May 18, 2024

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During my daily walks with my two dogs in late spring, I often find individual stalks with awns in the tall grass. The area’s vast barley and wheat fields are still green, but he might spot an ear or two of yellow corn along the road.

To reduce the risk to your dog, you should closely monitor him after walks. By the way, awn season is from June to August.

Why are awns dangerous to animals?

The great danger of awns is their thorns. This means that small ears of corn can get stuck in your dog’s or cat’s fur and, if undetected, can migrate under the skin and cause serious inflammation and abscesses.

Severe irritation can occur if plant parts enter the ears, nose, eyes, or other body orifices. Some dogs lose their eyes or become deaf in one ear. There have also been cases of awns entering the trachea and airways through the nose. If such inflammation is detected too late, it can be life-threatening to the animal.

First aid for awns: what you can do!

First, take a deep breath. If the awn is still visible and only superficially attached to the fur, it can be carefully removed. However, please be careful. If the animal has penetrated the skin and is no longer visible, remove your hands and go to the vet immediately!²

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Recognize the symptoms of awn

Of course, sometimes you can’t find the awn right away. If your animal is acting out of the ordinary, keep a close eye on it. Typical symptoms of awn include:

  • The shaking became louder
  • frequent sneezing
  • Increased ear itching and pain
  • scratch violently in a specific area
  • Frequent licking or nibbling of the affected foot
  • Humpern
  • keep your head tilted

Preventive grooming after a walk

Regular fur checks after walks are a must at this point, and can actually become a comfortable routine. You’ll already be practicing this, even just looking for ticks. Pay special attention here and especially look at the eyes, ears, nose, and nostril areas.

As agrarheute³ reports, “Dogs with medium-length coats are especially at risk,” such as on the toes, around the eyes, and around the ears.





Important note: This article is for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact your veterinarian and, if necessary, your dog school.

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