Recently, we posted on social media about the dangers that a simple grass seed can cause. We were subsequently contacted by a lovely family whose dog had experienced at first hand the trauma that a grass seed can incur. They reached out because they want to help highlight what can happen – this is their story in their own words:

Warning – this article contains graphic detail that some may find upsetting.

I am Sandra and I have a border terrier called Billy, we live opposite Southchurch Park in Southend. Billy came into my life a year after I lost my best friend Sonny (Welsh Springer Spaniel) in a house fire. Billy was a year old when he came to live with me and I was his 3rd owner.

A few days before the 17th April I noticed Billy wasn’t right, he was walking funny and struggling to walk up and down the stairs, he also had a dry cough. I wasn’t happy with how he was, he couldn’t get comfortable and kept whining, so I took him to the emergency vets in Basildon.

He had a temperature of 38.5C and still had the dry cough, they kept him in over night.

I picked him up the next day and took him straight to another vet in Southend, where they said he had an infection in his body and gave him antibiotics.

I kept mentioning about the dry cough but they said to take the antibiotics and come back in 3/4 weeks.

A couple of days later I noticed Billy was showing the same symptoms again, but worse than before, so I took him straight up to the vets again and he was then booked in to have an ultrasound.

They gave him pain relief and sent him home.

By 10pm that night Billy was crying in pain crawling around the floor not settling at all and I was beside myself so I then took him back up to the vets in Basildon. As I lifted Billy in to the car he went to bite me which is totally out of character for him, so that’s when I really knew something wasn’t right with him.

At the vets Billy couldn’t even get out of the car and fell on to the concrete, he still had a high temperature and his breathing was getting erratic.

They kept asking me if he had fallen over which he hadn’t fallen over. I kept asking them if he was going to be OK, I was still bedside myself with worry. They said he was going to be OK, the vet then said he is walking round better now so gave him painkillers that would last around 8 hours. They wanted to sell me 4 days of Tramadol but I said as he is having a procedure the next morning at 9am, he would only need one; they didn’t listen to me at all, but I insisted he only needed one, my bill then went down from £188 to £148!

In the morning Billy went back to the vet in Southend for his ultrasound, and they called me at lunchtime telling me they had found a mass under his ribcage by his lung, I was devastated ? .

By this time my friend said let’s get a second opinion and take him to a different vet practice in Southend. By this point Billy couldn’t even walk properly.

We took him to this third vet practice in Southend and they immediately carried out a CT scan and drained 300g of puss from my Billy, they then went on to say he needs specialist treatment that they could not offer it there, it was either take him there or have him put to sleep.

The next day my friend and I rushed Billy to a vet in Laindon, WHERE he underwent major life saving surgery. He was cut open from his neck to his scrotum and he stayed there for 8 days.

It was a horrendous ordeal in my life and I never ever want to go through anything like that again and this is why I’m trying to raise awareness of the evil grass seed.

My current vet bill stands at around £13,000; we have set up a go fund me page to help with the costs and we have also set up a raffle of Facebook to raise money.

If you’d like to help, here’s the link to Billy’s GoFundMe page:

Additional note from PDWA Admin: This is a long and very distressing story, we sincerely hope that Billy makes a full and speedy recovery.

Please help us and Sandra raise awareness of the dangers of grass seeds by sharing this post. The information sheet below was written for us by Dr Victoria Strong of VIP Professionals further highlighting the dangers of grass seeds, what to do if you suspect your dog has ingested one and how to help prevent a grass seed injury occurring.

Thank you for reading. We hope you and your furry friends stay safe.