It’s that time of year where grass seeds are becoming a problem. Shaped like darts, they cling to your pet’s coat with their bristly fibres, and their pointed shape means they easily pierce the skin. They cannot escape so push their way forward burrowing deeper and deeper.
Grass seeds often need to be removed through surgery which can result in a sedation or general anaesthetic for your pet.
They can enter the ears, eyes, nose and burrow their way between the toes, resulting in severe pain, inflammation and infection.
One particularly memorable patient several years ago had been running through a field when grass seeds became embedded into the back of his mouth. Some had made their way into his windpipe causing difficulty breathing. We placed a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe whilst they were removed. Luckily, he was brought in swiftly and made a full recovery.
What are the symptoms?
Ears – Itching, shaking of the head, or rubbing their head along the floor. Sometimes a head tilt can develop.
Eyes – Any irritation around the eye can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. You may notice a redness, they can become watery, or even result in the eye closing. They can cause serious long-term problems including blindness.
Nose – Sneezing, rubbing and possibly a discharge.
Skin – Persistent chewing, licking or attempting to itch an area.
Mouth – Grass seeds can become lodged in the throat, causing inflammation and swelling. Coughing, attempting to vomit or refusal to eat can all be symptoms.
Prevention is always better than cure we would recommend;
- If possible stop walking in grassy fields and choose woodland or pathways instead – where seeds are less likely to be present.
- Always check your pet’s feet, ears, eyes and coat (particularly armpits) after every walk.
- Having your dog’s coat clipped short particularly around the feet, ears and armpits will help reduce the seeds ability to cling on and if they do it will be easier for you spot and remove them.
If you have any questions or concerns then please do give your local branch a call.