Vets warn dog owners to be aware of grass seed danger - The Leamington Observer

Vets warn dog owners to be aware of grass seed danger

Ian Hughes 20th Jul, 2017   0

VETS are warning dog owners to be aware of the risks of grass seeds after a steep increase in calls during the recent warm weather.
Avonvale took 13 calls in two days at its Wellesbourne practice alone about animals affected by the common seasonal complaint.
Grass seeds can lodge in dogs’ feet, ears and eyes, while the arrow-shaped grains have sharp barbs which can get caught in the fur and burrow through the skin and into deeper body tissues.
Avonvale recently treated ten-year-old Lurcher Archie who was found to have a grass seed lodged around 1cm below his jaw.
Archie was first taken into the surgery in May suffering from a high temperature and swelling around his face.
But his concerned owner Janet Brooks took him in again when his course of antibiotics did not have the desired effect, and an abscess was discovered on his jaw which required an operation.
It was only when Archie was undergoing surgery in June that the grass seed was discovered.
Kelly Hall, head veterinary nurse at Avonvale’s Wellesbourne practice, said: “Grass seeds are very common, but they are usually found in the eye, nose or armpit and not in this location. Sometimes finding them can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“When Archie came back in to see us, we weren’t 100 per cent sure what the swelling on his jaw was. It was only when we were operating on him that the seed popped out.
“We’re pleased to say Archie is back to full health now.”
Russell Hall, director at the Wellesbourne practice, added owners often did not realise what the problem was.
“They will see their pets shaking their heads but may leave it and hope it gets better.
“It needs to be dealt with quickly – the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to deal with.”
Advice to owners to help protect their pets includes trimming the feathery fur between toes to reduce the risk of seeds becoming snagged, and checking fur around the feet and ears after a walk.
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