Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from grass seeds after a Staffordshire bull terrier was mistaken for an entirely different breed due to her swollen face. Seven-year-old Mya was rushed to the hospital after her face dramatically ballooned to almost twice its size due to a reaction from a stray gas seed.
Her face was so swollen vets wrongly thought she was a Shar Pei.
The veterinary staff was left baffled to see that the extreme swelling left her looking like a different breed entirely.
The seven-year-old dog had lost her characteristic Staffy snout and gained a chubby face with deep wrinkles more like a Shar Pei.
The pet was suffering from low thyroid levels and an abscess caused by the grass awn – which are sharp bristles that grow from grasses and meadow plants.
Vets at Southfields Veterinary Specialists treated Mya with thyroid hormone supplementation before removing the awn once she felt better.
The pet is back home with her owner after making a full recovery at the Linnaeus-owned animal hospital, based in Basildon, Essex.
Mya’s owner Karine Foster, from Essex, said she first noticed something was wrong when Mya stopped eating and drinking.
She said: “Mya became very unwell, very quickly. She was lethargic and had stopped eating and drinking.
“Tests at Southfields confirmed Mya had thyroid problems and a grass awn was actually causing the abscess.
“The good news is Mya is completely back to her old self following surgery to remove the grass awn and medication to treat her low thyroid levels.
“Southfields were amazing from the very first visit and we had regular updates from them during and after her procedure.”
Vets explained how they were left shocked after initially examining Mya.
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Aldara Eiras-Diaz, internal medicine consultant, and Raquel del Solar, internal medicine resident, both took charge of Mya’s care.
Aldara said: “It’s difficult to remember such an extreme case of swelling than that of Mya.
“When she came to Southfields she had swelling of the face and extremities, as well as swelling in the lower part of the neck.
“Her underactive thyroid was causing a condition called mixedema, which causes swelling of the skin and underlying tissues.
“Mya was quickly started on thyroid hormone supplementation which worked incredibly well and the swelling in her face and legs reduced significantly.
“The grass awn was then removed when she was feeling better.
“It’s great to see that Mya is feeling like her old self again and is once again looking like a Staffordshire bull terrier.”
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