Dog Vest to Prevent Mean Seeds

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this (& actually my wife was the first in our house - I'm apparently pretty slow on the uptake), but I haven't seen it mentioned on UPH (maybe I've just missed it). Since I'm now convinced mean seeds have killed BOTH my springers, my next one WILL wear a vest to at least help minimize the chances of grass awns introducing themselves through the skin. Please consider this as a preventative measure for YOUR dog. And be aware that these things can enter your dog any number of ways. Paws, eyes, ears, larynx, skin, whatever. Read through the entire sticky thread "Dangerous seeds" at the top of this forum.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Active member
I guess I don't have any experience other than neoprene. But I would the armpits would just collect seeds and the vest moving around would just work them in to the chest. Sorry to hear about your dog.
 

UplandHntr

Active member
Ive used 900 denier vests from Cabelas for many years. They dont interfere with anything. My last trip to SD my Springer put a 3” rip in the middle of the chest. I assume from barbed wire. That wouldve been really bad on her without the vest.
 

FCSpringer

Super Moderator
Sorry my friend. There is no vest that will protect your dog from grass awns. The only thing you can do is avoid it, and complain to PF, USDA, and legislators. They have to stop planting it.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
Sorry my friend. There is no vest that will protect your dog from grass awns. The only thing you can do is avoid it, and complain to PF, USDA, and legislators. They have to stop planting it.
Agree about PF, USDA, etc. But don't you think this would help reduce the chances greatly of an awn entering through the skin? Eyes, ears, mouth, feet...no. But I'd think this would help. If I get through this fiasco without intense paranoia, I'll be very happy.
View attachment 8856
Stole this online. Photo credit to this dog & owner. Also, like his Red Label. I have one just like it.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
I've used those vests from Cabelas for years. Only problem is they wear out in a season. Now I've been buying similar vests from Sylmar Dogwear http://sylmardogwear.com/ They are more expensive but made much better and last longer. The last one I got from my female Brittany I had custom made. Instead of the bottom of the vest having a cutout for male dogs I had them make it without the cutout to provide my female with some added protection. They did at no additional cost. If you want one made like that just send them and email or give Jerry a call. Great people to work with.

As for whether or not a vest like this will prevent grass awns from getting into your dog? Probably not, but it sure isn't going to hurt anything. I like the protection and visibility the vest affords.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
George, thanks for the insight. I'd read an old thread on vests & people were talking about Sylmar there too.

"Prevent" awns....no. But wouldn't it greatly reduce the number of seeds that get caught in the fur, & therefore reduce the possibility of an awn entering through the skin?? Am I missing something here? Sometimes those little seeds are a real bugger to find & remove from the fur, even on a short-clipped dog.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
Earlier in the season I still find a lot of weed seeds in Bree's coat. Not so much this time of year with snow, etc.

You need to get the Spring pup that FCSpringer has.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
Earlier in the season I still find a lot of weed seeds in Bree's coat. Not so much this time of year with snow, etc.

You need to get the Spring pup that FCSpringer has.
I'm definitely on the lookout. Sounds like FC's pup found a home.
When I DO have somebody to do all the sniffing, I'll definitely buy a vest. It'll be interesting to see how many stickers & seeds it actually seems to keep off him.
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
I suspect most awns enter through the nose, eyes, ears, mouth, or feet. Awns entering through the skin on the body have to be fairly low in percentage.
 

reddog

Active member
I'm with FC and Brittman. I dont think a vest will help much to protect from dangerous awns. If fact, it may trap awns that would normally fall by the wayside. Ingestion/inhalation and entrance through an opening is the fastest way for an awn to get started. Fast onset illnesses are almost always inhalation based.
 
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BRITTMAN

Active member
Both. The can enter through the skin too. I remember now that I had to go to a vet in the early 1990s and have a seed awn removed from my dogs foot (penetrated between her toes).

An excerpt from the link I posted in the other mean seed thread:

How they get in
Grass awns and plant material are thought to enter the mouth or nose when a dog is breathing hard as it runs through a field. The plant material can migrate through the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract or other tissues, or it can penetrate through the skin and migrate elsewhere. Grass awns have backward-pointing barbs that prevent retrograde movement. This makes normal clearing mechanisms ineffective, and grass awns will migrate deeper with normal motion.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
I've made an appointment w/ a vet who specializes in gun dogs to educate myself more on this. But are you guys suggesting that awns get into the stomach, or caught in the esophagus, & cause problems that way?
 

reddog

Active member
All Im saying is that when you have a fast onset illness like I did with Breez, and you had with Buzz, (especially during hunting season like both ours were) it probably started from an inhaled or ingested awn, or more than one..
 

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
All Im saying is that when you have a fast onset illness like I did with Breez, and you had with Buzz, (especially during hunting season like both ours were) it probably started from an inhaled or ingested awn, or more than one..
Agreed, as did the vet.
 

FCSpringer

Super Moderator
Yes they can be eaten, or inhaled. I know one dog that took one up the sheath of his penis. I have a body in the lung of my boy now. Been on antibiotics for a year and a half. Has not collapsed it yet. Hoping his body will wall it off. Ended his field trial career. As said above, it can burrow in to the body anywhere. It moves or travels because of the barbs, or awns. Designed to burrow in to dirt for germination.
 
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