Why it is so important to check for Grass Seeds?
Grass seeds may be small and seemingly harmless, but in the wrong place they can cause a lot of issues. Grass seeds are typically attached to the tops of long grass stems, and are small and pointy in shape. They are often found in meadows and woodland during the summer months, and, as a veterinary practice, it is extremely common for us to see grass seed cases at this time of year.
Dogs love running through the long grass and we will commonly see grass seeds causing issues for their eyes, ears, armpits or the spaces between their toes. It is important to check your pet after walks for any seeds that may stick to their fur and make sure they are removed quickly, preventing any issues later.
Common symptoms that can be associated with grass seed (depending on area of the body), may include:
- Ears: you may notice excessively scratching, or shaking of their head
- Eyes: you may notice signs of a painful, weepy eye or excessive rubbing
- Paws: you may notice excessive licking or nibbling of feet, pain or swelling
- Elsewhere: grass seeds can travel around the body from the first entry point, therefore it is important to monitor for any swelling, signs of a high temperature or lethargy, as well as wounds anywhere on your pet
If you think your pet may possibly have a grass seed stuck, it is important to get them checked as soon as possible. The sooner the seed is removed, the less likely it will cause any further problem.
If the grass seed is located early enough, your vet may be able to use special instruments to simply remove it under a light sedation. However, if the seeds track further into the body from their entry point, your pet may require a more complex surgical procedure under general anaesthetic to locate and remove it safely. Secondary infections can also develop from grass seeds, which may also require a course of medication to solve.
If you are concerned that your pet may be showing signs of grass seeds, please contact the surgery and our client care team will be happy to help.