Meet September pet of the month - Oscar
Oscar came in to see us because he had developed a lump near his bottom. It had appeared quite quickly, it was quite red and sore and he had started licking it.
He was admitted for a general anaesthetic so that investigations could be carried out. We found that the lump had multiple tracts. These were explored with forceps and extensive flushing with saline. We were certain that there was some foreign material that was causing this reaction but despite following all the tracts nothing could be found. We then used our small rigid endoscope (a very small camera) to visually inspect all the tracts and to our (and Oscar's) delight a grass seed was visualised embedded in inflammatory tissue and fully removed (see video of procedure). By using our specialist endoscopic equipment we were able to avoid referral for specialist imaging. He has now fully recovered and the area has healed well.
We see problems with grass seeds every year. The majority of problems arise from the seeds getting caught in the fur on the paws, they are very sharp and can easily penetrate the skin between the toes and enter the paw where they produce a foreign body reaction of inflammation and pus. If not removed they can then continue to track along the limb and sometimes into the body. They can be extremely difficult to locate and sometimes specialist imaging such as a CT scan is needed to locate them.
We recommend clipping the fur very short on the paws and especially between the toes during grass seed season. Ensure you check all paws and ears thoroughly after every walk. The seeds also often enter the ear canals where they cause sudden onset irritation which is usually seen as frantic head shaking. Sedation is often required to manually remove seeds. It is unusual to find seeds that have entered around the bottom area but this year we have had three separate cases!