Grass Seed And Dogs
Grass seed and dog safety
Grass seeds are very common in the summer, and they can cause big problems for dogs. When people see them in their dog’s fur, they sometimes don’t realise how important it is to remove them. They look harmless, but they can wedge themselves in your dog’s skin and cause infections. All dog owners should be aware of the potential dangers of grass seeds. One of the most common veterinary issues that vets have to deal with in the summer is the removal and treatment of grass seeds.
They have tiny arrow heads, they are just the right shape to slip under your dog’s skin. Their shape also prevents them from naturally removing themselves, instead they just travel deeper into your dog’s skin. You will come across them in fields and the outskirts of woodlands when out and about on walks, and even occasionally in your garden. Dogs usually get grass seeds stuck in their paws and ears, but they can get them anywhere on their body.
Signs your dog has a grass seed in their skin:
- Scratching or chewing their skin.
- If a seed gets stuck in their ear they may shake their head, rub their ear on the floor and try and scratch their ear with their paw.
- An area of skin may become infected, sore and inflamed.
What problems can they cause?
Grass seeds can cause all sorts of problems, but mainly they are very painful and uncomfortable. They can often cause infections and your dog may need to be sedated in order to have the grass seed removed.
With grass seeds the key is spotting them early, before they get too deep into your dog’s body and need to be removed surgically. If the grass seed hasn’t wedged itself too far in, then long tweezers can be used to remove it. If your dog has a grass seed stuck in their skin take them to the vet straight away, if you try and remove it yourself you could make things worse.
Are some dogs more affected?
All dogs can get grass seeds stuck in their skin. However, dogs with longer fur tend to get them more often. Grass seeds get stuck in their fur more easily and they are also more difficult to spot. Dogs that have particularly fluffy feet and ears, such as Spaniels and poodles are more likely to get covered in grass seeds.
How to avoid grass seeds
Make sure you trim the hair on your dog’s paws regularly in the summer, so that there’s less chance of grass seeds going undetected. Check their entire body for grass seeds after you get back from walks in the summer time. Look in their ears, in between their paw pads and under their armpits. Remove any grass seeds you see that have not broken the skin and take your dog to the vet if any are stuck in their skin. If you are going somewhere where you know there will be lots of grass seeds you might want to buy your dog a vest to protect their abdomen.