Lots of people ask us whether our work is seasonal. With cattle or horse veterinary work it is very seasonal, but with us here at Kelperland there is a standard degree of variation the whole year round.

Every day is different, but we don’t tend to see seasonal illnesses or trends.

Except grass seeds. Grass seeds are incredible things and this year has been a crazy year for grass seeds, we’ve had countless cases of them causing trouble. We do see a handful each summer, but this year has been far more than normal. We don’t know why, perhaps a wet start to June and a hot end created perfect grass growing conditions? Who knows, but they are a nuisance. Thankfully they only very very rarely cause serious illness in our pets. This summer we’ve found grass seeds stuck in dog’s eyes, ears and feet. All of these cases required sedation to find and remove the grass seed. The design of the seed allows it to be move easily in one direction, eg into the ear, but it’s ‘legs’ at the back prevent it from coming back out again on its own. As soon as the seed is removed it’s problem solved so it is very satisfying!

We had one case of young Bobby, the German Shepherd. He came in one Friday night a few weeks ago with a painful side suddenly. Every time the owner touched him he yelped, which was very unusual. Simon saw him and clipped the hair off his side which revealed a reddened area of skin around the size of a 50p piece… There was a tiny hole present… So Simon sedated him and surgically opened up the tiny hole… Of course it was a grass seed! This was actually a close shave, if grass seeds get stuck in a dog’s ear or eye they can’t really go anywhere. But if they go inside the skin on a dog’s side they can travel almost anywhere within the body and cause trouble. Thankfully we found it and Bobby has made a full recovery!

In terms of preventing your dog getting grass seeds, it is very difficult. Try and avoid grass meadows with high grass and that will reduce the risk, but clearly grass is everywhere and it’s important for our dogs that they get to go out on their walks, we can’t keep them inside!

Hopefully we’re approaching the end of ‘grass seed season’ now but we will wait and see!

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