Grass Seeds in Pets

Posted By Dr Angela Sutherland  
00:00 AM

In the late spring and summer, the number of cases of grass seeds in dogs rises exponentially. A grass seed itself, which is no longer than a centimetre, is sharp and pointy, and can be picked up during a walk or play in long grass through your dog’s nose, mouth, fur, paws, ears, or eyes causing inflammation and infection if not removed and treated.

The seed essentially, attaches to and migrates through the body and depending on its entry point, can travel to the lungs, bladder and brain, amongst other locations. The grass seed causes painful swelling and in turn an abscess.  

Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling, excessive licking, oozing and/or bloody discharge, may cause lameness,
  • Itching, head tilt, shaking head, redness, discharge of the eyes.

Locating a grass seed can be difficult, particularly if the grass seed has made its way under the skin. Depending how far the grass seed has burrowed itself, your pet may require sedation or an anaesthetic to remove it. On the whole, the outcome for grass seed removal is good, and your pet would be back to normal within a couple of weeks.

Here are some things to keep in mind and watch out for:

  •   Keep your grass and weeds under control at home with regular maintenance
  • Avoid long grass when on walks
  • Keep long haired dogs groomed, especially around their feet and ears
  • Inspect your dog, all over after each walk, making sure you check in between and under all toes and underneath the ears

If you are concerned about your pet please contact your Veterinarian to seek help.