It’s important to watch out for spear grass, especially during the summer months according to West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Oz. (Black Press Media file photo)

It’s important to watch out for spear grass, especially during the summer months according to West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Oz. (Black Press Media file photo)

West Kelowna vet warns about dangers of spear grass

Dr. Oz from Rose Valley Veterinary said spear grass can lead to infections when left untreated

West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Oz is advising pet owners to be vigilant when it comes to spear grass.

Spear grass is a type of wild grass that has barbed seed heads. The heads are so sharp they can lodge in pets’ paws, bodies, ears, and even their noses.

Oz said spear grass can be found everywhere.

“It’s in the sidewalks, it’s in the forests, it’s in the woods. It’s all around us. Usually, it’s around starting from May, June until September,” he said.

A simple way to keep dogs out of harm’s way is to make sure dogs and owners aren’t walking around where there is spear grass. Oz said owners with smaller dogs should keep an eye out, especially since the barbed seed heads can easily get lodged into smaller ones.

He said it’s important to check pets’ paws after a walk outside and immediately take out the seed heads. If left untreated, the wound can get infected and cause more pain for the pet.

Oz added sometimes, it’s hard to notice especially when the spear grass heads get lodged inside pets’ ears, which can develop into a wound that can be challenging to navigate.

“If it’s an acute case, the owner will come saying the dog keeps shaking their head, howling and exhibiting some pain… it’s dangerous when it’s lodged deep in the ear because it can rupture the eardrum.”

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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