BRAVERY AWARD DECEMBER 2022

by | Feb 1, 2023

Last month we saw the delightful five year old French Bulldog Blondie as her owners had pulled a grass seed out of her back right paw.  This wasn’t the end of the issue however, as a couple of days later, her foot had become incredibly swollen and weeping above where they had removed the original grass seed from.  Dr. Amy suspected that there was the possibility of another grass seed embedded in her foot, and that surgical exploration was the only way to rule that out one way or the other.  Even with a presentation such as Blondie’s, the possibility of there not being anything found during surgery is always possible.  The grass seed that had already been removed by her owners could have caused infection and swelling even after coming out, requiring surgical debridement and flushing, before her foot healed appropriately. However, not attempting to remove any possible further grass seeds from Blondie’s foot could have been incredibly detrimental to her.

Grass seeds that do not get removed from the body can cause great harm to dogs and cats, and can sometimes on rare occasions, be fatal.  This is because of the sharp, hook-like nature of grass seeds and their ability to embed in the body, they can then travel through the body to major organs including the lungs.

Over the next couple of days, even after some anti-inflammatories, Blondie’s foot worsened considerably and her parents had to make the difficult decision to go ahead with surgery.  Dr. Amy managed to successfully remove a second grass seed from in between Blondie’s toes, thoroughly exploring and cleaning the wound, doing her best to ensure no further issues.  Another area of concern was found between her other toes as well, and this was also explored whilst she was under anaesthetic.  This was vital to ensure that it did not communicate with the initial site or have any grass seeds hiding in there also.  Blondie recovered well from her surgery and was sent home that afternoon.

A week later, Blondie came back in to see us, her owners reporting that on the whole she was doing well at home, however her wound was not looking great and seemed to still be causing her a fair amount of discomfort.  Dr. Michael was concerned that perhaps there was still something lurking there but recommended trialing strict Elizabethan collar usage and further restriction in exercise first.

A further few weeks went by with little to no improvement, even after antibiotics and rest.  Unfortunately, it was vital Blondie undergo a second surgery to further explore her foot and ascertain what the ongoing issue may be.  Sure enough, Dr. Tracy found a THIRD grass seed embedded between her toes!!  This time, the surgery was a success and that stubborn, pesky grass seed was the last one left, allowing Blondie’s poor little foot to finally heal properly.

We have seen Blondie since and her surgical site and foot are healing absolutely beautifully.  She has promised next time to do her best to stay out of long grass!  Blondie’s story is a pertinent reminder of just how persistent and problematic grass seeds can be for our pets.  It took the dedication of her owners and our team to get to the bottom of the issue and ensure that it didn’t migrate to a far more serious part of Blondie’s body.

For more information on grass seeds and your pets, read our article here

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