Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Mean seeds" and their role in grass awn migration disease in sporting dogs

Grass awn migration disease that affects sporting dogs is thought to have increased over the past few decades.

Short bristles found at the end of the grass seeds, especially in unmoved and natural grasslands, can infect sport dogs and at times they can be fatal.

Sharp pointed part of the barbed seed can travel into the dog's body and lodge themselves in many vital organs causing serious infections resulting in its death.

Dr. William Lauenroth received a grant from the Canine Health Foundation to assess the impact of this disease and also create a list of the problem green seeds and their planting frequency in the marginal croplands of the US.

Canada wild rye (photo courtesy: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Listen to Dr. Lauenroth talk about this disease, challenges associated with diagnosing it, and planting patterns of Canada wild rye, a grass with sharp pointed seed with awn in the marginal croplands in the US Midwest.

Access the podcast at the Canine Health Foundation's website -

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