Spikelets can harm cats and dogs

What is a spikelet?

The classic is part of the bloom (flower arrangement on the stem of the plant, editor’s note) grass“, he explains on his website Frégis Veterinary Hospital in Arcueil. This structure is therefore found in several plant species that can be seen in gardens and fields in late spring and summer. Spikelets bear different names depending on the region – such as espigaou or spigaou. They can accumulate in the cob and separate from the stem as it dries, making them extremely dangerous. That way they stick to the coats of dogs and cats.

Spikelet: what are the risks for dogs and cats?

Spikelets are dangerous to dogs and cats because of their pointed structure when detached, which allows them to cling to the hair and move forward, thus penetrating the tissues (e.g., the epidermis) they encounter. “They can enter various openings (ears, nostrils, etc.) or even pass through the skin and begin to migrate into the body which can thus be responsible for abscesses, pleurisy, fistulas.“, notes the Center hospitalier vétérinaire Frégis. In the ear, the spikelet progresses into the ear canal until it can pierce the eardrum or cause inflammation of the ear. An animal embarrassed by a spikelet retracted in this way will try to shake its head.

A dog that goes for a walk in the field and smells the smells there risks inserting a spikelet into its nostrils. The animal may then sneeze, sniff excessively, or even shake its head. The liquid leaked quickly from his nose. The plant can continue its journey to the respiratory tract and thus to the lungs. If after passing through the tall grass the animal’s eye is closed, the ear has probably slipped. “Clinical signs usually appear very quickly. The dog blinks, has teary eyes, rubs, fists the pattern. The dog quickly keeps his eyes closed. Complications of corneal ulcers or even eye perforations are common“Says the veterinary center. If cats suffer less from spikelets than dogs, they are still particularly sensitive to those found in their eye.

An animal that keeps its mouth open in an area with spikelets may have the unpleasant surprise that some get caught in its oral cavity. The plant can be planted especially in the gums, which leads to the formation of abscesses. In the Appendix, “spikelets can enter the body through the genital tract, notes the clinic. The dog licks, turns in a circle, rubs the back. The spikelet can then progress rapidly within the bodyFinally, the spikelet can easily be placed in the paws. It then grabs the hair and advances between the fingers, piercing the skin and forming a small hole. Suffering that suffers limp and nibble paw.

Credits: Pixabay

Spillet: What to do if in doubt?

If you think the spikelet has settled in your animal’s body, you should go to a veterinary clinic quickly. Remember: the spikelet is still progressing relentlessly, so avoid complications as soon as possible. By acting quickly, the plant may not have yet passed through the tissues: this will make it easier to remove. Otherwise, the veterinarian will need to perform a medical examination to spot her and spot the health problems for which she is responsible. So, “X-rays do not allow visualization of the spikelet but only possible thoracic or abdominal complications ” while “Fibroscopy of the nasal cavities, respiratory system, genital tract can allow visualization of the spikelet, even its removal“, according to the Center hospitalier vétérinaire Frégis. Finally, ultrasound can also allow visualization and removal of spikelets in certain muscle areas. If the plant has migrated deep into the body, then one or even several surgeries will be needed. The animal’s life is endangered, but if the animal is fast taken care of, the prognosis is very good.

How can I prevent my animal from suffering from spikelets?

It is difficult to protect a cat that has full access to the open space. For dogs, prevention is easier. If the animal walks near the field, it is necessary to keep it on a leash. Breeds with long or curly hair would benefit from shaving them during the summer so as not to take risks. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors can be groomed in particularly sensitive areas, such as the underside of their ears or paws. It is also important to thoroughly examine your dog after returning from a walk. Finally, if you have a garden, you can explore it to extract all the classics that could have grown there.

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