As we approach the middle of summer, dog owners have been warned that their pets are sceptical to a number of a common illness that occur around this time of year, with certain treatments setting owners back hundreds of pounds.

A new study from pet insurance provider AnimalFriends.co.uk, based on insurance claims made in the summer of 2015, has revealed that the most common summer illness facing pets is foxtail grass seeds being embedded in dog’s flesh.

Treatment for this illness can cost pet owners on average £337 and dogs with longer coats in particular are the most likely to suffer.

AnimalFriends.co.uk’s study also revealed that the most likely places to find injuries of this kind was either was in a dog’s paw or ear.

Speaking about how owners can help prevent this illness, AnimalFriends.co.uk’s Director of Claims and Marketing, Westley Pearson, said “Although it can be tough to prevent grass seeds from entering your pet’s body, you can take some measures to protect your dogs.

“When walking your dog, try to avoid long grass, choosing to take a route with grass that’s been cut. This applies to your own garden at home too, as short grass is less of a danger when it comes to grass seeds.

“Trimming excessive hair around your pet’s ears, paws and armpits can also prevent grass seeds from taking a hold on your dog’s fur. Be careful not to cut the end off of any grass seeds in the process, as this can make them difficult to remove.”

Despite numerous ways to prevent this illness, the study also revealed that grass seed claims were 400% higher than the second most common summer illness last year, melanoma.

In regards to preventing dogs from becoming ill after coming into contact with foxtail grass seeds, Westley Pearson has advised owners to check their dog’s body thoroughly for grass seeds after every walk as well as looking out for unusual behaviour.

In addition, Pearson said, “If you think they may have a grass seed stuck somewhere in their body, or they are displaying some strange behaviour, take them to the vet straight away. The earlier the problem is identified, the quicker it can be treated before it spreads too far.”

As well as foxtail grass seeds and melanoma, other illnesses that were very common last summer included lungworm, snake bites and heat stroke, which was revealed to be the costliest illness to treat last year, on average costing £895.

With this summer set to be the hottest it’s been in a 100 years, cases of heat stroke to increase considerably.

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