Slightly Slimy Stories of Felines Run Afoul

Author: Lora Schuldt, DVM

May 5, 2014

Cat Slug

A worried owner calls asking for an emergency grooming appointment for her cat Molly, who has a mat of fur near her rump that is driving her crazy. One of our male employees, a gentle giant, carefully combs through Molly's coat, hoping to relieve her irritation. He finds a fur-entrapped garden slug, eliciting a chorus of "eeww's" from everyone watching!

FACT: Slugs and snails are a normal part of a cat's diet. Though mostly safe (but not exactly tasty), in rare cases these mollusks can carry a parasite that causes lung disease.

A busy Saturday afternoon brings us a kitty who is suspected of being the victim of a cat bite. A red, round hole in her skin is wet from all the licking she's been doing. As Dr. Fligiel inspects the hole, a white larva pokes its head out, and then quickly recedes. "No way - it's a Cuterebra!" A large crowd of staff gathers around, forgetting about the lunch hour.  Finally, the bot fly larva is extracted after first blocking its breathing hole with Vaseline.

Drs. Lester and Schuldt are discussing a cat that has vomited worms. The owner has brought a sample of the worms her cat Slim has thrown up over the weekend. She hands over a chilled Ziploc bag (gallon size, no less!) full of dozens of cold, grey, slimy caterpillar-like worms that she has collected. Fortunately, these are not intestinal parasites; the cat has been hunting cutworms!