Hadleigh: Pooch Riley’s mystery lump was grass seed growing inside him

HADLEIGH: Vets were baffled by the mysterious lump growing on Riley’s side – and they were even more surprised when they discovered the cause.

Vicky Betts noticed the lump on her pet pooch last month and, being a veterinary nursing assistant, she decided to take springer spaniel to work for some expert advice.

The 25-year-old, who works at Highcliff Veterinary Practice in Hadleigh, said: “The vet had a feel and took a biopsy and gave Riley some anti-inflammatories.”

She added: “It just looked like he had knocked himself but when the drugs didn’t work and the lump got even bigger, I brought him back into work.”

Veterinary surgeon Sarah Tavener decided the best option was to remove the lump from the two-year-old springer spaniel.


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It was not until Riley was on the operating table that the vet realised the full extent of what had happened.

She said: “After considerable probing, I found a tract leading in towards the chest which indicated that it was likely to be a foreign body.

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“I managed to free the lump from the body wall and stitch up the dog’s wound.

“The lump was cut in half and seemed to have pockets of pus, but when we squeezed it a tiny grass seed popped out from its centre.”

She said the cheeky pooch must have inhaled the grass seed last summer and since then it had been migrating through his body, causing a reaction under the skin.

Mrs Betts added: “He effectively had grass growing inside him.

“During the summer he often has grass seeds in his feet but he has never had a problem like this.

“There are no grass seeds about yet so he must have inhaled it last year and it has been in his system trying to grow out.

“He is a nutty springer spaniel and he often comes back covered in grass seeds.”

Mrs Betts said while it was rare for cases like Riley’s to be seen at the practice, they did see a lot of dogs with grass seeds stuck in between their paws in long hair.

“It is very common to see dogs, particularly springer spaniels, with grass seeds that have worked their way into the skin around paws or ears, but this was quite unusual,” she added.

“Owners of long-coated breeds should check through their dog’s coats and around their ears, paws and face after walks at this time of year.”

n Tell us your pet stories. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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