The Grass Awn project started when I had a field-bred English Springer Spaniel that suffered recurring bouts of unexplained illness approximately every three months for almost a year. Tai’s illness finally culminated in a pyothorax that required chest drains at the University of Wisconsin – Madison veterinary hospital. About this same time, one of our friends had a dog with a very similar case history right down to almost identical timing of his symptoms showing up, but Mo wasn’t so fortunate as Tai and died of his infection. As I kept digging into the problem, I learned of other dogs that were or had been ill and an unfortunate number that died, at least some because neither their owners nor their veterinarians recognized the source of the problem until it was too late to begin effective treatment. I started this site to provide a source of information around this issue and to facilitate gathering of case history data so that we can attempt to formulate an action plan to reduce the numbers of affected dogs and save others the worry and heartache that I’ve been through with my own dogs and those of my friends.