A Seedy Tale!

In the last few weeks, several animals have come to us with grass seeds stuck in various parts of their body.

grass seeds

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

barley

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!

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Roxys road to recovery

Roxy, a Jack Russell Terrier, has been a regular visitor to Temple End Vets over the last 2 months, following a rather nasty fall from a 2nd floor window onto the concrete below.

When Roxy arrived one Saturday in late June she was in shock and it was obvious that she had seriously injured her right hind leg. She was taken straight over into the hospital, placed on a drip and given strong pain releif. We were able to take a conscious x-ray which showed that Roxy had no other obvious injuries apart from a fractured leg.

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Roxy was monitored throughout the day and night and the following day she was stable enough for a general anaesthetic, allowing us to examine her in more detail. Roxy had broken her femur so, after discussions with Roxy’s concerned owners, it was decided that our orthopaedic surgeon, Peter Thomas, would perform surgery to fix the broken leg.

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Fracture fixation was a success, using plates and screws and we were all in high hopes that the following day Roxy would be a much happier dog and would be well on the road to going home. However that was not to be…

The next morning, Roxy was in a lot of pain and discomfort. Her leg was comfortable but her tummy was very painful to touch and she had started to vomit. We were worried that Roxy had sustained some internal injuries, which were only now starting to cause a problem. A blood test was run showing no obvious problems, so the vets called a case meeting in order to discuss and decide the best course of action. After consultation with Roxy’s worried owners it was decided that we would operate on Roxy again in order to find out what was so painful in her tummy.

Once in theatre for the second time the vet was very surprised with what was discovered. Roxy was found to have an adhesion, (an abnormal connection between the fat in her abdomen and some of her intestines) which was strangling her spleen, which explained why she was so sore. We suspect that when Roxy fell, she had a minor bleed from the fat in her abdomen, and as it healed, it encircled the spleen and intestines causing the pain in her abdomen. The adhesion was released and the intestines instantaneously looked much healthier. On closer examination of her spleen however, it had torn with the adhesion, and so a partial splenectomy was performed, and the damaged half of Roxy’s spleen was removed.

After that, Roxy improved dramatically and the next morning was back to her bright happy self, no longer vomiting and starting to eat again. Two days later, Roxy was discharged to her relieved owners, with cage rest at home to allow her broken leg to heal.

We are pleased to report that despite Roxy’s traumatic experience she is well on the road to recovery. Thanks to the hard work of the vets and nursing team, as well as the dedication of hers owners caring for her at home, her leg is healing well and very soon she will be able to return to her usual activities.

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