been coughing for a long time without an apparent cause, until we did an endoscopic exam of her throat and found a warble!  After removing the warble that cat also did well.