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Category: Ask the Vet

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Q. In terms of the various animals types living in Central Oregon, what would you say is the most pressing issue facing what type of animal and why? What are the most important pieces of information you can give to these particular pet owners?

A. During late spring and early summer in Central Oregon, the most pressing issue facing our dogs is grass awns (cheat grass and foxtails).

If there is an orifice on the dog, than the Cheat Grass is likely to take up residence. Be it the ears, nose, webbing of the feet, or skin, the Cheat grass will undoubtedly show up, eventually causing pain and aggravation to your pet. A few of the tell tale signs are:

  • Ears- Shaking the head or holding the head to one side
  • Nose- Sneezing fits
  • Feet- Constant licking along with a red swollen and often draining tract between the toes or under the foot.

 

Preventative measures to consider would include:

  • Having your pet body clipped if it is medium or longhaired animal.
  • Trimming the hair between the toes as well as the hair around the ears.
  • Cutting down the weeds around your house
  • Examining your animal daily to remove the Cheat before it becomes a problem.

 

If your animal is diagnosed with a cheat grass in the ear we will attempt to remove it. Often times the cheat grass is situated right at the ear drum. If that is the case, any movement by your pet may result in a ruptured ear drum. We typically recommend sedation for your pet as this greatly minimizes the chance of a ruptured ear drum and the pain associated with the removal of the cheat grass.

For those located between the feet or in the nose, the majority of animals require a deep sedative along with a local anesthetic agent to attempt to remove the foreign body. In most cases the cheat can be found, but in a few instances the cheat grass may not be identified.