In the last few weeks, several animals have come to us with grass seeds stuck in various parts of their body.
The most common places for grass seeds to lodge are in the feet and ears. If you have walked your dog through grassy fields and it immediately starts shaking its head consistently, there is a strong possibility that a grass seed has made its way down the ear canal.
If this is the case, please bring your dog in to see one of our vets as soon as possible. The vet may need to sedate your dog to be able to get the seed out, so please don’t feed your dog before bringing it in.
Sometimes grass seeds can lodge between the digits of the paws and then work their way into the skin. If your dog suddenly starts licking at its paws and you can see any kind of swelling then this may be the case.
In order to prevent this happening, please check your dogs paws and around the outside of the ears for grass seeds at the end of every walk.
Very occasionally, grass seeds can get into more unusual places. ‘Tadpole’ the lurcher, owned by one of senior nurses, recently came to us for investigation of coughing , lethargy and inappetance after running through a barley field. His temperature was very high and he was panting a lot so we decided to x-ray his lungs.
To get very good views of the lungs, they must be inflated. This required a general anaesthetic and endotracheal tube to be placed so the vet could inflate the lungs with oxygen and then quickly take an x-ray. They showed that one of the right lung lobes was a bit more white and fluffy than it should be. We used our endoscope to look down Tadpole’s windpipe and could see blood coming from the right side of the lungs. All this investigation pointed towards there being something stuck in his lungs – most likely from the barley field!
We discussed the treatment options with our nurse who decided to try him on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for several weeks. If this doesn’t cure the problem then he may need to be referred to a specialist for surgery to remove the lung lobe.
Keep looking back on here for updates!