We’re entering the time of year where we see a lot of dogs presented with grass seed foreign bodies. These sneaky seeds can become lodged in your dog’s fur and migrate through the skin and even throughout the body, this is due to their unique shape and the presence of ‘awns’ which form a wide fan and stop the seed moving backwards.
The most common places for grass seeds to cause a problem are between the toes (from where they can migrate up the leg) and in the ears (usually causing acute pain and head shaking). Grass seeds can sometimes get caught in eyes and cause painful eye ulcers- if you are concerned about your dog’s eyes it is important to contact the vet straight away.
Grass seed penetration causes discomfort and can lead to tissue damage and nasty infections. The best way to protect your dog from grass seeds is to make sure they are groomed regularly. Long haired dogs would benefit from being trimmed, in particular their feet. Be sure to check your dog’s coat after every walk- feet (especially between the toes), ears, and arm pits are important places to check. Steering clear of long grass or particular fields when walking can also prevent exposure to grass seeds.
If you notice your dog excessively licking his feet, going lame, squinting his eyes or shaking his head, then don’t hesitate to contact the vet- the sooner a grass seed is found the less damage it can cause.
Call us on 01223 232 111 to book an appointment.
Tanya King MA VetMB MRCVS
Hollyoak Vets in Cambridge – Where Pets Come First