Grass awns causing health risks for dogs are particularly widespread this year.

In the Wichita area, veterinarians are urging dog owners to take precautions against a common issue that can cause discomfort and pain to their pets. Grass awns, also known as foxtails, are small, sharp seeds that are prevalent in this region during certain seasons. These awns can enter a dog’s paws, mouth, eyes or ears and even be inhaled while playing outside, leading to severe pain and potential health risks.

At Solomon Veterinary Clinic in Wichita, Drew Cooley, a registered veterinary tech, has seen cases of grass awns in dogs almost daily. These seeds can become embedded in the dogs’ toe pads and under their skin, causing sores or infections that may lead to limping. To prevent these issues, pet owners are advised to take their dogs to the vet if they notice any signs of infection and regularly check their dogs for grass awns after outdoor playtime.

It is important for dog owners to pay close attention to foot pads between toes and nails when checking their dogs for grass awns. Removing these awns can sometimes require sedation for the dogs to prevent pain. A slit may need to be made over the affected area to carefully remove the grass awn which can burrow deep into the dog’s skin. Drew Cooley personally checks her dog for grass awns every night after outdoor activities.

Apart from regular checks, keeping a dog’s coat and fur trimmed around their paws can also help prevent grass awns from becoming embedded. It is crucial for dog owners to stay vigilant and proactive in protecting their pets from the discomfort and pain caused by these common seeds.

In conclusion, veterinarians are warning dog owners about the dangers posed by grass awns during this time of year. Dog owners should be vigilant about checking their pets regularly for any signs of infection or embedding of these seeds into their skin or fur. By taking precautions such as regular checks and proper grooming of their pets’ coats around paws, pet owners can help protect them from discomfort and potential harm caused by these small but harmful seeds.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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