bug in a kittens nose

by Pamela Pearson
(Harveys lake, Pa)

My Kitten has a bug living in its nose....I've seen it but can't grab it with tweezers. It produces black/brown stuff that comes out of his nose...I guess poop? How do I get the bug out?

RESPONSE:

It was probably just as well that you were unable to grab the bug with tweezers because some insects burrow under the skin and are so entrenched that you could have started your cat’s nose bleeding. The nasal membranes in cats are sensitive and stopping the bleeding would have been difficult.

I don’t see that you have any option except to take your cat to the vet.

Rinsing the nasal passage with a saline solution is possible under the right conditions but it causes its own dangers because a cat may breathe the solution into its lungs and that’s an extremely dangerous situation. However, a vet can do this with the right equipment if that’s an option chosen.

The brown-black discharge could be from a bug or it could be dried blood from a nasal membrane. Even if it isn’t a bug that has taken up residency in your cat’s nose and instead is an oozing nasal infection or tumor, your kitty will need medical help with antibiotics. For the time being try to keep the nose clear of crusts and secretions by using a moist cotton ball or soft, clean cloth. Unscented baby wipes will work.

If this is indeed a bug, your vet will be able to remove it safely and clean the nasal passage, as well as prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. If it is already an infection he may take a culture and sensitivity test to select the most appropriate antibiotic. If he suspects it is a fungus he can identify the culprit by examining a nasal swab under a microscope. Fungal infections require special long-term medications. Bacterial infections can become established when the lining of the nose has been injured by a foreign body (like a bug).

You have an unusual situation and the sooner you can get it resolved, the better off your kitty will be. If you can’t afford a vet right now, see if a vet will take weekly/monthly payments…or phone your local humane society and see if they have a low cost program to assist you.

I wish you and kitty the best of luck.

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