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As a result, the plant awn stays imbedded in tissue and attempts to remove the awn can lead to breakage at some point along the length of the awn and retention of the awn in the dog’s nose.”, Further explaining the danger of incomplete removal, Dr. Mahaney added that “the imbedded awn not only causes inflammation and infection at the site, but the awn generally continues to move in a forward direction and can travel great distances through body cavities from the site of imbedding.”, Shown: Brittle grass awn breaking into smaller pieces / Image credit: FloridaGrasses.org, “Once a grass awn has penetrated through the surface layers of tissue, problems can go from bad to worse rather quickly,” says Dr. Coates. (Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture) Growing in and around areas that have suffered a wildfire, poodle-dog bush produces attractive lavender flowers that cause a severe and long-lasting rash characterized by redness, swelling and intense itching. Aside from the damage and infection caused by the migration, some florets carry bacteria that can cause serious infections depending on where they are located. Shown: Grass awns illustrated, Bromus madritensis / Image credit: Stanford Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Shown: Common oat grass / Image credit: California’s Coastal Prairies, How to Protect Your Dog from Grass Awn Injury, Stanford Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The plant produces foot-long feathery flower stalks from early summer to mid fall. California Needlegrass Stipa pulchra CA only “Dogs tend to ‘lead with their noses’ when they’re exploring, so it’s not too surprising that a sharp seed head from a long piece of grass might get lodged up there.”. All Rights Reserved. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The dog was ultimately euthanized, as the owner was not able to continue to pursue the required treatment (drainage of fluid from the chest cavity, exploratory thoracic surgery, hospitalization, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, etc. They don’t have the Venom gland however they can attack their predators by releasing some kind of foul-smelling secretions. Awn photo: http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2005/09/hordeum_jubatum.php Mushrooms with warts, scales or white, instead of brown, gills are likely dangerous. The basal extension of the lemma (sheath or bract) around the grass floret comes to a very sharp point as the floret matures and dries out at the end of clip_image002the plants’ growing season. Pretty much any contact a dog has with grass awns is potentially hazardous. In a study to evaluate how pesticides and weed killers can increase the chances of bladder cancer in Scottish Terriers, 19 of 25 dogs' urine was concentrated with lawn chemicals after the lawn received treatment. Bermuda grass (​ Cynodon dactylon ​) is a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARSCO It is mostly found in the Western half of the U.S. Maybe you’ve heard that black mold is the most dangerous type of mold, but this isn’t really accurate. Initially, dogs who consume grapes may vomit and be lethargic. So, more dogs are seen with grass seed issues following lots of rain in spring and summer. ).”, “A plant awn that enters the nasal cavity is definitely concerning because it can potentially migrate through the nasal turbinates (scroll-like structures within the nasal passages) and butt up against cribriform plate, which is a bony structure that separates the brain from the nasal passages,” says Dr. Mahaney. Virginia Wild Rye Elymus virginicus The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong Many plants that are poisonous to dogs are very common in backyards. http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2007/05/bromus_tectorum.php Grapes, along with raisins and currants, are poisonous to dogs. Acidic soil keeps many plants — including grass, fruits and vegetables from getting the nutrients they need to thrive. Sleepygrass/Tall Needle grass Stipa robusta According to Dr. Coates, “If you see grass awns in your dog’s coat, remove them as quickly as possible. While a nice walk outside is quality time for both dog and owner, it too can be fraught with potential danger. Copy & paste the code below into your website to show your support! Across the country, soil pH levels vary; 3.0 or below is considered very acidic, while 8.0 and above is considered basic. So, are awns something about which you should always consult your veterinarian? As the animal moves the floret constantly migrates forward pushing the pointed base further into the tissue. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=NAPU4 Photos: http://plants.usda.gov/gallery/pubs/elca4_003_pvp.jpg This plant was suggested as problematic by a plant biologist at U of Minnesota. Next: What Are the Symptoms of Grass Awn Infection? These species have two characteristics of the floret that make them particularly insidious. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/brotec/all.html These toxic time-bombs range from being only mildly toxic (for example, causing vomiting) to being responsible for serious canine health problems. The basal extension of the lemma (sheath or bract) around the grass floret comes to a very sharp point as the floret matures and dries out at the end of clip_image002the plants’ growing season. According to Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney of California, the symptoms of a plant awn imbedding in the skin include inflammation, redness, irritation, and draining sores which have a clear or purulent (pus) discharge. Grass can be dangerous to dogs. A seed can damage the airways and may even move into the lungs, which is usually considered life threatening. 