Beware the grass seed

Beware the grass seed


Posted 13th Jul 2016 by Peter Byrne


Grass seeds are one of the most common problems faced by dogs during the summer months - and can even have deadly consequences if left unattended

Easily latching onto your dog's body, grass seeds can lead to some dangerous complications. With a pointed head and arrow-shaped fibres, the seeds cling on to fur, and can end up lodged anywhere. The most commonly affected areas are between the dog's paw pads - the interdigital space - and in the ear canal. Owners of breeds with shaggy paws and long ears, such as spaniels, are particularly susceptible.

To help you identify the presence of a grass seed, we've rounded up the signs and symptoms:

The signs of a grass seed in your dog's nose are...

Your dog may start to sneeze continuously or rubs its face and nose, while suffering breathing difficulties.

The signs of a grass seed in your dog's eyes are...

The eye may start to appear watery while swelling and appearing both red and inflamed. The dog will often try to scratch the area due to irritation as well.

The signs of a grass seed in your dog's ears are...

The ear may be sore to the touch, while your dog could start to walk with its head held at an angle.

The signs of a grass seed in your dog's paws are...

If a grass seed gets lodged in a paw, you can expect to see swelling, redness and potentially a weeping hole. Dogs will try to lick and chew the affected area, and could walk with a limp.

The signs of a grass seed in your dog's organs are...

There are a whole variety of ways that the grass seed can be ingested - it could end up interspersed with food they have eaten off of the ground, from licking their coats or from running through long grass. If inhaled through the mouth grass seeds can get stuck in the lungs, causing both coughing and retching.

To help prevent the risk of grass seeds you can...

One thing you can do is prevent your dog from having excessive hair in the paw, ear and arm areas, so trim these on a regular basis. Otherwise they will act as grass seeds magnets!

After every walk be sure to give your dog a thorough combing, to remove any potential seeds as well. Pay particular attention to the toes, the ears, the groin area and the armpits as these are the most common places the seeds can get lodged. Keep an eye out for unusual behaviour too - if in doubt take them to the vet. The earlier a problem is identified, the quicker it can be treated.

Image courtesy of Getty / Moment Select / Sally Anscombe





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