Posted By: Louisa - Vet

Seth needs a grass seed removed.

Long summer days bring additional joy to a dog walk. Springer Spaniel Seth had been out for a lovely sunny walk with his other canine pals when he suddenly cried out and was persistently bothering his ear. All night long he was scratching at it and despite his owners best efforts to calm him down, they couldn’t, nor could they see what the problem was. By the following morning, his ear was very red and inflamed so his owners brought him to the vets. He was really unhappy to let me look down it with my otoscope instrument but he did tolerant it for just long enough for me to see the end of a grass seed! Sadly it was all too painful for him to allow me to remove it when he was awake so we proceeded to a sedation but even then he was still too painful so we had to go for a full general anaesthetic.

Once Seth was nicely asleep, I was able to thoroughly examine both of is ear canals, which confirmed the presence of a grass seed in one of them. With a particularly long and thin instrument I was able to carefully grasp the end of the seed and extract it from the ear.

We then cleaned his ears, woke him up and sent him home with a course of pain relief.

Grass seeds, with their sharp, pointed ends,  can be real pests in our animal’s day to day lives and the summer being the prime time! In the practice recently we have seen several dogs with grass seeds,  that have broken skin, especially around eyes, ears and between the toes, and then started to migrate into the body. This creates a soft, fluid-y swelling, that’s very red and angry to look at and is usually filled with pus. This is the body’s natural response to dealing with any abnormal or invading ‘foreign’ material and is very helpful for identifying the location of the object. It’s also very satisfying for us vets and nurses when we can remove the culprit and I’m sure, very relieving for the animal too!

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