Dog owners have been warned to be on the lookout for grass seeds while walking their pets, after one pooch almost died.

Archie, a 15-month-old cocker spaniel, needed major surgery to save his life after breathing in grass seeds.

Owner Laetisia Carter feared she may lose her beloved hound before a team at the hospital carried out the delicate two-hour procedure.

Now, after vets say the soggy summer has led to them seeing a surge in grass seeds cases, Laetisia is backing calls for other owners to be aware of the potential dangers.

The Argus: Cocker spaniel, Archie, became seriously ill after breathing in grass seeds while on a walkCocker spaniel, Archie, became seriously ill after breathing in grass seeds while on a walk (Image: My Family Vets)

“Archie is usually full of energy, but he was really off and wasn’t eating or drinking,” said Laetisia, from Chipping Norton.

“We had no idea what was causing it, but his breathing became laboured and he looked so unwell one evening we knew we had to get some help.

“He couldn’t really stand up and I was so worried I drove him straight to the hospital.”

Archie was given an X-ray and CT scans which showed he had a collapsed lung and two abscesses, containing a total of four seeds, in his chest cavity.

“The chances of these seeds not causing catastrophic complications was virtually nil, so surgery was required,” said Dr Peter Kettlewell, Clinical Director at Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, part of My Family Vets.

“These seeds could have been breathed in days or even weeks before."

“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."

“They can be really dangerous and dogs that sniff the grass heavily, like spaniels, are particularly prone to problems.”

Thankfully the major operation, which involved fully opening Archie’s chest, was a success and he was allowed home within 72 hours.

“He’s bouncy and happy again and we are just so grateful to everyone at the hospital for all they did,” said Laetisia

“I had absolutely no idea of the dangers before, but now I’ve seen these arrowhead grass seeds everywhere.

“I’ve really been thinking through where we take him on walks. I’ve been taking him more to woodland areas where there’s not such dense grass and lots of seeds.

“It was really worrying, and I’ve been trying to make as many people as possible aware of what can happen.”