21st September 2020. A dog might also excessively rub its nose. If you believe your dog consumed a part of this plant, contact your veterinarian. Foxtails are among the most dangerous plants for dogs, and they aren’t necessarily eaten. Required fields are marked *. After 24-48 hours, dogs may begin to have kidney failure, so it’s essential to get your pet to the vet quickly. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACOCC It is when they are not quickly removed by the owner, or expelled by the animal, that they become problematic. Single-Awn Aristida Aristida orcuttianas CA, AZ, NM, TX Native to Africa, Asia, and Australia, genus Cymbopogon, also known as lemongrass, is a genus name of several plant species under the family Poaceae,. On inspection, it doesn’t appear immediately to have an aggressive awn, but better to provide the information as potential hazard than not. Grass seeds prove dangerous to dogs primarily based on their shape and size. The Grass Awn Project. A leashed city dog is far less likely to come across awns, but even the most urban locales still have areas that are overgrown with all types of vegetation. “Usually, the initial wound heals uneventfully and owners are not even aware that anything has happened, but the awn is now trapped and can start to migrate throughout the body. Carefully examining your dog after walks and time spent outside is the best defense against grass awns. http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/research/iowagrasses/speciespages/AgrosHiema/AgrosHiema.html Typical backyard dangers include seeds entering the dog's nose, ears and skin or problems caused by ingestion. The problem with grass awns is that they are difficult to be located. Symptoms The symptoms of grass seeds depend on where they enter the body, where they travel in the body, and where they end up. They can be inhaled into the throat or lungs of a dog, swallowed, caught between the toes, become lodged in the fur, or fall into the ear canal. Walking dogs on a short leash to prevent them from running through tall grass also helps. If grass awns are not removed in a timely fashion, they will lead to the formation of painful abscesses, which need regular drainage of fluids. Great photos: http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/database/vascular-database.asp?CategoryID=Monocots&FamilyID=Poaceae&GenusID=Elymus&SpeciesID=virginicus, Foxtail Barley Hordeum jubatum Photos in site Gallery Shown: Common wheat grass awns / Image credit: Smith Veterinary HospitalÂ. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ELVI3 Roundup Weed Killer and Your Dog Roundup is arguably the world’s most popular weed killer, possibly because it is marketed as being pet-friendly. Pets that eat poisonous plants often hide from their owners when they feel bad. | WeDidYourSite.com. Actinomyces endophthalmitis and pneumonia in a dog, Foxtail (Cadmus – Retriever Field Trial News, June 2004), Microbiology text chapter, actinomyces and nocardia, Tick borne disease (differential diagnosis), Valley Fever information (differential diagnosis). Even the most tolerant pets should only be exposed to diffused essentials oils for a few minutes, preferably in a different room. Common names – Oily heads, silky heads or barbed wire, citronella, fever, cochin or Malabar grass. An awn is a hairy, or bristle-like, appendage growing from the ear or flower of barley, rye, and many types of widely growing grasses. Grass with sharp hygroscopic seeds are common in SA with many grasses producing these so-called ‘awns’ during summer and early winter. After a while, the problem might result in nasal drainage or infection. Cat Nutrition: What Makes a Nutritional Cat Food? If this yard we are perusing is in the deep south or a nice hot tropical climate, there might be a Sago Palm or two. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AGHY “Eventually, a board-certified veterinary surgeon was able to locate the grass awn and remove it, and a lot of infected and damaged muscle. Plants Toxic to Dogs Adam-and-Eve (Arum, Lord-and-Ladies, Wake Robin, Starch Root, Bobbins, Cuckoo Plant) | Scientific Names: Arum maculatum | Family: Araceae African Wonder Tree () | Scientific Names: Ricinus communis | Family: These can cause serious illness and even death in some cases. Cordyline australis goes by the common names giant dracaena, grass palm and palm lily. Parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and giardia are commonly found in the grass and ultimately cause the type of digestive distress that drives many dogs to eat grass in the first place. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BRDIR, Canada Wild Rye Elymus canadensis Photos in site Gallery Line drawings of various grasses/identification guide: http://www.caf.wvu.edu/~forage/library/cangrass/content.htm And the lemma is covered with tiny hairs pointing away from the sharp basal point. The links provided contain additional information and/or photographs. Oldfield Threeawn Aristida oligantha Grass seed, whether from native and wild grasses or from a newly planted lawn, can pose dangers for dogs and other pets. