Pet owners are bracing themselves for high vet bills this summer after a new study revealed that grass seeds being embedded in dog’s skin is the most common summer illness for pets in the UK.
Pet insurance provider AnimalFriends.co.uk have conducted analysis of claims last summer to reveal that just under 500 cases of this common pet illness occurred in the summer of 2015, setting owners back financially on average £337 to treat.
Owners of dogs with considerably longer coats have been warned that their pets are more sceptical to this illness as the grass seeds would be far more difficult to detect.
The pet insurance provider also revealed that a dog’s paws and ears were the most common places for grass seeds to be embedded.
AnimalFriends.co.uk’s Director of Claims and Marketing, Westley Pearson, speaking on this common summer illness said, “Although it can be tough to prevent grass seeds from entering your pet’s body, you can take some measures to protect your dogs.
“When walking your dog, try to avoid long grass, choosing to take a route with grass that’s been cut. This applies to your own garden at home too, as short grass is less of a danger when it comes to grass seeds.
“Trimming excessive hair around your pet’s ears, paws and armpits can also prevent grass seeds from taking a hold on your dog’s fur. Be careful not to cut the end off of any grass seeds in the process, as this can make them difficult to remove.”
According to the study, claims on grass seeds were 400% more than the second most common seasonal illness, melanoma. Some of the other most common summer illnesses were revealed to be lungworm, heat stroke and snake bites.
On the topic of tips to help owners prevent their dogs from getting ill after coming into contact with grass seeds, Mr Pearson added “Make sure to check your dog’s body thoroughly for grass seeds after every walk, and take note of any unusual or any different behaviour in your dog.
“If you think they may have a grass seed stuck somewhere in their body, or they are displaying some strange behaviour, take them to the vet straight away. The earlier the problem is identified, the quicker it can be treated before it spreads too far.”
Despite being the most claimed on summer illness, foxtail grass seed related illnesses were not revealed to be the most expensive to treat, that in fact was heat stroke, which can set owners back £895.
With this summer set to be the hottest the UK has seen in a century, heat stroke claims are set to increase considerably over the next few months.