Tallie is a good natured little dog who loves having adventures with her family. Recently she came to the animal hospital because she developed a lump on her side that came up suddenly. Tallie had a cuterebra under her skin. The parasite infests small mammals that spend time outdoors such as dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels or rodents. Cuterebra are large, non-feeding flies that lay their eggs near animal burrows, nests or in vegetation. These opportunistic parasites do not seek out animals but when an animal wanders by, the eggs attach and hatch in response to the host’s body heat. The host acts as an incubator during the larvae’s development. Pet owner’s are alerted to the problem by a lump on the skin that often has a small opening, or “breathing hole”. Once the parasite was removed, Tallie felt much better and her skin healed quickly. This is a condition that occurs most commonly in our area in the late summer or fall.