Awns, often known as “ears of grass,” can pose an insidious threat to dogs, especially during the summer and fall months. In this article, we'll look at what awns are, how they can harm your dog, and what preventive measures you can take to protect your dog from these natural dangers.
Understanding of awns
Awns are small, often sharp-edged seeds from various types of grass and grain. They have barbs that can get stuck in the fur and penetrate deeper into your dog's skin, ears, eyes or paws, leading to painful inflammation.
Identify hazards and health risks
These inconspicuous plant parts can cause serious injuries. They can burrow through the skin and cause abscesses and internal inflammation. It becomes particularly dangerous when awns are absorbed through the respiratory tract and lead to serious complications.
Risk areas and susceptible dog breeds
Awns are particularly found in rural areas, on paths and meadows. Long-haired dog breeds and those with a lot of fur between their toes are particularly susceptible to awn invasion. But caution is also advised with short-haired dogs.
To protect your dog from awns, you should check his coat regularly, especially after walks through natural areas. Trimming excess fur, particularly around ears, paws and under the tail, can also help reduce the risk.
First aid for awn infestation
If you discover or suspect an awn in your dog's skin, do not attempt to remove it yourself, as this may cause further damage. Instead, contact your veterinarian who can safely remove the awn and treat the affected area.
Long-term prevention and regular checks
After an awn infestation, it is important to check your dog regularly for new awns and signs of infection. Watch for signs such as licking or nibbling on certain parts of the body, shaking the head, sneezing, or visible skin irritation.
- Awns can cause serious health problems in dogs and must be taken seriously.
- Inspect your dog regularly, especially after a walk in nature, to detect awns early.
- Long-haired and hard-working dog breeds are particularly at risk, although no dog is immune.
- Grooming and trimming the coat can serve as preventive measures.
- Do not attempt to remove awns yourself, but contact a veterinarian for safe removal.
- After an awn infestation, keep the affected area clean and pay attention to your dog's behavior in order to be able to react early to a possible infection.
If you have concerns or would like to learn more about preventing awn problems, alphazoo is here to provide you with expertise and support. We'll help you get your best friend through the awning season safe and healthy.