Learn how grass seeds can be a nuisance and how to keep your dog safe.
Dogs playing on the grass is a wonderful sight. Our furry friends usually find it quite amusing to run and hop around in grassy fields, but it might become problematic while you are unsuspecting. Grass seeds can be unfriendly to your furry companion. So before you go outdoors next time, be aware of the problems grass seeds can pose, and learn about ways to avoid them.
How grass seeds can be harmful
Grass seeds are found in areas of woodlands and long grass. The problem with them is their spiky structure, which helps them get stuck to the ground – but it doesn’t help the canine that gets exposed to them.
The pointed seeds can cling to different dog body parts and cause harm. The vulnerable canine areas include paws, eyes, and ears. The nose and throat can also be affected occasionally.
As the dogs move around with an intact grass seed, the seeds can penetrate further causing pain and inflammation. They can also provide a gateway for bacteria to enter the body resulting in infection and abscesses.
How to prevent a grass seed situation
- First of all, make your canine avoid areas of long grass, especially during summer, and stick to bare paths or areas of short grass.
- Check your dog’s coat after every walk. The seeds are likely to be present on paws between the toe pads. They can also be found in the armpits, bellies, and ears.
- Try to keep your dog’s coat short. A shorter coat, especially around the feet, makes it less likely for the grass seeds to be accommodated. A shorter coat also makes it easier for you to spot the seeds and remove them before they become a problem.
When is the time for a veterinary intervention
If the seed is not dislodged and has evoked an inflammatory response, you will notice the dog exhibiting signs of discomfort.
- If the affected area is the paw, the canine would be seen persistently licking or chewing its feet and limping.
- In case of an affected ear, the dog will be seen unusually shaking its head.
- If the troubled area is the eye, the dog will be blinking excessively, or pawing at their eyes, with a lot of tear production.
- The nose and throat can also be affected and in such cases, there will be sneezing, nasal discharge, and sudden distress.
If you notice the above-mentioned symptoms, you should take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Dr. Omer Rashid earned his veterinary degree in 2002 from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, and quickly followed that with a Master’s degree in Parasitology. He worked for several years in veterinary practice with small animals, as well as horses and livestock. He studied advanced pharmacology at Charles Darwin University in Australia, and discovered his love for writing while working as a science writer for a research company with clients such as Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge universities. Along the way, Dr. Rashid developed an interest in integrative veterinary health, and he joined Redstone Media Group as Associate Editor of IVC Journal and veterinary content developer in 2022.