Meet Panda. Panda presented to Animal Emergency Service at Carrara one weekend with acute back pain and elevated temperature. He had no previous history of spinal issues that could potentially bring on these problems and with further testing (x-rays and bloods) still, nothing could be pinpointed as the cause of the pain. Panda was sent off to have a CT scan of his spine to investigate a more in-depth reason for his symptoms, but again sadly, no definitive cause was found.


Panda’s hopeful owners took him home on a trial course of pain relief to see if this would help decrease the pain when combined with strict rest as well. Unfortunately only one week later Panda returned to AES again for his recurrent back pain issue.

The next course of action was surgery which his loving owners consented to. Once in surgery, the cause of the issue was finally pinpointed with much confusion… As it turned out, the persistent pain was caused by three small grass seeds which had lodged into his back so deep it wasn’t seen or felt by a physical exam and had caused an extremely nasty abscess border lining his spine. One of the worst cases of grass seed abscesses to be seen by the vets. This was flushed, then removed, drained, flushed again and the wound treated.

Grass Seeds

Safe to say Panda is a very lucky boy that his owners were persistent with his pain management which led him to have the surgery. Grass seeds are an extremely common issue seen within the veterinary field which causes a very painful response when they lodge themselves into our furry pets’ bodies. They are difficult to diagnose and most pets need a general anaesthetic to have them removed. Grass seeds occur more commonly in the summer months after a period of rain when new grass shoots appear. The risk can be minimised by keeping lawns short and regularly doing full body checks if pets are running through long grass. This photo was taken the day Panda went home… Happy as anything, all better and back to his giant playful self!

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