The Dangers of Grass Seed for Your Dog

The Dangers of Grass Seed for Your Dog

If you are planning to walk your dog in areas where there is a lot of long grass over the next few months, you need to know about grass seed and the dangers that it can pose for your pet. Grass seed injuries can be extremely painful and potentially dangerous for your dog but many pet owners aren’t aware of this and therefore don’t take steps to protect their dog against them.

Why Grass Seeds can be Such a Problem for Your Dog

Grass seeds are arrow shaped, and this is where the bulk of the problem occurs as far as your dog is concerned. They are able to easily attach themselves to your dog’s fur and this gives them ample opportunity to embed into the skin. This is most likely to occur in the foot area but can potentially happen anywhere on the body. They can also lodge in the ear canal and cause big discomfort there.

If they are able to penetrate the skin, they cause significant pain and can adversely affect movement. In addition to this, they can travel within the body making it a lot harder for them to be successfully removed. Your dog will then need to be sedated or put under a general anaesthetic so that your vet can try to locate where the grass seed has moved to before extracting it. They will usually have to use a special kind of forceps to do this. The situation is complicated by the fact that grass seeds won’t show up in x rays so it’s not always easy for the vet to pinpoint where they may have travelled to.

What Are the Signs of Grass Seed Injury?

If your dog has been affected by a grass seed injury, they are likely to demonstrate signs of pain and discomfort. For example, you may notice them licking and biting particular areas of their skin.

Where the feet are affected, you may see raised red “boil” areas on your dog’s paws. The paw area may also become sore looking and swollen if a grass seed is able to penetrate into the foot.

If a grass seed has lodged in the ear, your dog may persistently shake their head, rub along the ground and tilt their head to one side in a futile attempt to remove it.

What to Do If You Think Your Dog Has a Grass Seed Injury

See your vet as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog may have a grass seed injury. The longer it is left in the more potential damage it can do, so it’s best if your pet can be treated as soon as possible after they start to show signs of a possible grass seed injury.

Preventing Grass Seed Injuries for Your Dog

Grass seed injuries can be very nasty for your dog and potentially quite draining on your finances too so it’s always best if you can help them to avoid being affected in the first place.

Some of the steps that you can take to reduce the dangers include:

  • Unsurprisingly, the most obvious thing you can do is avoid areas where grass seed grows abundantly.
  • If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to be extra vigilant after walks. Checking your dog’s fur meticulously after walks for any indications that grass seeds may have become caught up is crucial, especially if you have been in areas where grass seed is likely to be very evident.
  • Keeping your dog’s fur trimmed short on areas that could be most easily affected by grass seeds such as on the paws, toes and around the eyes to make it harder for them to go unnoticed.
  • If you’re still worried about potential grass seed injuries to your dog’s paws, you may want to consider kitting them out in doggy booties to protect this commonly affected area of their body.