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Copyright 2012 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Not Only Horses are 

Affected by Grass Awns

By Dorinda Troutman, RMR Staff Writer

 

April 2012 issue

 

       

I’ve had my own nasty experience with awn grass — but not with a horse.

            In 1969, my year-old English bull terrier, Mars, swallowed a few grass awns while chasing a ball. He developed a cough and we took him to our vet to have an awn removed from his throat.

            Some months later I noticed a swelling in Mars’ flank. Our vet x-rayed him, performed surgery and found the remains of an awn that had made its way through Mars’ esophagus, stomach and intestinal wall and was lodged near a kidney. The awn and quite a bit of surrounding infected tissue were removed.

            We were warned that grass awns carried a fungus and to watch for more infection.

            Three surgeries and many months later, with the final, very aggressive surgery being performed at the University of California Davis veterinary school, we took Mars home with a drain in his side that took six months to heal.

            Happily, Mars recovered enough in the next two years to win blue ribbons at dog shows on the West and East Coasts and to look and act like a healthy dog.

            But, one day, when he was five years old, he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the vet. He died within an hour. An autopsy told a story of all of his internal organs having been diseased by the grass awn infection — until they finally gave out.

            He was the best dog I have ever owned.

            For interesting information on grass awn seeds and dogs, visit

www.meanseeds.com.

 

 

Copyright 2012 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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