Cheat grass and Foxtail warning
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Thread: Cheat grass and Foxtail warning

  1. #1
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultCheat grass and Foxtail warning

    My 2 yo Kiku suddenly came down w/ a 105+ F temp Tues pm about midnight. The only reason I knew there was a problem is that she refused to go to her "night night crate" w/ the others (this is my recent CDX titlist and High in Trial winner--- so very atypical of her, and besides, there is a cookie involved!). She laid on the couch, rolled over and thumped her tail. I noticed a spongy lump on her lower belly that was near a nipple and thought immediately of mastitis, yet she's not been in season for over 7.5 mos and that was her first season, but due any time now. Mastitis would be 2 mos or so after a heat cycle if it were to occur. Anyhow, we managed to get thru the next 8 hrs (only because I was told years ago if they are "happy", it's not TOO serious) and were at the clinic when it opened at 8am. The probable diagnosis is cheat grass abscess. May have entered thru the vulva and worked its way into her ~2" to settle near a lower nipple.

    I was sent home w/ cephalexin and told to keep compresses on it to try to bring it to a head. Said it may pop on its own. Well, by last night, it's the size of an egg and very angry red and firm. So off to the vet she went a little bit ago. Will go under the knife on my vet's noon hour... TG for Sat clinic hours and a vet who is a lab lover (and former breeder herself). They close at 2pm so est p/u time somewhere about then.

    Anyhow, let this be a warning to those taking your dogs for walks or training where these nasty grasses are seeding out. In 19 yrs, this is only my 2nd cheat grass issue as I've always tried to go over my dogs w/ a fine toothed comb (almst literally--- I take the Furminator to them). I have seen cheat seeds down near the vulva before and never gave them much thought. Dumb me. Please don't make the same mistake. Anne

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    dek
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    Good thoughts for a speedy recovery for Kiku!
    I have no idea what cheat grass/seeds are, but I'll be googling it just to be sure it's not around here!



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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Yikes! Is this only an issue for females? I never heard of this around the northeast.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    I have heard such nasty things about Foxtail seeds. Inhaled, in the eye etc. Fortunately, I have never experienced that kind of stuff, but Foxtail is around here. Thanks for the reminder! I hope all goes well!


    Karen and the gang
    BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
    BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)

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    Thanks for the reminder. We do have Foxtail around here. If I see it, we move on to another field. But we do flush their eyes if we see any seeds around their eyes. I worry about that stuff since we train in fields with all kinds of stuff. I hope Kiku is feeling better real soon.

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    Dee had an episode a few years ago where something somehow must have punctured her way back in her mouth. She was in for her vaccines that morning and I mentioned to my vet that she didn't seem quite right, but I couldn't put my finger on it. At that point she was still eating and I thought maybe I was imagining things as there were no obvious signs. To be safe my vet put off the vaccines until she was 100%. By that evening she was not only off food, but when I offered her some really tasty treats she literally ran away. That's when I knew something was really wrong. Like all Labs, Dee loves her food! Later I also noticed that she was starting to get some very mild swelling around that side of her face and eye. We were at the vet before they opened the next day so that he could take a look. (I'd called him after hours the night before and overnight the swelling got worse) Long story short they ended up having to put her under anesthesia to drain an abcess near the back of her mouth. My vet was sure it was a puncture of some sort, but didn't find anything foreign in the abcess.....though obviously very tiny things can cause problems. She's never out of our sight, so what could have caused this is a mystery. I thought maybe she'd picked up a stick on her walk and possibly got a tiny splinter, but I was just guessing and wish I knew.

    Sending good thoughts for Kiku.

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    Thanks for the warning! The fields we walk in are full of all sorts of grass, one particular specimen has 'dart' like seeds and i have heard many a story of the pain and distress these have caused dogs. I always check Harveys ears, eyes and feet when we get home. Your story just goes to show how easy it can happen, even to the most vigilant of owners. Wishing Kiku a speedy recovery.

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    windycanyon's Avatar
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    She's home! My vet said she didn't SEE any cheat come out but it was such a mess initially that she could have missed it. LOTs of infection. She opened it up about 1" longitudinally and after flushing it out, she felt around in there w/ her finger. Looks like she made another incision near the base end too. Said Kiku will feel MUCH better. Even the lic vet tech commented how nasty it was and how awful she must have been feeling.

    I have my discharge instructions here and it's interesting as they suggest cleaning w/ H2O2 (3%). Obviously they WANT the tissue to not heal together (since peroxide will kill the outer cells). I have to continue the hot compresses for 3-4 days as well to keep it coming....

    Thankfully my hay field just got cut too, so she won't be getting grass, etc rubbing in it. She's allowed normal activity tomorrow.

    Funny thing, thru all of this (even the 105+ F temp!), Kiku remained pretty darned up beat and never missed a meal let alone slow down. The discharge papers say to call if she doesn't eat in 2 days and I told the vet tech if she even missed one meal I'd be worried she was dying!

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    I'm glad to hear that Kiku is home and recovering well! Scary.

    Melissa; mommy to Mitchell and fur baby Mandy

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    Thanks for the update, Anne. I am so glad Kiku is home & feeling better.

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