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Have the dog remove awns from the dog?


The small, pointed parts of plants on ears of corn and grasses, so-called awns, are not as harmless as they look. When walking or playing in the cornfield, the dog can catch awns that dig deep into the sensory organs or the skin. There they can cause inflammation, which can be very painful for the dog. It is not always easy to remove awns yourself with tweezers - so if in doubt, always go to the vet with your four-legged friend. Ears of corn look nice, but can be dangerous for the dog - Shutterstock / Mat Hayward

The veterinarian can then investigate where the awns have settled and gently remove them. Medical help is required, especially if a purulent abscess has already developed. Take care of your dog in summer and at the beginning of autumn: if he behaves strangely after the walk, scratches and licks constantly in the same place, he may have caught an awn.

Dog caught awns: symptoms

Awn can get stuck in the dog's ears, eyes or nose, for example. However, via the webbed skin between the toes, they can also penetrate the paws and penetrate deep into the skin. A dog usually shows quite clearly that something is bothering him or causing him pain. So look carefully if your four-legged friend limps after the walk or licks its paw extensively or nibbles on it. Shaking your head may indicate that an awn is hidden in your ear, as can a noticeable crooked head. If the dog has to sneeze constantly, it may be due to awns in the nose.

Awns can cause conjunctivitis in the eyes if they are not removed in time. If your dog squinting and blinking more often than usual, it may be a sign of a foreign object in the eye. Later the eye starts to water or shows the first symptoms of inflammation such as severe redness.

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When the vet has to help

At the latest when inflammation has already developed, you should consult a veterinarian. However, a visit beforehand is also recommended if you are unable to locate and remove the awns yourself. The plant parts have fine barbs so that they sit very tightly. Dogs are also particularly sensitive to the sensory organs and paws. The dog may move while trying to remove the awns, and as a result, the parts of the plant may penetrate even deeper. Also, never use ear sticks if you want to get awns out of the dog's ears. The risk of injury is far too great.