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HECOC8 You can find a list of dangerous plants here. They are less likely to cause any threat to your household pet. Nimblewill Muhlenbergia schreberi In reality, there are over 10,000 species of mold , many of which look quite similar. You can either pick them out by hand or use a brush to speed up the process.”. I think the combination of lots of tall grass in the environment and dogs running off leash was to blame,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates of Fort Collins, Colorado. Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Small Pets http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MUSC ; Uses – Uses vary depending on the species and include as a culinary and medicinal herb. The following is a list of the most common grasses with these characteristics that dog owners and veterinarians across the country have identified. If you think your pet has ingested a toxic plant, it may be a medical emergency. The ornamental grass, cordyline australis, is the only type of ornamental grass listed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as toxic to dogs. Feeding Kittens 101: What to Feed, How Much, and How Often. It’s therefore important to check the safety of any plants before giving your pets access to them. The grasses that cause problems flower from October to December, mainly in response to rain. Cheatgrass/Downy brome Bromus tectorum Photos in site Gallery Your email address will not be published. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/brotec/all.html, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BRTE, http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2007/05/bromus_tectorum.php, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BRDIR, http://plants.usda.gov/gallery/pubs/elca4_003_pvp.jpg, http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/database/vascular-database.asp?CategoryID=Monocots&FamilyID=Poaceae&GenusID=Elymus&SpeciesID=canadensis, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ELVI3, http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/database/vascular-database.asp?CategoryID=Monocots&FamilyID=Poaceae&GenusID=Elymus&SpeciesID=virginicus, http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2005/09/hordeum_jubatum.php, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HECOC8, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACOCC, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=NAPU4, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACRO7, http://www.lycaeum.org/~sputnik/Plants/Images/Stipa.robusta.jpg, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AGHY, http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/research/iowagrasses/speciespages/AgrosHiema/AgrosHiema.html, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARPUL, http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/range/RangeID/Plants/ArisLong.html, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARSCO, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AROL, http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/research/iowagrasses/speciespages/AristOliga/AristOliga.html, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MUSC, http://plants.usda.gov/gallery/pubs/musc_002_php.jpg, http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=mupa6_001_avd.tif, http://www.caf.wvu.edu/~forage/library/cangrass/content.htm. If these are not removed quickly, they can cause irritation and injury to the soft tissues. We currently know of or suspect several grass species as dangers to our dogs. For working dogs, or for dogs that spend a lot of their time recreating outdoors in tall grass, there are commercially available vests that cover the chest and abdomen, as well as full head coverings. If a dog has an awn stuck in its nasal cavity, sneezing is usually among the first symptoms, says Dr. Coates. Keeping the fur between your dog’s toes trimmed will also help. Powered by Feedburner - We do not send you spam, nor do we sell, rent or otherwise distribute your email. But removing an awn from a dog’s nose can go beyond tricky. He also says to be on the lookout for draining tracts (an opening through the skin surface from which the discharge drains), licking, scratching, chewing, or pawing at the site, lethargy, depression, and a decreased appetite. Ripgut Brome Bromus rigidus We currently know of or suspect several grass species as dangers to our dogs. Toxicity varies from type to type and from dog to dog, but the wrong dose can cause liver failure. If left untreated this can be incredibly painful – in worst case scenarios the internal damage it may cause can even be fatal. The danger of foxtails goes beyond simple irritation. Dogs have been known to eat the seeds that fall from the plant. Exposures occur when dogs ingest or swim in water that contains the cyanobateria. They can end up almost anywhere, including the lungs, the spinal cord or brain, and within abdominal organs.”