Grass Seeds

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A grass seed removed from a dogs ear cannal

Grass seeds are a common problem, to dogs especially during the summer months. They are attached to the tops of long grass stems and can easily brush off onto your dog during walks. Although tiny, they have can cause a lot of pain to your dog. The seeds have pointy ends and are very sharp so they easily become trapped in a dog’s fur and can burrow down the coat to pierce the skin. Unfortunately, they can go under the skin and travel to other areas of the body. They have been known to end up in the chest area. The seeds can also get stuck in eyes and ears. Once they start travelling around the body they can be very difficult to find.

How do I know if they are effected?

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     Blue arrow: grass seed in eye            Green arrow: an ulcer as a result

It is advisable to thoroughly check your dog for grass seeds after every walk. Look for seeds stuck in their coat, feet, noses and eyes. If you can visually see them you can try to remove them your self (if they are not in bedded). If they have become in bedded then dogs normally show some signs such as: pain when checking their feet, licking at paws and limping on the effected leg. Some dogs will have eye or nose irritation (violent sneezing) which can show a sign of a grass seed in the nose or eye.

How to prevent

Unfortunately there is no full proof way of preventing grass seeds but there are a few steps you can take o minimise the chances. Keep hair around ears and paws short to minimise the risk of grass seeds sticking and burrowing into the skin. You can either do this your self or, you can ask your dog groomers to perform this clip for you. Also inspecting your dog after every walk and removing any seeds will also help reduce the likelihood of any penetrating the skin.

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