With the summer upon us, grass seeds start to be a common problem for dogs, they get into their ears, eyes, paws and then work their way under the skin. If not noticed they can cause problems and require a trip to the vet.

What problems can they cause?

Although very small, they can cause big problems for your dogs. Like most dogs, who love nothing more than running around in the long grass and enjoying life to the full, often coming out with grass seeds all over their faces, it just takes one seed to work its way into the skin and it can cause a lot of pain for your dog.

With their pointy ends, they cling onto your dog’s fur and could gradually work their way into the skin, paw, ear or eye. Some have also been known, once entering the skin, to move around the body and have been found in the chest area. Once they start traveling around the body they can be extremely difficult to find.

What dogs are at risk?

Any dogs can be affected by grass seeds, but the most common breeds that make their way into the vets are dogs with feathered toes that enjoy running through the long grass, such as springer spaniels and also dogs with long hair on their legs, paws, and ears.

What signs should you look out for?

Most grass seeds will be found in the paw area which can be noticed by swelling in the area or your dog might be licking his paw more frequently, they might also start to limp when they walk.

If your dogs have them in the ears they might start to shake their head, and pawing their ears to try and get it out. Sudden onset of sneezing may indicate that your dog could have a seed in the nose.

How can you minimise the risk?

Keep your dog’s hair around the ears short, this helps minimise the risk of the seeds clinging to the hair and then burrowing into the skin. We recommend inspecting your dogs after a walk in the long grass and removing any seeds that you can find which will remove the risk of them penetrating the skin.

What should you do if you think grass seeds are causing a problem?

When you’re back from a walk and notice a grass seed on your dog remove it straight away. However, if you start to see seeds that have started to burrow into the skin or your dog is chewing or licking, and you think they might have one in his or her ears or eyes then please consult your vet.

Posted: August 7, 2019