This slug like parasite is actually a symbiote. After attaching itself to a warmblooded host, it feeds off that being. However, its tenticles, growing under the skin, act as secondary nerves, increase the victims nerve responses.
The PCs have been traveling for a long time down the same stretch or round with no sign of anything suspicious. As they cross over to the next hill they see a gigantic splater of blood with a bleached dragons scull in the center of it. It the dragon skull's mouth is a tattered backpack with something wiggling inside of it.