Horrifying Extraction of Botfly Larvae From Kitten's Nose Watched 12M Times

A video of a botfly larvae being extracted from a kitten's nostril has been watched more than 12 million times.

Horrifying videos have emerged on TikTok recently showing removal of the parasites from their hosts, aka our pets. A recent clip, uploaded by WhitJay, earlier this month has already amassed more than 12 million views, and can be seen here.

It shows the kitten being held by professionals, as WhitJay, a veterinarian, captioned the footage: "Another cuterebra / bot fly larvae / warble extraction for you all!"

It shows a pair of tapered tweezers gently going into the cat's right nostril, which is significantly larger than its left one. The larva is slowly pulled out, finally revealing a large bug that had been blocking the kitten's nose.

WhitJay confirmed: "FYI kitten was given a local lidocaine block in his nostril prior to extraction." As the larvae is finally removed, the kitten can be heard breathing deeply, presumably relieved to finally be rid of the parasite. "Feel better?" a woman asks off-camera.

The clip garnered so much attention WhitJay shared a follow-up last week, answering some commonly asked questions, as she stressed the kitten had been given pain relief.

And in the comments she revealed why the kitten wasn't fully sedated, saying: "Because the cuterebra caused a nasal blockage which meant his respiratory tract was affected. Sedation could be fatal. I try to avoid killing patients."

In the follow-up video, she said: "Just to reiterate his nostril is numb, the reaction you're seeing from him is just from the pressure that he feels with the extraction.

"So this is a botfly larvae or a warble. The botfly lays its eggs on or near animals' nests or bed, and then they stick to those animals. If they're not grooming themselves the larvae will end up hatching, and then the cat or rabbit or dog or whatever animal as its host.

@lovewhitjay

Another cuterebra/bot fly larvae/warble extraction for you all! 🐛 #vetmed #cuterebra #warble #botfly #happykitty #instantrelief

♬ original sound - WhitJay

"They're opportunistic parasites, so they will go inside a nostril, an eye socket, or make their own hole in the neck sometimes.

"The owner found this kitten during a storm but noticed that it had a swollen nostril. During this exam I saw the larvae in his nose, and as you can see he's doing just great afterwards." She added the kitten was "so sweet."

WhitJay revealed botfly larvae was a common problem in the "southern regions of the U.S.," where she's thought to be from.

A few days prior to her viral video, she shared a clip of what's believed to be another cat, this time with the larvae burrowed into its neck, which she previously indicated was a common spot. "It's cuterebra season!" she said in the caption.

Numerous people commented on the original video, praising her work, as Michaela Shaperonova ILKZ joked: "That kitten can smell in 4K now."

"Bet that air was crisp," Jamie wrote.

@lovewhitjay

Answering some of your cuterebra questions and a little update! 🐛💗 #vetmed #cuterebra #warble #botfly #happykitty #instantrelief

♬ _Cute - Gabe Lost

While Abbey Hopkins added: "Bruh I cringed so hard but at the same time I'm happy for him."

Explaining more about the parasite, the website Thecatclinic said: "The larvae then lives here for a period of weeks, growing and maturing. When they reach adult size, they wiggle out and fall onto the ground in a cocoon, which hatches to release an adult fly that repeats the cycle.

"Cuterebra become really dangerous when they migrate to the wrong spot and end up in the nose (blocking off the flow of air), the inner ear (causing balance and hearing issues), or even the brain (causing a severe and life threatening disease called "Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy). These conditions require immediate veterinary attention."

Newsweek reached out to WhitJay for comment.

File photo of a cat.
File photo of a cat. A video of a botfly extraction has been watched more than 12 million times. AnnaStills/Getty Images