The ‘eggs-pert’ team at a leading Yorkshire vet practice scrambled into action to crack the mystery of a dog’s sore and swollen paw.
The four-year-old family pet, called Eggs, had gone into his shell after suffering a problem with his foot and his concerned owners took him to Peak Vets in Woodseats, Sheffield.
Peak’s clinical director Nigel Smallwood examined Eggs and quickly prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat the infection and reduce the swelling in order to allow a closer inspection of the poor pet’s paw.
Nigel explained: “Eggs came to the practice with an extremely sore foot. The skin on the sole, between his pads, was red and he was licking the area an awful lot.
“Nothing could be seen at that point because his foot was so swollen but the antibiotics helped reduce the swelling and when we examined him a few days later a small, pinpoint wound was visible between his toes.
“A closer investigation identified a single grass awn (seed) in the wound, which I carefully removed, and Eggs has gone on to make a full recovery.”
Nigel said grass seeds may sound harmless but explained they can cause issues if they pierce a pet’s skin and become embedded.
He added: “A small grass awn may sound an innocuous thing but they have a sharp pointed end with the potential to pierce into the skin and become lodged there.
“This often triggers an intense inflammatory reaction, sometimes with a secondary infection.
“We frequently see grass awns causing problems with feet, causing swellings or sinuses between the toes. They can also migrate inside ear canals and cause itchy and painful ears, into the nostril causing intense sneezing and even in the conjunctival sacs around the eyes, causing red, irritated eyes.
“It is a common problem, especially in dogs who love to play in the long grasses, and we advise owners to check their dog’s feet, ears, eyes and face for grass awns after a walk and remove any they find.
“If anyone is concerned their pet may be suffering like Eggs, then our advice is to bring them in to one of our vets as soon as possible for a thorough check over.”
At Peak Vets we are open seven days a week, with the practice open until 9pm on weekdays.
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