Nothing makes me sick. Nothing grosses me out. I’m a mother. Not only that, I’m a doctor-wannabe. I watch surgery shows. Watching liposuction gets me a little jumpy, but otherwise I’m immune to gross stuff.
Or so I thought. Don’t worry: no photos. If you saw what I saw today, you would close this window and likely never visit again.
Boo had a bump on her neck. For about a week she’s had this bump. That kept getting bigger. Like from pimple to 25¢ gumball size. The boys were a little panicked. I wasn’t because I thought I knew what it was and I did not want to think about it. If you know anything about Costa Rica and it’s intensely disgusting bugs, you know what I’m talkin’ about. Finally, today, I took her to see Dr. Gamboa right down the street.
He feels the bump. He grimaces and says, "Oh, yeah. Screw-worm." I want to be anywhere but there because I have seen the videos. I’m not even going to link to any photos because these things are so horrible, and unlike zombies, they actually exist.
Ok, ok: go here: Wikipedia. And here. I’m not sure which it was: bot fly or screw-worm. Dr. G said screw-worm and it sure looked screw-wormy (of course I looked). But bot flies get all the play. At the bottom of the Wiki pages are links to disgusting videos of people and their screw-worm and/or botfly moments. Prepare to be grossed out of your mind.
Anyway. Boo’s got this bug and Dr. G is going to get it out. He muzzles Boo who wouldn’t hurt a, ahem, fly… who is right up there with Winston as Most Pathetic Guard Dog Ever – they run for cover when new people happen around! Then Dr. G starts to squeeze… He gets out TWO and they are AS BIG AS MY ARM. I mean MY PINKIE. HALF my pinkie. At LEAST.
OK. That’s all I’ll say. It was horrible to think something was in my yard, close to my house, my babies, ME that could leave such a memento. I thought those bugs lived in the jungle. Or around livestock. I thought we were too high up the mountain, it was too cold here… there is very little livestock here. Just a few horses. Some oxen that wander about feeding… I guess that’s enough.
According to Dr. G, here’s how you get them: the mommy leaves the eggs on (actually on, not in) another insect, like a mosquito. The mosquito delivers the goods. People can get them, oh yeah. He said how people get them is you leave your clothes out to dry, the delivery insect drops eggs on your clothes… and you get them that way. He evens mimes wiping your neck with your freshly sun-dried towel and BAM. Delivery. I told him I have a dryer. He smiled and said, "Good." I feel safe for the moment.
Boo is good, cleansed. She even got a shot that will kill the f–kers if they land again. Dryer or no, I want one of those shots. I feel itchy.
Yuck! But it’s a reality we all need to know so we can watch out for it. Gracias! No, I’m not going any further than your page for info. Nuf said.
No way! I’ve been obsessed with bot flys since hearing about them a number of years ago while researching a trip to Belize. They are so gnarly yet so (dare I say) cool, all at the same time. Glad your dog is okay, despite the obvious trauma of having living larvae planted under his skin. We’re going to the Osa in May, I’ll be sure to use the hotel’s laundry service instead of letting our damp clothes air dry. Ew.
Yo, Jen: you’ll have more opportunity where you live. It helps that Bear doesn’t go outside… Bwahahahahahahaha.
Island Chica, LOVE your blog, can’t wait to read more. Just the coupla posts I’ve read sound like REALTOR-ville anywhere USA. Only I don’t get to bill by the hour. Er, six minutes. I’m sure the Osa is fab – haven’t been there, but it’s on the list. Be sure to eat at Exotica in Ojochal on your way down.
Thanks! I read your blog often and enjoy hearing about your adventures. I first found it when we were researching for our CR trip coming up in 2008. I’d like to list your blog on my links… any objection?
Thank you, island chica, I’d love a link. I had to create a whole new title for your blog: blogs that make me laugh! I’ll look forward to reading about your trip…
Your Halloween story wins. Yuck. Worst part – I can never leave well enough alone. I clicked every link. I’m gonna have to skip lunch today.
I had a couple of horses when I was growing up in Central Oregon and one of them got a lovely bot-fly (or similar) bump on her wither (back of the neck). It was indeed gross as hell when the inhabitants were removed. My point is you don’t have to live in the tropics to have this lovely experience.
Spanish word of the day “Torsalo”
GREAT!! I just found baby ticks on my dogs ears yesterday and now today I read this. I did the baths/dips and hopefully I won’t have another “explosion” in my house.
Now, I’m all concerned about this. I knew about it (t.v. and all) but didn’t think it could happen to me or my dogs. Totally gross.
Notice the mosquitos are out in full force?
I’ve experienced it with my huskey, it is so disgusting! It is critical that you keep a antibiotic salve on the opening(sore) until it heals or scabs over. The first vet who removed three of them on my dogs tail didnt tell me this, and my dog got more right after. I found a good vet who explained that the bot flys will target any open wound for entry first before burrowing another. Good thing to remember in covering our wounds to no matter how small. Another thing to be very careful of here in Costa Rica is Leishiosis (sp?) it is the animal equivalent of Lymm Disease and will kill your pet for sure if not treated with a month of antibiotics, its transferred via ticks. Its very common in the Central Valley.
Chris – I hope you’ve recovered! The visions stay with you for awhile, eh?
Hey Goofball, it’s actually comforting that, like armed robbery, it can happen anywhere. I DON’T HAVE TO MOVE – YAY!
Thanks, Wolfie. I have an emotional block to learning that word…
Teri, have you used the tic collars Preventic? They work GREAT. It was the only thing that worked on my dogs in the keys.
Thanks, Cindy. My vet actually gave Boo a shot so that if any bot flys bite, they will die. And we use the tic collars, works like a charm for that. The vets also give a shot around here that keeps fleas and tics at bay for 3 months or so. Too expensive to do for 3 dogs all the time (at least at my vet). I was wondering if I could buy the stuff and give the shot myself? That would be worth checking out…
Saratica, these botflies are weird little critters. We are moving to Costa Rica in November and are hoping to find a place in the $250-$350 a month price range. We are moving here with our three cats, and I’ll be sure to get them flea-dipped before we leave. The only thing I haven’t worked out is transporting my cats around CR. I have heard that they frown on allowing pets on buses, and I’m not bringing our car, so I’m in a quandary.
Any info people can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Are you going to be transporting them around frequently? Or just to and from the vet, the airport, like that? I’m not sure about the buses (although as long as they are in a carrier, I don’t know what difference it would make.) You can transport in a taxi though. Check http://www.relocationcr.com/ and send an email to Angela. She knows a lot about pets here and can probably answer your question.
Good luck – I know those rents are available in the Grecia/Alajuela/San Ramon areas.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I have been searching all over the web for that information. Seems like there’s plenty of information about transporting pets on the airlines, but not about transporting them around town. Thanks, also for your info on the areas with cheaper rentals.
Now I finally have something I can go on!