If you’re contemplating what to say on your next date, this probably isn’t the place to find material to chat someone up. However, assuming your date is crazy enough to pick a vet student, maybe this is just what you need.
While some parasites are specific to a single species or torment just our animal friends, few are as interesting as the zoonotic diseases, in my opinion. Among the many bugs on my final exam, we were tested on a Cuterebra fly. This insidious little pest actually develops in the skin of mammals, primarily rodents. Black larva bulging out of the side of a squirrel is pretty disturbing. It isn’t a stretch, therefore, to understand that it is relatively easy for cats to become infected because of their affinity for a good mouse. It follows that a cat with a larva bulging out of its cheek is also pretty gross.
It would be terrific, I’m sure, if my story ended with the cat. However, sometimes people, particularly those of us who work or play around rodent dens may also become infected by this fly. You can imagine that our professors didn’t spare us from the images, despite our squinting faces.