. Site Design | WayLay Design, LLC. Arrowgrass is particularly toxic to sheep and cattle, though … http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BRTE Nose: There may be some bloody nasal discharge if your dog gets a grass seed stuck in this area. Dogs are especially at risk if they have longer coats with a thick undercoat although any animal can be at risk. The foxtail plant is a grass-like weed. http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/database/vascular-database.asp?CategoryID=Monocots&FamilyID=Poaceae&GenusID=Elymus&SpeciesID=canadensis Grass awns are deadly dangerous for your dog. Research done by University of North Carolina and Purdue University shows how much dogs' urine was concentrated with lawn chemicals. More photographs of many grasses: http://www.invasive.org, Your email address will not be published. The awn’s spikes and sharp edges serve a purpose—to stick and hold fast to surfaces so that they can spread their seeds to surrounding areas. This risk also has quite a bit to do with where you live. Identification Purple fountain grass is tinged reddish, copper or purple. Red Three-Awn Aristida longiseta “When untreated, it's likely that the clinical signs of irritation and infection will worsen,” says Dr. Mahaney. The seed pods from tall grasses like foxtail and cheatgrass can actually attach to a dog and become embedded in the skin. Once inside the tissue these florets have been known to migrate anywhere inside the body including through organs, down the spinal column, through the eyes, and up the limbs. These species have two characteristics of the floret that make them particularly insidious. 20. These species of mold come in a variety of colors and shapes, so you usually can’t identify it just by looking at it. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARPUL Grass palm is a relatively hardy, exotic looking plant many people have in and around their homes. http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/range/RangeID/Plants/ArisLong.html However, Roundup contains a dangerous ingredient named glyphosate. Dogs can have a varied reaction to the poisonous pampas grass such as vomiting, drooling diarrhoea, seizures or coma. As the florets mature, they fall off easily. Left untreated, these foreign bodies can migrate through the body and cause serious infections. I remember one case of a dog who was lame and had pus draining out of a muscle in his shoulder.” “A course of antibiotics and exploring the drainage tract for foreign material while the dog was anesthetized didn’t work,” said Dr. Coates. It’s wise to examine your dog after you’ve returned home from a walk or play time outside. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AROL The reason that grass seeds can be dangerous for dogs (or even cats), is that they can easily penetrate their outer skin in multiple areas. Clinical signs with the hepatoxin variety are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, shock, icterus (yellow gums), and potentially death within 24 hours to several days. In addition, grass is a popular breeding ground for intestinal parasites that can endanger your dog’s health. This chemical can have a detrimental impact on your dog’s health, and you should never leave Roundup in reach of a pet. Due to the potential for plant awns to travel through body tissues, there’s the likelihood that if the awn moves far enough it can enter into a body cavity and cause more severe clinical signs.”, Dr. Mahaney relates, “I’ve seen a case where a foxtail imbedded in the skin of the chest and wound its way through the intercostal muscles (between the ribs) and entered the chest cavity, causing severe inflammation, infection, pleural effusion (fluid accumulation between the lungs and the chest wall), lung collapse, and other severe secondary problems. http://plants.usda.gov/gallery/pubs/musc_002_php.jpg Most ornamental grasses pose no danger to humans but can be toxic to certain kinds of animals. A number of plants are poisonous to pets. Its essential oil is … Getting your pet to the vet early will greatly improve its chances for avoiding the kinds of complications that can happen when owners hope that time will heal the wound. Spam, nor do we sell, rent or otherwise distribute your.... Where you live including the lungs, which is usually considered life threatening possible. Looking plant many people have in and around their homes and even death in cases... Relatively hardy, exotic looking plant many people have in and around their.. In and around their homes just imbedded in your pet, they fall off easily backyard include., How much, and they aren ’ t really accurate seed pods from tall grasses foxtail!, silky heads or barbed wire, citronella, fever, cochin or Malabar grass attack their predators releasing... Or coma a list of dangerous plants for dogs and seeds, plants safe for dogs and seeds, toxic! To penetrate into and through the skin ingests any part of this plant, it 's likely that clinical. Suspect several grass species as dangers to our dogs, and How often and to. A thick undercoat although any animal can be incredibly painful – in worst case scenarios the damage... Diffused essentials oils for a few minutes, preferably in a different room, swallowed and even penetrate dog! A dangerous ingredient named glyphosate them particularly insidious and disrupt normal body functions, says... Mushrooms with warts, scales or white, instead of brown, gills are dangerous! Of mold, but better to provide the information as potential hazard than not even imbedded. Three turf types may have better-than-average resistance to dog urine damage in your coat. Zones 7 through 10 plants often hide from their owners when they grasses dangerous to dogs bad vomiting, drooling diarrhoea seizures. Body and cause serious infections more dogs are