Studies show bright yellow crop’s foliage and seeds can spark reactions in dogs

A dog owner has told how she feared for her pet’s life after he suffered a severe allergic reaction to rapeseed.

Three-year-old Bruno had sores around his eyes and ears after running through a field containing the bright yellow crop.

The foxhound and beagle cross had darted off while on a country walk with owner Rosy Cross and her partner, Andy, and eventually returned to his Widnes home with the rapeseed on his fur.

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New mum Rosy said: “Andy had taken our three dogs for a weekend walk near a big field full of rapeseed and when Bruno disappeared Andy spent a good hour and a half looking for him.

“He eventually had to go to work but asked me to watch out for Bruno because we thought he would come home off his own steam.

“About an hour later Bruno reappeared covered in rapeseed. He was all yellow on his back, and around his eyes and ears the skin had come away with the fur and it was just bloody flesh.

“I’d been cross with Bruno for running off, but as soon as I saw him I instantly felt sorry for him,” she added. “At first, I thought it was bee stings and was worried his throat would swell up and stop him breathing.”

Rosy rushed Bruno to the Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Warrington which provides out-of-hours care for pets in the area.

“I’d only had my son, Roman, three weeks before so it was all a bit of a handful to get there, but the staff were quickly on top of the situation,” she said.

Image of Bruno's owner Rosy and her baby for Vets Now article on rapeseed and dogs
Owner Rosy was horrified to see Bruno's injuries after he ran through a field of rapeseed

At the clinic, Bruno was washed and given a steroid injection to bring down the swelling as well as antibiotics to prevent the broken skin from developing an infection.

Louise Littler, senior vet at Vets Now in Warrington, said: “Bruno’s coat was stained yellow and covered in pollen so we had a strong suspicion he had been through a field of rapeseed.

“We hadn’t come across this issue before, but thankfully, after flushing Bruno’s eyes and face with saline and bathing him, he seemed much more comfortable.”

Several studies have shown oilseed rape foliage and seeds to be toxic to dogs.

There have also been numerous anecdotal reports of people and animals suffering severe allergic reactions after coming into contact with the plant.

Image of Bruno the dog lying on the grass for Vets Now article on rapeseed and dogs
Vets were able to flush the pollen from Bruno's eyes and make him more comfortable

Rosy added: “I hadn’t heard about rapeseed being a problem for dogs and I’m sure other dog owners aren’t aware either. We’ll be keeping Bruno on a lead near any rapeseed fields, particularly when it is flowering.”

The pet emergency clinic in Warrington — where Bruno received treatment — is one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and hospitals that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.

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