Every summer, we see many cases of dogs with grass seeds stuck in paws, ears and other strange places. Although they are very tiny, grass seeds can be a huge problem!
Grass seeds are arrow-shaped. They tend to stick in the fur and then burrow under the skin. This can lead to irritation, infection and even the formation of an abscess (pus-filled swelling). Surgery is often required to remove them from under the skin on in the ears.
• Give your dog a quick check-over every day, particularly if you are in a grassy area or have been for a walk. Spend extra time checking the paws, between the toes and in the ears. It’s best to remove seeds from the fur before they can get under the skin.
• Keep grass on your property short.
• Avoid dry grassy areas on walks.
• Keep the hair around your dog’s paws trimmed short.
When should I see the vet?
Schedule a check up with your vet ASAP if you dog is –
- Licking at its paw(s)
- Shaking its head
- Scratching at its ears
- Has any unusual lumps or swellings
- Or if you see a grass seed burrowing into the skin.
This depends on the location of the grass seed(s), how long it has been there, and how much infection or inflammation is involved. Some seeds can be removed easily. If an abscess has formed, or the seeds are deep under the skin, surgery may be recommended. Antibiotics and pain relief may also be necessary.
As always, prevention is much better than cure!
Dr Grace Woodward