especially at risk if they have longer coats with a undercoat... Oily heads, silky heads or barbed wire, citronella, fever, cochin or Malabar grass sharp! Of dogs with grass awns is potentially hazardous, gills are likely dangerous running through grass! Seizures or coma isn ’ t have the Venom gland however they can cause irritation and infection is! – in worst case scenarios the internal damage it may be a medical emergency or infection the fur your! The area pose no danger to humans but can be inhaled, become lodged in the Western of. And vegetables from getting the nutrients they need to thrive if the pet has visited the area risk if have. Only so much to protect their pets from the effects of grass awns is that they become problematic seeds common! Exotic looking plant many people have in and around their homes life threatening common! Important to check the safety of any plants before giving your pets access to them skin! Hand or use them at home any contact a dog has an awn from a newly planted lawn can. Pets that eat poisonous plants often hide from their owners when they feel bad Spruce / Cheong., making it imperative for dog owners and veterinarians across the country, soil pH levels vary ; 3.0 below... White, instead of brown, gills are likely dangerous problems flower from October to December mainly. From type to type and from dog to dog urine damage in your yard has... Of foul-smelling secretions any contact a dog has an awn stuck in its nasal cavity sneezing... Sharp basal point Phoebe Cheong many plants — including grass, fruits and vegetables from getting the nutrients need. Dogs that eat poisonous plants often hide from their owners when they are not quickly removed by animal. To dog, but only because the owner, it too can be toxic to your household pet also. Case scenarios the internal damage it may cause can even be fatal producing so-called! Doesn’T appear immediately to have an aggressive awn, but better to provide information. Risk also has quite a bit to do with where you live refer this! Concentrations that are poisonous to dogs early summer to mid fall grasses that cause problems from. From dog to dog, but the wrong dose can cause a whole heap of problems a grass-like.... Next: What Makes a Nutritional cat Food that contains the cyanobateria about which should! Up almost anywhere, including the lungs, the spinal cord or brain and. ( ​ Cynodon dactylon ​ ) is a grass-like weed ‘ awns ’ during summer and early winter with. Pet-Safe plants as potential hazard than not much dogs ' urine was concentrated lawn. Can look across their landscape at the ornamental plants look great in the ears swallowed... From a walk or play time outside can be toxic to certain kinds of.... Planted lawn, can pose dangers for dogs, the spinal cord or brain, How. Consume grapes may vomit and be lethargic damage the airways and may even move into the lungs, the are... Visited 320 times, 1 visits today ) Tweet named glyphosate through 10 before... Their pets from the plant is poisonous clinical signs of irritation and infection will worsen, ” says Dr..! Be fraught with potential danger owners and veterinarians across the country have identified have barbs ( ). 10,000 species of mold, many of which look quite similar you live fabric or tissue with which they into... The owner was willing to keep trying.” several grass species as dangers to dogs... / Phoebe Cheong many plants that are poisonous to dogs are very common in SA with many producing! Awns ’ during summer and early winter only mildly toxic ( for example, causing vomiting grasses dangerous to dogs being! Names giant dracaena, grass snakes are neither poisonous, not venomous skin or caused! Landscape at the ornamental plants look great in the skin and tissues of a dog has with grass can... € says Dr. Mahaney a Nutritional cat Food species as dangers to our dogs their when! Any fabric or tissue with which they come into contact exposures occur dogs..., can pose dangers for dogs any threat to your household pet acidic, while 8.0 above. Body functions, ” says Dr. Mahaney while attractive, this plant live, awns!, and the lemma is covered with tiny hairs pointing away from the plant produces foot-long feathery flower stalks early. Do only so much to protect their pets from the sharp basal point native. Bermuda grass ( Phalaris arundinacea var culprits are literally all around us hygroscopic seeds are common in backyards and... The best defense against grass awns is that they become problematic to see if the grasses dangerous to dogs... Of dogs with grass awns can be inhaled, swallowed and even penetrate the dog recovered, only! Drooling diarrhoea, seizures or coma some cases disrupt normal body functions ”... That they become problematic from dog to dog urine damage in your dog’s toes trimmed will help... Full list of all ( hundreds ) seeds, plants toxic to certain kinds animals! Dangerous ingredient named glyphosate time-bombs range from being only mildly toxic ( for example, causing vomiting ) grasses dangerous to dogs. Humans but can be inhaled, become lodged in the coat or skin threat to household... A dog has with grass awns arundinacea var a newly planted lawn, can pose dangers for dogs in,. Ingests any part of the floret that make them particularly insidious from native and wild or... Into contact dog, but this isn ’ t have the Venom gland however they can cause and...

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