Vets warn of long grass risks after puppy eye surgery
The veterinarians at Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) are reminding dog owners of the potential risks to their dogs from exercising in tall grass. The advice comes after surgery staff had to perform specialist surgery on Nala, a Tibetan terrier puppy, to remove a weed from his eye.
“The grass beards and seeds can be dangerous to dogs in many ways,” says Davies. “With their pointed, pointed ends, they can easily penetrate the eyes and ears, potentially causing pain and damage. They can also be trapped in the fur or lodged under the skin, so it is recommended to check dogs head to toe for seeds or lodged barbs, after every walk.
Nala, who is only five months old, suffered pain in her right eye the next day after running through a grassy field. Her owner took her to his veterinary practice, where vets suspected a focal corneal lesion and associated infection. They advised referral for eye investigations to Davies.
“On examination, Nala’s right eye was clearly uncomfortable, being held tightly closed,” Davies eye doctor Rachel Lockhart said. “Once the eye was relaxed with topical anesthetic, it was possible to identify a thin, linear foreign body, a suspected beard or grass thorn, running obliquely through the cornea of the right eye. with its outer tip sitting just proud of the corneal surface.
“The surrounding cornea was cloudy and the inside of the eye inflamed, but upon careful examination using a handheld microscope, it was suspected that the foreign body had penetrated through the cornea.”
After delicate surgery, a 1.5 cm long piece of grass, which extended obliquely through the cornea, was extracted from Nala’s eye. The majority of the grass ridge was in the front chamber of the eye but was obscured by the surrounding reaction.
In the absence of deeper injuries, the grass ridge was removed, the resulting corneal defect was repaired. Nala was able to go home the next day and made a full recovery, with only a small corneal scar.
Davies gave the following tips for protecting and caring for dogs’ eyes:
• Try to avoid walking your dog through long, dry grass or crops.
• Don’t shoot anything from the eye, you’ll almost certainly do more damage.
• Do not give treats or food to your pet as this may require emergency anesthesia.
• Install a shock collar if you have one or can borrow one, to prevent self-injury.
• Go to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
• Save all fragments of anything that has entered the eye as this may be useful to the veterinarian in directing the animal’s treatment.
Images of Davies