Following surgery Missy was back to her bouncy self within two weeks. Her owners were delighted, “We couldn’t believe it when we heard the vets had found a grass seed in her spine. To think she was so unwell and could have been paralysed, and now is back to her happy, lively, waggy self so soon after surgery is incredible. We’re so thankful for the amazing work of Michael and his team, and for all their care”
Michael warns that grass seeds are a common cause of complex infections. “Grass seeds are notorious for getting stuck in ears and paws, or inhaled or swallowed. They have sharp ends and barbs so can work their way into the body and travel through to vital organs. They can be elusive to diagnose as they rarely show up on x-rays and often require advanced imaging techniques. Surgery can also be challenging – you’re looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack”.
Hamilton Specialist Referrals urge owners to do a full coat check on their dogs after every walk to remove any seeds, paying close attention to their ears, between their toes and under their armpits. This is also a good practice to check for cuts and parasites, such as ticks.
Once a seed has migrated it can lead to life-threatening symptoms. It may require complex surgery to remove, not to mention the pain and discomfort the dog will be feeling. Noticing the symptoms and having the dog seen quickly means they can be more easily removed and treated. The symptoms can include skin swelling, redness, excessive licking, head shaking, sneezing and general malaise.