Sneaky and Dangerous Grass Seeds

July 11th, 2018

It’s the time of the year when we enjoy walking our dogs in the fields and meadows more than any other time of the year.

We also all know to use some kind of protection, preferably natural, on our dogs for ticks and fleas and other little pests.

But what about those sneaky grass seeds? And why?

There’s not much we can do beforehand as they are pretty much everywhere at this time of the year.

And what happens if they are left in the dog’s coat?

There are two most common places on the dog’s body where grass seeds can cause problems, and these are the feet and ears.

Dangerous grass seeds

Grass seeds can easily get between the dog’s toes, this part of the foot is called the interdigital space. When the grass seed is ‘holding’ onto the soft fur between the toes, it is slowly making its way towards the skin and can/may penetrate the skin with ease. And then slowly burrowing itself deeper and deeper … this results in discomfort, extreme pain, infection, and acute lameness. Your dog will vigorously lick its paws and toes, he will be very uncomfortable and/or even lethargic. That’s the time to visit your vet, because sometimes the grass seed may travel under the skin so you won’t be able to see it.

The situation with the ear is very similar and also very dangerous. The grass seeds shape allows it to work its way from the fur on the ears down along the ear canal and can go so deep that it can damage the delicate eardrum. If the grass seed enters your dog’s ear he will shake his head vigorously and he will look very uncomfortable. If you notice this sign take your dog to see your vet straight away.

After walks, I use a slicker brush with longer bristles for removing any grass and twigs from my dog’s coat, especially the Scotties who are like magnets for them! They are not so keen on brushing but I’d rather persevere with brushing and checking than rush to the vets later.

Brushing after walks is very important

Sneaky grass seed between Tanky’s toes

So, always remember to check your dog’s feet, coat, and ears after a walk in the fields, forest, and meadows. And don’t just look for ticks, keep an eye out for those seeds too!

Enjoy your walkies.

Jitka xx

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