Summer woes

Did you know one of the most common skin problems we see during the summer is due to spear grass?

Spear grass is a term we use to describe any of the grasses we see in Kamloops with sharp, hard seeds which ‘hook’ or attach to our pets fur.

Due to the shape and texture of these seeds, they tend to migrate towards the pets skin. Once against the skin, they can puncture the skin and work their way deeper into the tissue.

Common areas we see these pesky seeds is in between the toes and in the ear canals.  Often the area is tender, inflamed and can become infected.

It is not uncommon for heavy sedation or anesthetic to be needed in order to safely remove the embedded spear grass.

 

How can you protect your pet from this summer woe?

  • Avoid walking in areas full of these grasses when the grass is dry and has gone to seed. Once the seeds have fallen, it is best to avoid these areas till the snow covers the grass seeds or have your pet wear protective foot booties.
  • Comb your pet regularly, especially after being in an area with spear grass. remembering to pay extra attention to the ears and paws. Being careful to watch/feel for any seeds ‘tangled’ in their fur.
  • Clean your yard of any of the common spear grasses in our area to avoid extra exposure to your pet.

If you do notice your pet licking their paw, a specific area of their body, shaking their head or pawing at an ear; be sure to call us. It is very important to remove these grass seeds before they migrate into tissues of the body!

 

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