Oh No not again

Ozzie’s foot has flared up again, looks like we are back to the vet. The wound after surgery was healing well and Ozzie has been enjoying the liberty of being off the lead again – it has been purgatory for all concerned keeping him on the lead – but yesterday it was looking angry again, and today he has begun limping and licking it. We tried to cover it up with an old sock but I think he had that off in less than five minutes, which is pretty unusual, so it must be bothering him.

It seems amazing that all this could be due to a seed – one of those dart-like barley seeds, in all probability.  We had our first problem in July, when the grass was long. We were actually pulling seeds out of the flesh between his claws on his front-left paw, but must have missed one. The back of his foot became swollen and he was obviously in discomfort, so we were off to the vet. The vet tried to remove any foreign body manually, but couldn’t. So Ozzie had to be operated on. The vet cleared out loads of inflamed rubbish, but couldn’t find anything that was clearly causing the problem. They feared that it might flare up again. It was quite a scene taking Ozzie home – trying to get a heavy Spinone in the back of the car still woozy from the anaesthetic, apparently all bones removed. Then we had the healing period trying to keep the paw clean and dry, with lots of dressing changes and gentle exercise, and then finally stitches out and recovery.

But come early October, and the same leg is swollen, red and angry a bit higher up, and Ozzie is limping, so back we go, another operation, more time on the lead, dressing changes, stitches out, apparently better… and now this again.

Interestingly our Vet mentioned that when he started out as a Vet in Wales, he hardly ever saw a grass seed problem.  When he moved here, he was warned he would see them frequently each summer, but didn’t believe it until dogs like Ozzie started to roll in. Apparently spaniels  – and obviously Italian Spinones – are most at risk, and the seeds can be a real danger if they penetrate into the body or armpit area, as then they can travel to dangerous and inaccessible places. Ho hum, I suppose we should be glad it is just Ozzie’s paw.  He’s looking disconsolate at the moment, and that is pretty much how we feel, too.

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