It came as a Chipping Norton veterinary practice saved the life of a 15-month-old cocker spaniel whose lungs had collapsed after he inhaled grass seeds.

The owners of the dog, a brown-furred beauty called Archie, were unable to afford the full surgical fees. The life-saving care was paid for through a fund set up by vets conglomerate IVC Evidensia.

Dr Peter Kettlewell of Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, who carried out Archie’s surgery, said the spaniel initially came into the clinic with a fever. Scans revealed a pneumothorax and pyothorax; respectively air and pus inside the chest.

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“The problem was caused by grass seeds that had been breathed in days or even weeks before,” Dr Kettlewell said.

“Although we see many problems caused by grass seeds every summer, we are having a particularly bad season this year.

“We have seen a lot of dogs with grass seeds not just in their paws and ears, but also inhaled.

“Archie’s condition improved after we re-inflated the lung, but another CT scan and then ultrasound showed four grass seeds which had resulted in two abscesses in the chest cavity.

“We consulted specialists who said the chances of these seeds not causing catastrophic complications was virtually nil and surgery was advised.”

Two of the hospital’s vets used their £1,000 allocation from the IVC Evidensia Care Fund to help fund Archie’s surgery. The owners, who had reached their insurance limit, footed the rest of the bill.

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Dr Kettlewell said: “This dog would have died without the Care Fund.

“It enabled the owners who were very responsible but had used up their insurance limit to afford to go ahead with the lifesaving treatment.”

Archie went under the knife and within 72 hours had been discharged from the veterinary hospital.

Owner Laetisia Carter, from Chipping Norton, said: “Archie is bouncy and happy again and we are just so grateful to everyone at the hospital for all they did and for using the fund to help meet the costs.”

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