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Jasper’s Summer Woes

By Helen Burns | Dated February 1, 2021

Summer means lots of things to lots of people, but in vet hospitals like Gordon Vet, Summer often means grass seed abscesses. Most commonly these occur as a small swelling between the toes, that dogs will lick incessantly. Occasionally however, they turn up in odd places and we wonder just how the grass seed arrived at its destination. This is the case with Jasper, the nearly 12 year old labrador. He came in last week with a lump on the side of his neck that had appeared quite quickly. Being a labrador, Jasper wasn’t too worried, and had eaten his breakfast very contentedly despite the large lump on his neck. Later in the day he was given a general anaesthetic and the lump was surgically drained and explored. Sure enough, like finding a needle in a haystack, in the midst of this 10cm diameter lump there was a single grass seed! How it got there we will never know for sure, however being a labrador we are inclined to suspect that he had eaten the grass seed, and that the grass seed had gone astray from his oesophagus.

Most importantly, Jasper is now doing well. He is due to have the drains removed in a couple of days, and his stitches will come out in a week or so.     

Written by Helen Burns

Helen graduated from Sydney Uni in 1997 with First Class Honours and worked in a practice on the Northern Beaches for 16 years. Helen joined the Gordon Vet team early in 2014 and our clients have really enjoyed getting to know her. She loves being a vet and takes a keen interest in all of her patients. Her gentle, friendly nature helps pets to feel relaxed when they visit the vet. Helen lives locally and has 3 children. At least one of her children seems destined to be a vet! When not ferrying her children around, Helen cares for her menagerie of pets. These include Chloe the dog, Obi and Leia the cats, Little Cocky the galah and Rosie the very tame eclectus parrot who all happily coexist at her house. In her spare time, Helen likes to be active outdoors, running, kayaking, camping or playing any manner of sport with her children.

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