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Grass Seed Dangers

Who would have dreamed that a tiny grass seed could cause so much damage to a dog? It’s always a story we read about, but never expect that it will happen to us.

With covid-19 restrictions in force, dog walking has been restricted for Mabel and her siblings to pavement walking, grass seed dangers, the furthest things from all of our minds, as we strolled along – the only exercise of our day.

One day, Mabel’s white chest suddenly showed signs of blood, on immediate investigation, she clearly had a lump on her throat bigger than the size of a 10p piece, we knew that this hadn’t been there before and suddenly panicked that this was an abscess or tumour.

Luckily the vet was open, and with strict distancing procedures in place, we were able to take Mabel straight in. The vet shaved the area, gave her pain relief and antibiotics, and we booked her in for surgery due a few days later. The vet confirmed that it was an abscess or tumour, and we went home with sunken hearts. For the rest of the day, it was clear that the lump was not only irritating Mabel, but she was in extreme pain: it broke our heart to watch, knowing that we could do nothing to take the pain away. We called the vet again and booked her in for emergency surgery the next morning. The hours seemed like days as we waited to go and pick her up.

Whilst operating on the abscess, the vet had found a grass seed embedded deep inside – the cause of the lump! For something so tiny, it had caused the most incredible pain and damage. A hidden danger that none of us would have dreamed of.

Almost relieved that the lump was nothing more sinister, we took Mabel home.

Nursing her in the heat, we had to take every measure to stop her scratching her stitches and pulling the drain out which was kept in her neck for a few days. We had forgotten what it was like having a poorly dog – just like a sick baby, we watched her virtually 24/7 until we were able to take her back to the vet to remove the drain.

It was the hugest relief to see the old Mabel getting back to herself again, and our happiness that she had no tumour turned to a determination to make others aware of the dangers of a tiny grass seed.

The relief in seeing Mabel pain free and happy again, something we always take for granted, remind us how precious our dogs are.

It is so important to brush dogs after walks, and to look out for grass seeds (apparently it is common for them to go into dogs’ ears – but who would have thought that one would travel into Mabel’s throat!), no matter where you walk your dogs – because they burrow inside the dog and can cause serious damage to our precious loved ones.