16 May 2011

Grass did NOT grow in this dog's lung

It was about two years ago that I wrote a long post explaining why a pine tree did NOT grow inside a Russian man's lung.  Now a similar story has cropped up in The Evening Star regarding a dog:
Vets were baffled by the mysterious lump growing on Riley’s side – and they were even more 
surprised when they discovered the cause...

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

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. 
She's right about the method of acquisition (inhalation).  As I explained in the post about the Russian man with the pine inflorescence in his lung, when seed like that shown at the left enters the bronchial tree, the "spikes" can prevent it being coughed out, and it actually migrates distally with each compressive cough - eventually "pointing" at the chest wall as an abscess.

It's just unfortunate that she used the phrase that the grass was "growing" in the lung, when she meant that the inflammatory process was growing.

More details and links to relevant medical literature at the old post.  Story via Nothing To Do With Arbroath.

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