I put this under ear problems because today these nasty little seeds were an ear problem. Some people call them "wild oats" (not the kind you wish you had sown, either). They are the little grass seeds from grasses that look sort of like stalks of wheat. In our part of the country, these are all over the place during the last couple of weeks in May and the first two weeks in June.
It’s actually not that common to find them inside a pet’s ears, that is, unless the pet is Jake, here. Last year about this time, he came to us after being treated with numerous ear drops and just not getting any better. A thorough ear-scoping revealed what looked a bit like a spider on his ear-drum. It was the little "fox-tail" spread out and poked in. If we had not had the good instrumentation with our MedRx video ear scope, I don’t know how we would have ever removed the foreign object from his ear-drum. It still wasn’t easy, even under anesthesia.
Today, he’s back, one year later with a fox-tail on BOTH eardrums. Is he a lucky guy or what? The somewhat dazed expression he’s sporting is because the picture was taken about the time he woke up again.
More commonly, we see these things under the eyelids, in the back of the mouth, and especially between the toes. The darn things have a point on one end, and they poke in between the toes. The dog comes in with a painful purple bulge between his toes.
In fact, there are barbs on the barbs. Once these things get started in, they embed pretty firmly and don’t come out very easily. They can be pretty hard to find, even when you numb up the toes and cut into the mess to probe it. The body tries to wall them off, and there is a lot of what our old family doctor used to refer to as "festering". Can you imagine having this under your eyelid, rubbing your eye?
We’ll be seeing a lot of these over the next couple of weeks. There probably won’t be many more down in the ears, though.