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Summer Sickness: Grass Seeds Causing Pet Illness and High Vet Bills for Brits

27 June 2016

UK - A new study has revealed that grass seeds embedded in dogs’ flesh is the most common seasonal illness for UK pets.

Analysis of pet insurance claims conducted by has revealed that almost 500 cases occurred in the summer of 2015, costing pet owners an average of £337 to treat.

Foxtail grass seeds are a risk to dogs as they can easily become embedded in the fur or the flesh of animals with longer coats. revealed that the most common places for grass seeds to embed was in the dogs’ paws and ears.

Westley Pearson, Director of Claims and Marketing for Animal Friends Pet Insurance, said: “Although it can be tough to prevent grass seeds from entering your pet’s body, you can take some measures to protect your dogs.

“When walking your dog, try to avoid long grass, choosing to take a route with grass that’s been cut. This applies to your own garden at home too, as short grass is less of a danger when it comes to grass seeds.

“Trimming excessive hair around your pet’s ears, paws and armpits can also prevent grass seeds from taking a hold on your dog’s fur. Be careful not to cut the end off of any grass seeds in the process, as this can make them difficult to remove.”

Grass seed claims made up 400% more than the next seasonal illness, making them one of the top reasons Brits made a claim on their pet insurance over the summer of 2015.

When asked how pet owners can prevent their dogs from getting ill after coming into contact with grass seeds, Westley added: “Make sure to check your dog’s body thoroughly for grass seeds after every walk, and take note of any unusual or any different behaviour in your dog.

“If you think they may have a grass seed stuck somewhere in their body, or they are displaying some strange behaviour, take them to the vet straight away. The earlier the problem is identified, the quicker it can be treated before it spreads too far.”

The research also revealed that the most common seasonal summer conditions, alongside grass seeds, were melanoma, lungworm, heat stroke and snake bites.

Heat stroke is the most expensive seasonal claim, setting owners back an average of £895 to treat.

Cases of heat stroke are expected to increase this year as summer is set to be the hottest the UK has seen in 100 years, with temperatures reaching 38.5c.

Earlier this month, it was reported that a woman was spotted dragging her Labrador along the pavement in Camden, London after the animal had collapsed and died from heat exhaustion.

ThePetSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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