Beware the Grass Seed

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Oct 30, 2015 9:32:05 AM
Dr Claire Jenkins

Grass seeds are the cause of one the most common problems encountered by pets, especially dogs. That is, grass seed foreign bodies or grass seed abscesses. This is a major problem in late Spring and through Summer.

They are shaped like an arrow and easily penetrate your pet’s skin, from there they burrow through tissue where they lodge or can migrate around the body. As they are a foreign matter in your buddy’s body, they cause painful inflammation when left then they cause an abscess to develop.

You may notice swelling, or that your fur kid is particularly bothered by something and is biting, licking or rubbing at the affected area. These troublesome seeds can lodge anywhere but common places to find them are in the eyes (under the upper, lower or third eyelid), in the ears or in the paws.

If you suspect your pup may have a grass seed it’s best to get to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The fact that grass seeds can migrate means it is much easier (& hence, cheaper) to treat these early rather than further down the track. Sometimes surgery is needed to find a grass seed.

Of course, if you can prevent it you should!

The following 4 tips will help minimise the risk of grass seed foreign bodies in your fur baby:

1. Mow your lawn regularly

2. Avoid long grass on walks, stick to where it’s short

3. When you’re home from a walk spend 5 minutes checking your dog thoroughly and remove any grass seeds you see - this gets rid of them BEFORE they can burrow into the skin. Be systematic and check the legs, arm pits, body, around the tail, face, ears and paws especially between each of the toes.

4. Regularly groom long haired dogs to keep fur short especially around the face, paws and ears.

Want help? Chat with our vets

Our experienced Aussie vets are online between 6am-11pm daily, so let’s get an action plan in place for your fur kid. Get an appointment for a video consult or start a chat within minutes. 

Topics: dog, grass seeds